Terracotta Roofing: Can Clay Be a Suitable Roofing Material?

13 July 2022

Terracotta roofing tiles are likely to conjure images of a Mediterranean house or a Spanish-style hacienda that keeps a property cool in the sweltering summer heat. Greek pottery has used terracotta ceramics and pottery for almost 9,000 years. Fired terracotta tiles were initially used as a construction material in China circa 10,000 years ago. When it comes to vernacular building, these tiles are among the oldest.

Roof tiles made of clay or terracotta are an excellent example of locally sourced materials. Because of this, it has been the most widely used roofing material in many different cultures throughout history. In practically every location on the planet, clay soil may be found. Clay terracotta tiles are a long-lasting and water-resistant roofing material that may be made on-site using clay soil and organic material that can be burnt. Today, terracotta roof tiles remain a popular choice for high-end homes searching for an attractive and eco-friendly alternative to asphalt shingles.

Terracotta Roof: What Is It?

It was a common practice to make local clay into terracotta roofing tiles, which were then baked in an oven or kiln to harden them. To protect dwellings from wind, rain and other elements, ceramics are fired into a somewhat porous yet waterproof substance. There are two basic types of clay terracotta tile: pan-shaped tiles and flat tiles. In locations with a lot of rain, it’s a common practice to utilise rounded tiles. To prevent rainfall from soaking through the roof, the spherical tiles were stacked on top of one another. Overlapping of flat terracotta tiles was also utilised, although in drier places

Many terracotta tile manufacturers today use coloured concrete to build their tiles. They may seem like terracotta tiles, but they are not a sustainable alternative for construction. The high cement content in these roof tiles greatly raises the embodied energy footprint of this option. Terracotta roofing is defined in this article as tiles composed entirely of baked clay.

What Does it Look Like?

The one-of-a-kind appearance that terracotta roof tiles lend to a house is often regarded as one of the materials’ most attractive qualities. The natural clay hue blends very well with a wide variety of different external cladding options. The vivid orange hue of the baked clay is one of the most distinctive features of terracotta roof tiles. Using a kiln to heat these tiles ensures that the colour and long-term durability are preserved.

Your house will have the unmistakable appearance of a villa in the Mediterranean with this feature.

How Long Can It Last?

If it is maintained correctly, a terracotta roof may survive for at least one hundred years and possibly much longer. Because an asphalt shingle roof typically only lasts between 20 and 30 years, terracotta tile roofs are frequently the most cost-effective choice throughout a building’s lifetime. In many situations, the wooden roofing beams and framework of your roof may need to be replaced before the roofing tiles. After extensive work has been done to the roof structure, this circumstance may provide you with the opportunity to “re-use” the terracotta tiles.

Know more about Terracotta Roofing today. Contact one of our experts here at BuildCor Building Solutions.