Arizona-style house design common to the region

What Every Snowbird Needs to Know About Their Arizona Tile Roof

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Many homeowners relocate to the Valley from colder climes, either for the winter or permanently.  They may be used for roofing options more typical for Northern states, like asphalt shingles, cedar shakes, standing-seam metal roofs or even slate roof tiles.

While these roofing materials are used in and around the Phoenix metro area, you’re far more likely to see tile on pitched roofs.

What is a Tile Roof?

This roofing system consists of tiles installed over some waterproofing underlayment.  Unlike a shingle roof, which typically holds up for 20–25 years, clay and concrete tile is intended to last for many decades (even centuries) and is fire-resistant.

One thing to watch for: depending on the type of tile, you may not be able to safely walk on your roof to inspect it as you might with other types of roof systems.  Some types of roof tile, particularly clay and sandcast, are subject to breakage when walked on.

How Long Do Tiles Roofs Last in Arizona?

Tile roofs have been used throughout Europe and Asia for centuries and, with the proper care, can last hundreds of years.  You can expect an Arizona tile roof to last 50 to 100 years, giving you a great return on your investment.

Is a Tile Roof Easy to Repair?

The Valley may not usually get snow, but it does have a lengthy storm and monsoon season.  Both clay and concrete tiles are weather-resistant, but if you notice broken tiles or water dripping into your home, call a professional to assess the situation.

Repairing tile roofs is more complex than fixing a roof with asphalt shingles.  Due to the nature of the tiles and their unique installation, it takes more effort to locate and resolve the source of the leak.

Find an Arizona roofing company that offers free estimates on roofing repairs.

Three Popular Tile Types and Shapes

Roofing tiles are available in concrete, clay and sandcast.  Concrete and clay are generally pre-formed, while sandcast is hand-made and sun-dried.  Concrete tiles cure in a climate-controlled environment; clay tiles are typically kiln-cured.  The curing process for concrete and clay tile results in a durable, water-resistant final product.  While tile is produced in a variety of shapes and sizes, there are four main shapes (or profiles) popular in Arizona:

  • Flat.  Flat roofing tiles are similar in size and shape to cedar shakes.  They are installed in an overlapping manner to both protect the roof decking below and to create a pleasing design.  They are sometimes referred to as slab tiles, book tiles, or French tiles.  Flat tile is available in both clay and concrete.
  • Barrel.  Sometimes called pan or Mission tiles, this tile is rounded, like a cylinder (or a barrel) cut in half.  When installed, one tile faces up, and the next faces down to interlock to create an undulating surface on your roof that is pleasing to the eye.  This profile is available in both clay and sandcast tile.
  • S-tiles.  A variation of the barrel tile, an S-tile is in the shape of a wave (sideways “S”).  It recreates the look of barrel tiles.  This profile is available in both clay and concrete.
  • W-tiles.  Shaped like a W, this tile is more typical of a concrete tile.  This is an older style tile, not as commonly installed on new construction.

If you’re unsure which tile product best suits your roof and budget, speak with an Arizona roofing company.  We’re happy to make recommendations based on your needs and preferences.

Related Reading: Clay Tiles vs. Concrete Tiles in Commercial Roofing

Caring for Your Arizona Tile Roof When You’re Away

If you’re spending a significant amount of time away from your Arizona home, you don’t want to be worried about your roof.  Follow preventative maintenance steps to keep tile from becoming cracked or damaged.

Schedule an annual routine inspection when you’re in town. Ask your roofing contractor specific questions and hear their expert opinions.

If you notice something amiss, call a roofing company immediately so we can take care of it for you.

Partnering with a roofing company you trust means we can come while you’re away and make sure your roof is intact.

Can I Replace My Asphalt Shingle Roof With a Tile Roof?

Tile roofs weigh considerably more than asphalt shingle roofs, generally about 7 1/2 pounds more per square foot.  Depending on your home’s construction, it may require additional support to adjust for the extra weight of the tile.  An engineer is generally involved in assessing the load-bearing capacity of a roof structure.  “Light-weight” tiles are available to accommodate some roof structures.

Feel Confident With an Arizona Roofing Company

Living in the Valley has its own learning curve.  Heat, dust and scorpions can all be a little hard to adjust to, but SUNVEK is here to help you with all your roofing needs.  Our dedicated experts install, maintain and repair all types of Arizona roofs, including tile.  We provide courtesy estimates on roof tear-offs and replacements to protect you and your space from the elements.

Call us today to learn more about our services and products or to ask any questions.


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