Do you have a terracotta roof or are you planning to replace your current roof with a beautiful terracotta roof? The joy and beauty of having a terracotta roof largely stem from their rustic Mediterranean, Spanish colonial appearance and all of the aesthetic charm that it brings to a home, but caring for a terracotta roof is a major consideration that every homeowner should consider.
How Long Should a Terracotta Roof Last?
The good news is that a terracotta roof can last an awfully long time, perhaps 50-75 years or even longer. This makes terracotta a premium roofing material that yields and excellent long term return on investment. Terracotta roofs tend to be fairly costly up-front, however, so consider the initial capital required and compare it to other roofing materials while also considering the average lifespan and maintenance requirements to see if terracotta is the right fit for your home. Also, consider that terracotta (like slate) is extremely heavy as a material and your roof may require reinforcing in order to sustain terracotta roofing tiles..
What’s the bad news, then? Terracotta will certainly not last that long if you neglect to care for it. On the one hand, it’s somewhat true that terracotta is relatively maintenance-free, but that does not imply completely ignoring it. Over time, terracotta can wear out and lead to problems that are far costlier to fix if they’ve been ignored rather than if they were identified sooner and rectified..
How to Care for a Terracotta Roof
One of the most common ways to install terracotta is with interlocking concave & convex tubular profile roofing tiles, which gives the typical terracotta roof its lovely and unique Spanish colonial aesthetic. The interlocking method of installation means that there are many possible entry points for water, algae, and other unwanted debris that can become bigger problems as time goes by. Although this can happen to just about any roof, it can be harder to identify in a terracotta roof due to the many bulges that can hide the presence of buildups..
For these reasons, routine maintenance is recommended even if there is no visible exterior damage to the roof. A small crack could be inviting in water or bacteria, for example. A skilled roofer can professionally inspect the entire roof surface and spot any cracked, damaged, or disjointed tiles as well as inspect flashing for any gaps and provide repairs to the affected area(s) as required..
Terracotta vs Slate & Other Roofing Materials
We’ve already touched a little on how terracotta stacks up to slate, and comparing these two roofing materials is quite appropriate as they have a lot in common. Both slate and terracotta are premium roofing materials, both can last well over 50 years (slate can last over 100), and both require a relatively large up-front investment (a terracotta roof costs around two-thirds of what a slate normally costs)..
Likewise, both materials are relatively maintenance-free and heavy, sometimes requiring structural reinforcement in order to be built. Where they really differ is in the complexity required to care for them. Slate roofs should be maintained by skilled professionals familiar with the material, but terracotta typically poses a lot of unique challenges even to experienced roofers. For this reason, it’s important to always work with reputable and well-established roofers that are familiar with terracotta.
Have your terracotta roof professionally cared for by the friendly roofers at Guardian Roofing.
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