If you live on the beach, you'll probably notice that a lot of homes around you have tile roofs. If yours is one of few with a shingle roof, you may figure you should definitely upgrade the next time you have your roof replaced. Tile costs more, but it must be beneficial if everyone else has it, right? Yes and no. Tile roofing does have a lot of benefits for beach homes, but it has some drawbacks, too. Before you spend more on a tile roof, consider the following pros and cons.
Pro: Tile is less likely to blow off.
When a tropical storm or wind storm blows through, shingle roofs are often damaged. Some shingles blow off and need to be replaced. Tile is much heavier than shingles, so tile roofs don't suffer nearly as much wind damage. You'll probably call for repairs less often with a tile roof.
Con: It's harder to find someone to repair a tile roof.
Tile roofs may not need repairs as often as shingle roofs, but when your tile roof does need repairs, it may not be so easy to find someone to work on it. Working on a tile roof requires a lot of specialized skills. Shingle roofs are far easier to repair, so finding a roofing company to work on a shingle roof is typically easier. You may not have to wait as long or make as many phone calls.
Pro: Tile is resilient against salt spray and sand abrasion.
Two big threats that roofs on beachfront homes face are salt spray and sand abrasion. The sand can wear away at the granules on shingles. The salt spray can cause them to deteriorate faster than they would a few miles inland. Tile isn't bothered by these beachy threats.
Con: Tile roofs can develop damage that's tough to see.
It's fairly easy to tell when a shingle roof is damaged because the shingles generally fall off. Tile roof damage is harder to spot. You may not immediately notice cracked tiles, so they may leak and expose your roof deck to water for a while before you have them repaired. If you do choose a tile roof, it is important to be on the lookout for damage.
Is a tile roof worth the investment? On a beach home, it usually is. However, tile is not perfect, and a shingle roof is a viable alternative if you're on a budget.
Contact a roofing contractor for more information.