When you think about materials used to make roofing, what qualities would you think those materials need to have? Many people assume that roofing materials need to be lightweight -- which might be why they react with such surprise when they learn that roofs can be made from concrete! Concrete is definitely heavy, but that's one reason why it makes such a good roof. Keep reading, and you'll learn all about concrete roofing.
Concrete roofs are typically made from tiles.
You might be picturing a truck attempting to pour concrete on a roof. That sounds difficult, and it's not how a concrete roof works. Instead, concrete roofs are made from individual tiles. Those tiles are not flat like the tiles in your shower or on your floor. Rather, they are curved and shaped like the terra cotta tiles you may have seen on some Spanish-style homes. The concrete is poured into molds at a factory in order to form the tiles. Then, the tiles are mounted onto the roof, one by one.
Concrete tile roofs are difficult to install.
Most handy homeowners have a pretty good sense of how an asphalt shingle roof is put on, and they could probably do it themselves with the right tools and helpers. But tile roofs are more difficult to install. That's one reason why they are so much more expensive. The installers need to have expertise and training to do it properly.
The process starts with putting down an underlayment. This is a water-resistant layer mounted directly on the roof trusses. Then, strips of wood are nailed down to the roof, and the tiles are nailed to the wooden strips. They must be positioned carefully so they overlap and interlock just right. Cutting tiles to go around the chimney and other obstructions also takes time and skill. You can expect a roofing company to spend about a week roofing a home with concrete tile, whereas they can do a typical asphalt roof job in a day or two.
Concrete roofs are really wind-resistant.
Concrete roofs are really common in areas where high winds are a problem, such as in hurricane zones and by the waterfront. This is largely because, due to their heft, they won't blow off the roof like other materials. The way that they hook together also makes them sturdy. Concrete tiles also stand up well to hail and to any debris that might get blown onto the home during a storm. If a few tiles break, they can be replaced without worrying about the rest of the roof. Overall, thanks to their durability, you can expect concrete roofing tiles to last 100 years or more — that's just as long as a slate roof and longer than metal, asphalt shingles, or cedar shakes.
Concrete roof tiles come in various colors.
Are you picturing an ugly, grayish concrete roof? You can find tiles that look like that, but if you don't like the drab look, there are many other color options available. Some concrete tiles are made to look like terra cotta or even wood. Manufacturers are increasingly experimenting with fun colors like blue and green. So regardless of what look you would prefer your home to have, you should be able to find a concrete roof material that lasts.
Making a roof out of concrete may sound like a strange proposition, but concrete tiles are actually a mainstay in certain wind-prone areas. They can be a bit costly, but keep in mind that they last 100 years. Install a concrete roof, and you'll never have to replace your roof again — at least not in this lifetime!
Learn more from a company such as Lifetime Commercial Roofing.