Spanish clay tile roofs are not only beautiful but are also considered the signature look of many Mediterranean-style homes.
The barrel shape of the tile gives the roof a contoured appearance while shedding water and providing better airflow than typical asphalt shingles. Part of their charm is that many of these roofs are the color of natural clay and remind the homeowner of days gone by when these barrel tiles would have been made by hand and sun-dried. In fact, there are still companies that make these tiles by hand and dry them in hand-operated kilns.
A Brief History: Spanish Tile Roof Life Expectancy
Clay tile’s popularity in the U.S. started in the 1700s around New York when it was discovered that they had a high resistance to fire. The fires that destroyed a large number of homes in London in the late 1600s were still fresh in the minds of homeowners in America, so the number of clay barrel tile roofs began to increase rapidly.
However, their popularity continued to grow as architects and designers started including barrel roofs in their Italian Villa designs as well as other Mediterranean grand homes. Today, Spanish tile roofs are seen on many homes in America and Europe.
Pros of Spanish Tile Roofs
In addition to being fire retardant, clay Spanish tile roofs have other positive points:
- Readily available in most areas, making it economical
- Can be glazed in different colors offering a variety of choices
- Can be recycled
- Easily emits the heat it absorbs back into the atmosphere, rather than transferring it to the decking of the home.
- Some manufacturers offer a 50-year warranty for their clay tiles.
Cons of Spanish Tile Roofs
However, Spanish tiles also have their fair share of downsides:
- Be expensive to purchase and replace
- Easily break, crack, or chip away
- Put extra weight on the foundation of a home
- Become cold and brittle during winter months
- Create loud noises during heavy storms
Spanish Tile Roofing Life Expectancy: 3 Common Questions
1. How long will clay tiles last on my roof?
This is a good question because the life expectancy of Spanish clay tiles is based on a number of factors. Even though the homeowner may have a 50-year warranty, there are issues that can cause Spanish Barrel tiles to degrade long before the warranty has expired, one of which is the local climate.
2. How much water do Spanish tiles absorb?
The answer to this question has to do with the grade of the tile and how it's impacted by the environment.
In areas that have extreme freeze and thaw temperature cycles, the more water the clay absorbs, the faster it deteriorates as the water freezes and causes the tile to expand. After this happens, the tiles are less resistant to future freezes. Only Class 1 clay tiles meet the specifications of ASTM C1167 and can withstand these types of temperature swings.
3. How often is maintenance performed on clay roof tiles?
The answer largely depends on the environment in which you live.
Clay barrel tiles are strong as long as they are not resisting anything except for wind and rain. But they can break easily when being walked on during maintenance, which makes them increasingly more difficult to repair.
Not to mention, clay tiles are susceptible to damage from falling tree limbs or other heavy objects, and they can undergo mold and algae damage if water builds on the roof.
However, if the environment is stable, maintenance is needed far less often.
Synthetic Spanish Barrel Roof Tiles Are An Excellent Long-Life Alternative to Clay
Want the beauty and charm of barrel roof tiles on your home without the number of negatives associated with natural clay? Check out Brava's Synthetic Spanish Barrel Tiles.
They offer all of the advantages of real clay—and more—with none of the negatives, including:
- 50-year limited warranty
- Made entirely from recycled material—fully recyclable
- Class A fire rating
- Class 4 impact rating—highest in the industry
- Available in any color, and the color is throughout the tile, not just on the surface
- Installation does not require the use of specialists
- Not affected by freeze/thaw cycles
- Easy to maintain
- The only white composite tile on the market
Choosing Brava's Spanish Barrel Tile
All of our tiles are 3rd-party tested by accredited labs and are Miami-Dade County approved. All of our designs replicate the look of their natural counterpart including differing widths and thickness on the Cedar Shake and Old World Slate.
Contact us today for a free sample and quote, and check out our website for professional resources and tile colors that can help you make the right decision when starting your next roofing project, including photos and videos.
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