While the floor forms the basic structure housing the building, the roof offers the most effective protection against the elements of nature. Hence it is also the area which experiences the maximum amount of wear and tear. Care must thus be taken to ensure that the roofing material used:
- Can withstand all the wear and tear,
- Is durable and strong enough,
- Is moisture resistant and does not allow water to percolate inside and
- Is attractive enough to give the house a distinct look.
The roof, thus, plays a very important part in the building of the house and is one region where cost-cutting will only enhance the danger of it crashing down. But the biggest advantage to investing in a good roof tile is that the cost evens out in the long run. While there are a number of options available for roof tiles, the use of either clay or concrete tiles offers the maximum amount of benefits since they are durable, have a long life, attractive, low maintenance and safe.
What are concrete and clay tiles
Concrete tiles are made up by moulding a mixture of water, cement and sand under high pressure and heat. The exposed surface can be coloured to give it an attractive appearance. On the other hand a clay tiles are baked moulded clay whose density id determined by the specificity of the length of time and degree of temperature used to bake it. Clay tiles are generally available in the shades of white, yellow, orange, brown and terra-cotta.
Clay vs concrete
There are several differences between the two with regards to its characteristic features and cost. Some of the important ones are:
- Absorption of water: Clay has a lower rate of water absorption as compared to concrete and is thus free from the problems generally faced by concrete tiles like:
- Stains and mildew and
- Increase in weight of the tiles due to water absorption
- Weight: Generally speaking because of the ingredients used to make concrete tiles they weigh 40% more than clay tiles. Thus for use of concrete tiles, the roof framing has to be reinforced to support this additional weight.
- Appearances of cracks and shatters: Extremes of temperature as found in cold countries, tend to crack and shatter clay tiles rendering them useless. Hence while clay tiles are most suitable for warm climates, they are of no use in colder climates. Concrete tiles, however, do not suffer from these problems and are thus universal in use.
- Maintenance: The problems of mildew, heavier weight, water absorption faced by the concrete tiles ensure that they need regular maintenance and care for their upkeep. On the other hand clay tiles are almost maintenance free.
- Longevity and durability: Generally speaking both are extremely durable when compared to the other roofing options but specifically speaking clay is relatively more durable than concrete. Clay tiles are natural in origin and hence are able to withstand weather conditions comparatively better than concrete which tends to fade and stain over the years.
While each has its own set of pros and cons, it is however the weather and climate of a place which determines the choice of the roofing material. Hence this should always be kept in mind when making a selection for the same.