When it comes to roofing material, clay roof tile is perhaps the most venerable. It is also the most durable; clay rooing tiles dating back 2,000 years are still used for home construction in the Mediterranean region. It is also popular in Latin America as well as the Southwestern US Clay roof tile is quite common on the classic Mission-style homes of the Los Angeles basin, where this Spanish-colonial style of architecture first became popular over a century ago.
A Clay Roofing Tile Is Born
Like fine pottery or ceramic, clay roof tiles are kiln-fired for extra strength. The main difference is that whereas pottery is made on a wheel by hand, clay roofing tiles are made with a mold so as to make sure they are uniform. These particular roofing materials must be carefully designed. Generally, they must meet two important criteria:
1. they must interlock for easy and sure installation
2. They must have the right channels that direct water toward the rain gutters
As they are created, the master craftsman may add different pigments to the material from which s / he makes clay roof tile. This can add to or enhance the appearance of the final product; Some techniques may also be used to make clay roofing tile look aged or weathered.
In any case, once clay roof tiles emerge from the firing process, they are coated with a special protective glaze. In most cases, these roofing materials can last over one hundred years or more.
How It Can Enhance Your Home's Appearance
Not only are clay roofing tiles durable and colorful, their edges create interesting shadow play, casting different patterns throughout the day as the sun moves across the sky, making for a unique kind of visual interest.
It's Not For Every Home
Of course, there are good reasons that clay roofing tile is not common in northern regions of the planet. Depending on where your home is located, you will want to choose one of three grades of clay roof tile.
The first grade is resistant to the heaviest frost and will stand up to winters in Montana. The second is less so; it can stand up to a certain amount of snow and ice, but may crack if the weather dips below 32 degrees once too often. The third grade of clay roof tiles are suitable only for milder, Mediterranean-style climates. As you might expect, Grade 1 tile is the most expensive.
If you decide on clay rof tiles, it's also important to understand that they are quite a bit heavier that standard composite roofing materials. If you plan to use clay roof tile , be sure your home's construction is able to bear the load.