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Residential Roofing

Concrete Tiles VS Shingles

Clay vs shingle tile If there is one thing that everyone knows about Phoenix, it is the heat. Some of the highest average temperatures in the entire country can be found in Arizona, and the sun beats down all throughout the year. While many residents love the sun and the lifestyle it creates, it can also wreak havoc on the roof of your home or business. Sun exposure over the long-term can damage the wrong kind of roof, so having a proper roof installed and maintained is important to get the most out of your investment.

Two of the most common roofing options in Phoenix are concrete tiles and shingle roofs. Concrete tiles are constructed from a concrete mixture that is finished with a waterproof outer coat. Shingles are an asphalt product that can be seen in neighborhoods all across the county as the most popular residential roofing option in existence today. When you are deciding between the various roofing materials for your home or business project, it is important to consider all of the factors before making an informed decision.

Cost of Roofing Materials and Installation

Of course, the cost is a major consideration in any project. When it comes to low-cost roofing options, there is no doubt that shingles are the way to go. Asphalt shingles are the least expensive roofing material, and they are also quick and relatively cheap to have installed. Because so many shingle roofs are installed every day, the roofing industry has gotten quite fast and efficient at putting in this type of roof.

Concrete tiles are on the other end of the cost spectrum, being one of the more expensive options on the market. The manufacturing process required to make the tiles, and the time it takes to install them, add up to a higher total cost of installation over the shingles. If your only concern were the upfront cost of the roof, it would be a pretty easy decision to opt for the shingled roof.

Cost of Maintenance and Life of Product

However, when we look further into this comparison, we will find that the low upfront cost of the shingles is offset down the road. The useful life of asphalt shingles under the beating Arizona sun is much shorter than that of the concrete tiles. In fact, a standard shingle roof will be rated for around a 20-year lifespan under normal conditions in the desert.

Compare that to concrete tiles, most of which are offered with a 50-year warranty. A concrete tile roof’s life span depends on the quality of the underlayment.  If the roof has the minimum required underlayment then the underlayment will need to be changed out in approximately 10-15 years. If the roof has a modified underlayment then it could last for 20-30 years. The 50-year warranty is only on the tile, not the underlayment. While the concrete roof will cost more upfront, the expected lifespan of the product is more than double compared to shingles. Having a tile roof on a home will also benefit resale value because potential buyers will know that the roof should have many useful years remaining.

For shingle roofs, the most important factor is the quality or thickness of the shingle, usually rated by years. Most manufacturers have fancy names for their shingles but will also rate them by years. For example 20 year composite shingles, 25-year composite shingles, 30-year laminates (also called architectural shingles), 40 years & 50 years. Thirty-year laminates are the most common shingle

A shingle roof also requires more consistent upkeep than does a concrete tile roof. The concrete tile option is very low-maintenance, and won’t require much of you in regards to roof repairs. This is another consideration when deciding if you will pay more upfront for your roof to be comprised of concrete tiles.

Energy Efficiency

Concrete tiles ‘breath’ after they have been installed, thanks to spacing techniques that promote airflow throughout the tiles. On the contrary, shingles act more like a barrier to everything from the outside, including air. The problem with this method is that once a house or business gets hot, it can be hard to cool the interior down because the shingles will be holding that heat inside tightly. The breathability of the concrete tiles makes them more efficient in the end because the process of heating and cooling the interior is easier.

There are pros and cons when choosing either concrete tiles or shingles for your roof in Arizona. The lower upfront cost of shingles is an obvious appeal that will speak to many buyers. However, the long term savings and efficiency of the concrete tiles is enough that it will convince many to take on the higher cost today for savings tomorrow. One other consideration is the visual aspect of the roof on the home. If you have designed your building in a certain way, you might prefer a concrete tile or shingle look simply because it fits the home better aesthetically. Regardless of which direction you choose to go with your purchase, make sure the roof is installed by an experienced and licensed roofing company and includes a full warranty. Concrete tiles or shingles can both do a good job of blocking out that searing Arizona sun, so considers all of the points above and make the choice that is best for your needs.


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