Different types of tile roofs

Updated January 11, 2017

Tile roofs have been around for centuries and have many fans. But replacing tile roofs can be quite expensive, especially since it is best to hire a professional roofer familiar with tile roofs and the kinds of damage they can suffer. These days, knowing the difference between synthetic tiles, cement tiles and metal roofing tiles is a must in constructing or repairing roofs.

Synthetic Tiles

According to James Kirby, an architect with the National Roofing Contractors Association, synthetic tiles represent 2 per cent to 4 per cent of the residential roofing market. Synthetic tiles are often used for aesthetic reasons to make a home more attractive. Also, synthetic materials such as polymer and vinyl can be lookalikes for natural roofing materials such as cedar shakes, and they're more durable. Synthetic tile roofs are also less costly than other tile roofs such as cement tiles. Additionally, many synthetic tiles are fire resistant because of fire retardants that are mixed in before the moulding process. Other chemicals added to the tile material help prevent algae growth and deterioration.

Cement Tiles

A good cement tile should ideally be compact and waterproof. Cement roofing tiles are made of concrete, mortar and plaster and are used primarily for resisting strong weather. Cement tiles are tough and durable, and roofs that contain them can withstand the weight of an individual walking on them. Equally as important is that cement tiles cannot be damaged by mould or algae. Cement tiles are very difficult to install because of the special tools and expertise required. Therefore, hiring a professional roofer is strongly recommended.

Metal Roofing Tiles

Metal roofing tiles have the aesthetic appeal of classic tile and the strength and durability of stone-coated steel. Metal roofs, if installed properly, can last up to 50 years. Some copper and aluminium roofs can last as long as 75 years. Types of metal roofing include aluminium shingle, standing seam, steel roofing, zinc roofing and copper roofing. Aluminium roofing has an advantage over steel in coastal areas--often, the high levels of salt corrode steel over a period of time.

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About the Author

Leonard Dozier is a freelance writer based in southern New Jersey and New York. His film and sports columns have been published by "Casino Connection Magazine" and Trev Rogers sports respectively. A prolific and extremely versatile writer, he is an ASCAP songwriter and has written screenplays and stage plays registered with the Writer's Guild of America.