Your roof comprises about 40% of the visible exterior of your home, so it’s extremely important to choose the right color and style of roofing tile to enhance its beauty as well as add curb appeal for a higher resale value. We often spend a great deal of time considering the look of the roofing tile, but not the actual composition of it — the material it is manufactured from. It is just as important as the style of the tile or the color. In fact, the material composition of the black roof tile and roof tiles, in general, can affect the useful lifespan of your roof, and therefore, replacement costs over the life of the structure. Let’s consider 4 of the most popular roofing tile materials to see how their makeup affects the life of your roof, as well as how it can affect your budget:
- Asphalt shingles
- Slate roof tiles
- Clay roof tiles
- Cedar shakes
Black Roof Tile Options
1. Black Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles are composed of a fiberglass mat that is covered in asphalt and then coated with small particles of mica, schist, slate and ceramic and the back is covered with a mixture of talc and sand or mica in order to keep the shingles from adhering to each other.
There are three types of asphalt shingles, but the most common are the three-tab and the architectural shingle. The three-tab is normally a 20-25 year shingle while the architectural shingle has a lifetime warranty. The actual warranty is prorated for most asphalt shingles after 5-10 years. There are other styles available but the material composition and warranties are very similar.
One of the big disadvantages of asphalt shingles is their inherent tendency to absorb heat. Even lighter shades such as tan and even white, will absorb more heat than metal or composite shingles. This heat absorbing quality makes the use of black asphalt roof tiles problematic and other measures will need to be taken in order to reduce the transfer of heat to the home, such as installing radiant heat plywood on the roof and increasing the R-value of insulation in the attic.
In addition, the granules that are embedded in the asphalt shingle slowly wash off, weakening the shingle over time and making them susceptible to wind and hail damage. This can result in cracked, broken or loose shingles that can lead to water infiltration.
The heat buildup in black or other dark asphalt tiles can cause excessive curling of the shingles and result in reducing their lifespan by as much as 50%, which is another consideration not only for long-term cost, but also the environment, as asphalt shingles are not recyclable and will end up in the landfill every 20-30 years.
2. Black Slate Roof Tiles
Slate roof tiles have a long history of use in America and throughout Europe. They are known for their high quality and timeless beauty. A slate roofing is simply a classy roof and is instantly associated with fine homes, and castles of old. In addition, they are known for their longevity. There are natural slate tile roofs still in use today that are over 100 years old. Their popularity can be seen in the different types of properties they are installed on including: residential homes (including French architecture and other European styles), churches, museums, restaurants, and of course, many historical buildings. One of the reasons they are so popular is they are a natural element, and considered environmentally-friendly. Those same benefits also have a negative side:
- Natural slate is extremely heavy, requiring additional structural supports for the roof.
- Slate roofing tiles must be installed by experienced professionals.
- Repairs to slate roof tiles can be expensive due to brittleness of the product and the danger of damage while they are being walked on.
- A slate roof is expensive when coupled with higher priced installation and maintenance costs.
Black slate roof tiles are not affected by the heat or cold in the same way that asphalt shingles are, and black is one of the more popular colors of natural slate. However, it is getting more difficult to locate as most of the slate is only quarried in Vermont, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New York.
A slate roof cannot be recycled, but the fact that it could last up to 50 years or more means that it will only need to be replaced half as often as an asphalt shingle roof.
3. Black Clay Roof Tiles
Mention clay roof tiles, and usually thoughts of a Spanish villa covered with beautiful rows of red barrel tiles comes to mind. Clay roof tiles, like slate, are made from natural products and clay is readily available. Like slate, some clay tile roofs have been protecting their residents for more than one hundred years. Unfortunately, they are heavy and expensive and require the roof structure to be engineered to carry the additional weight or you may experience a failure of your entire roof. Clay tiles were traditionally made by firing clay or terra cotta, but today these tiles are more than likely made from concrete and are available in many colors and designs. Clay roof tiles perform very well in areas that experience high temperatures, which means that darker colors will not affect their longevity on the roof. In fact, black clay roof tiles are very popular, giving this roof style another look other than red. Other advantages of clay roof tiles include:
- Bug resistant
- Energy efficient
- Low maintenance
4. Black Cedar Shakes
Cedar shakes are popular in every category of construction — residential and commercial. They are just as at home on a simple country ranch as well as a French styled home in New England. Part of their appeal is the rustic, rough-cut look that derives from the way they are made. Natural cedar shakes are cut or slabbed from a tree resulting in uneven and odd-sized roof tiles. Of course, today the process has been streamlined, producing shakes that have flat backs and install easier than the old-fashioned hand cut product. Cedar shakes require the expertise of a professional roofer with experience to correctly install the product. Great care must be taken to ensure that no leaks occur due to mis-aligned shingles. Also, real cedar shakes may present some problems with local building codes due to fire hazards, if not properly treated. Natural cedar roofing tiles need to have regular maintenance to prevent mold and mildew and the roof should be inspected on a regular basis to make sure that tree limbs and leaves do not build up on the roof where they can hold/trap moisture and/or cause damage.
Synthetic Roof Tiles Add Beauty And Reduce Maintenance
The advantages of synthetic or composite roof tiles over natural products are:
- Reduced weight/no need for added structural improvement.
- Ease of installation
- Low maintenance
- Unlimited color options.
- 50-year limited warranty.
- Class 4 impact rating.
- Available Class A fire rating.
- Fully recyclable
- Manufactured for consistency.
Brava Roof Tiles Are the Superior Choice
If you are thinking about slate, barrel tiles or cedar shakes, Brava Roof Tiles are premium roofing products. Brava’s Cedar Shake, Spanish Barrel Tile, and Old World Slate roofing tiles are available in black as well as other colors — including custom colors.
We offer free samples and can help you find a professional installer to make sure the job is done right. Brava has been providing state of the art synthetic roofing tiles for decades and our products are on homes across America and in Europe. Contact us today for a free sample, professional advice, and great customer service.