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Selecting A Roof Tile

There are so many tiles to choose from, which roof tile do I choose?

We are often asked this question.  You first of all want to choose a roof tile that goes with the style of your house and the look you're trying to get.  If you want a “Spanish’ look, then use an “S” or barrel tile profile for example, that come in terracotta ranges and blends in both clay and concrete.  If you want a more contemporary look, then you can use a concrete tile which comes in flat or double roll profiles which are available in many different colors and blends.  A white flat concrete on a “Colonial Home” will give it a classic South Florida look but and Espresso or Dark Charcoal color tile will give it a newer more modern look.  Clay tiles are slightly more expensive than concrete tiles especially if color blends are desired.  A benefit of clay tiles is that when they have to be cleaned, they will look like the day they were installed and the concrete tiles will look a little dull and lifeless.

All tiles break,  just don’t let anyone on the roof that isn't careful or experienced, so don’t base your decision solely on perceived tile strength.  All tiles approved by Miami-Dade's High Velocity Wind Code need to pass various strength tests.  Definitely use a medium or full foam paddy adhesive as it will substantially increase the breaking point of the tile and give you more wind resistance while avoiding penetrations in the tile underlayment paper which is the waterproofing layer as water runs underneath most tiles.  Using nails, screws or two paddy foam adhesive system will give you substantially less wind and breaking point resistance!

The only roof tiles that are designed in preventing water to run underneath them are the original two piece pan and cover barrel tiles.  The bottom tile creates a channel in the shape of a 'U' and the cover then is placed on both sides, thus preventing rain water to flow under the tile.   We still find homes in South Florida that have these tiles and are still performing even though the tile underlayment paper is completely deteriorated and the roof may be over 50 years old.  Unfortunately, this is the most expensive tile system because it uses two pieces of tile and requires more labor and material to install.  Barrel tiles are now typically only installed in high end properties where the traditional look is highly valued and the additional cost is not a factor.


 We can greatly increase the life of any tile roof using by a premium rubberized underlayment paper that comes with a 30 Year Manufacturer's Warranty.  Some roofers still use the hot mopped 90 lb. paper which only comes with a 10 Year Manufacturer's Warranty which we know starts to fail within 15 to 20 years at which point the roof needs to be replaced. 

Flat tiles have the best wind resistance because they are more aerodynamic since they have the lowest profile and the adhesive is centered around the tile.  The use of foam adhesive greatly increases the wind resistance of all roof tiles which have to pass a minimum 175 mph test in Miami-Dade or 170 mph in Broward.

Make sure you keep extra tiles and ridge caps as manufacturers routinely discontinue colors and profiles based on trends and market conditions.  Although there are many problematic and defective roof tiles in the market with Miami-Dade approval,  we recommend that you choose a tile from a manufacturer that we recommend.

So in conclusion, provided that you use a quality tile underlayment that will last for many years and use a paddy foam adhesive, then choose a tile that you like which compliments the look of your property and is within your budget.  Contact us to help you through the process and provide you with samples and photos!

Please note that on very steep sloped roofs over 7"/12' foam adhesive may not be able to be used and their could be association restrictions as to the tiles available on your property.

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