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Applications  > Roof tiles
Stylish and durable roofing
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concrete roof tilesConcrete roof tiles are a durable water-shedding material that most often last the lifetime of a building. Concrete roof tiles simulate the appearance of traditional clay tiles, wood shake, slate, and stone. Like clay, concrete tile surfaces can be textured or smooth, and tile edges can be uniform or ragged. Architects may select tiles of all one color, blended colors, or combinations of two or more shades placed in a uniform or random pattern. Regular portland cement is gray, but is also available in white. Pigments can be blended with either white or gray cement to allow for virtually any desired color, including bright whites, pastels, and deep rich shades.
 
Lightweight concrete tiles are also available in some regions of the country for re-roofing applications where the roof structure is insufficient to support standard weight concrete tiles. Concrete tiles can be used in any climate provided specific installation precautions are followed.
 
Concrete roof tiles were first fabricated in Bavaria, in the middle of the 19th century, from a mixture of cement, sand, and water. Many homes built with these original concrete roof tiles still remain, proving their long service life.
why

 

Concrete roof tiles offer:
 
Lifetime performance. Concrete roof tiles generally last the lifetime of a building, typically carrying a limited lifetime, non-pro-rated, transferable warranty. There are examples in Europe of concrete tile roofs that are over 100 years old and still performing well.
 
Economical cost. Concrete tile is more economical than other roofing products on a life-cycle basis. Concrete tiles have grown more competitive in price, due in part to the rising costs of roofing products produced from petroleum (such as asphalt shingles).
 
sustainability

 

Concrete roof tiles offer several sustainable solutions, for more details see related pages at right.
 
Disaster Resistance. Concrete tiles are Class A fire rated.  Concrete tiles are resistant to damage from hail and high winds, typically achieving a minimum of a Class 3 hail resistance rating. Concrete tiles can sustain winds in excess of 125 miles per hour that would strip off most other roofing materials.  Testing has also shown concrete tile roofing systems, when installed according to building code standards, exceed current seismic load requirements for building materials.
 
Durability. Reduced resource requirements for replacements due to natural disasters, wind-driven rain, moisture damage, and vermin.
 
High Albedo. Reduced heat island affect when using light- or natural-colored material. May contribute to LEED Credit SS 7.

 

considerations

Installation. Because special tools and expertise are required, concrete roof tile installations are typically not suited for do-it-yourself projects. Choose a contractor with experience and a reputable manufacturer with a strong warranty. Concrete roof tiles are designed to last the lifetime of a building. Make sure the product you choose is appropriate to your climate and will withstand the natural forces that could affect the roof. Also, be sure to select an installer familiar with the particular manufacturer’s specifications for quality.
 
Maintenance. A yearly visual inspection of a concrete roof can help protect against accumulation of leaf debris in the valleys, or moss growth that could create a damming effect with rain. Moss and algae do not harm concrete tiles, but periodic cleaning with a power washer by a professional can remove them. After periods of high winds, earthquake, or extensive hail, a visual inspection of the roof should also be made to ensure that there are no cracked, broken, or loose tiles needing replacement. Similar maintenance is recommended for any type of roof cladding.

BOOKMARK
Resources
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Located at BookstoreConcrete Systems for Homes and Low-Rise Construction (2005)
Vanderwerf, P., Portland Cement Association, Item Code SP405, 576 pages
For purchase for $75. Fast gaining on more traditional homebuilding materials, concrete systems save builders time, money, and headaches. Offering durability, cost savings, energy efficiency, and eye-pleasing aesthetics, concrete systems now account for large shares of the walls, floors, roofs, finishes, and landscape products in small buildings in the United States. But are concrete systems right for you and your construction crew? And if so, which ones? This is the place to find out. Written by experts from the Portland Cement Association, Concrete Systems for Homes & Low-Rise Construction provides expert, straightforward answers on concrete systems. Open these pages for everything you want to know about availability of products, evaluating concrete systems for homes and low-rise buildings, requirements for application, managing projects, and much more. Based on case histories, field research, and hands-on-the-hammer experience, and with more than 325 photos and illustrations, this one-stop resource shows and tells what you want to know. It's a huge time and money saver! For each new concrete system for residences, you'll find: • Properties and advantages • Logistics of construction • Connections to other concrete systems • Materials and labor costs of installation • Code and regulatory issues • Technical and testing information • Sources of additional information
Download DocumentConcrete Homes Technology Brief - Concrete Roof Tiles (2005)
Portland Cement Assocation, #IS315, 2 pages.
Available for free. Description: This Tech Brief (No. 16) is designed in a single page format and written in a non-technical style intended to inform the building industry and consumers of the value of concrete roof tiles. Concrete roof tiles most often last the lifetime of a house, typically carrying a limited lifetime, non-pro-rated, transferable warranty. They are Class A fire rated and resistant to damage from hail and high winds. Concrete roof tiles have grown more competitive in price, due in part to the rising costs of petroleum-based products such as asphalt shingles. Concrete roof tiles are available in many styles and color options.
Located at External Web SiteConcrete Homes
Portland Cement Association
A web resource for general information on concrete homes.
Located at External Web SiteTile Roofing Institute
Website of non-profit industry association.