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Flat vs. Curved Roof Tiles: Advantages and Drawbacks of Each Style
Are you about to go for a new roof and wondering whether to go with flat or curved roof tiles? The decision can be a tough one, as both styles have their own unique advantages and drawbacks. In this article, we will delve into the pros and cons of flat and curved roof tiles, helping you to make an informed decision about which style is best for your home building and climate. We’ll cover everything from cost and durability to aesthetic appeal and energy efficiency, all the important factors to consider. So, whether you’re a homeowner, architect, or contractor, read on to discover the ins and outs of flat and curved roof tiles and the pros and cons of each.
What are Flat Roof Tiles?
Flat roof tiles are a type of roofing material that is used to cover flat or low-pitched roofs. They are typically made of concrete, clay, or asphalt and are designed to be installed in a shingled or overlapping fashion. They are similar to traditional shingles used on steep-sloped roofs.
Flat roof tiles are generally thicker and heavier than traditional shingles, they provide a greater level of durability and protection for the roof. They are also available in a range of colors and designs, allowing for greater design flexibility and aesthetic appeal. They have a number of notable advantages:
Offer a Wide Range of Options
If you decide to choose flat roof tiles there are a lot of available options. Flat roof tiles come in cedar shake, slate concrete, asphalt, and synthetic form. Each kind of tile has its own appearance and comes with its own advantages and drawbacks.
Proper Drainage Features
One advantage of flat roof tiles is that they can be designed with proper drainage features, which helps to prevent water from pooling on the roof. This is because flat roofs have a slight slope or pitch, which allows water to run off the roof and into gutters or drainage systems.
This is important for preventing water damage and leaks, as well as ensuring the longevity of the roof. Proper drainage can also help to prevent the growth of mold and mildew on the roof, which can cause health issues for the building’s occupants.
Flat tiles are weather-proof when they’re made of synthetic material. Other materials can be damaged when exposed to elements. Asphalt shingles, for example, are prone to becoming brittle following exposure to sunlight and freeze-thaw cycles. The slate tiles may break up or chip, while wood tiles are prone to be brittle and split when their size and shape change with time.
Roofs made of flat tiles are more comfortable to walk on which is why it is easier to inspect and fix than a curved tile roof, however, the resistance they offer depends on the type of tile. Synthetic tiles can be walked on effortlessly without any concern about breaking or cracking the tile. However, wood, slate, and asphalt should be handled only by a professional who is aware of the best places to be able to stand and walk with no damage.
Disadvantages of Flat Roof Tiles
There are several disadvantages to using flat roof tiles:
- Limited design options: Flat roof tiles are generally limited in terms of design options and may not provide as much aesthetic appeal as curved roof tiles.
- Can collect water and debris: Flat roof tiles can collect water and debris, which can lead to potential leaks and damage to the roof. This requires regular maintenance to clear the debris and ensure proper drainage.
- UV rays and extreme temperatures: Flat roofs are exposed to direct sunlight and UV rays which can cause the roof to deteriorate faster than sloped roofs, leading to a shorter lifespan.
- Wind damage: Because flat roofs have a smaller surface area in contact with the wind, they may be more prone to wind damage than sloped roofs.
- More prone to leaks: Flat roofs are more prone to leaks than sloped roofs, as water can easily pool on the surface of the roof. This can lead to damage to the roofing material and the structure underneath.
- Higher installation cost: Installing a flat roof can be more expensive than a sloped roof because it requires specialized equipment and knowledge to properly install and maintain.
What are Curved Roof Tiles?
As their name implies, curved roof tiles are used to cover curved or barrel-shaped roofs. They are typically made of clay or concrete and are designed to be installed in a specific pattern that follows the curve of the roof. The tiles are typically curved in a semi-circular shape which allows them to fit together and create a seamless, rounded surface.
Curved roof tiles are not just used for aesthetic purposes but also have functional advantages like shedding rainwater and snow more efficiently than flat roof tiles, and can also increase the structural stability of the roof. However, these tiles are generally more difficult to install and have a higher cost compared to flat roof tiles. Here are some advantages of curved roof tiles.
Roof Drainage System
Disadvantages of Curved Roof Tiles
There are several disadvantages to using curved roof tiles:
- More difficult to install: Curved roof tiles are more difficult to install than flat roof tiles because they require specialized equipment and knowledge to properly fit the tiles together to form a seamless, rounded surface.
- Higher cost: Curved roof tiles are generally more expensive than flat roof tiles, due to their specialized design and the difficulty of installation.
- Less durable: Curved roof tiles may not be as durable as flat roof tiles, as they are more prone to cracking and breaking due to the curvature of the tile.
- Limited availability: Curved roof tiles may not be widely available and may be difficult to find in certain areas. This can make it more difficult to source the necessary materials for a curved roofing project.
- More prone to weathering: Due to the curvature of the tiles, they might be more prone to weathering and erosion when exposed to heavy rain, snow, or strong winds.
- Less efficient in shedding water: Curved roof tiles are not as efficient in shedding water as flat roof tiles, which can lead to potential leaks and damage to the roof.
Climate and Climate-Related Considerations When Choosing Roof Tiles
The climate is an important consideration when deciding on the style and shape of roof tiles. In areas that have high snowfall, flat tiles more evenly spread the weight of snow and permit melting to happen in a more uniform manner.
Tiles that are curved, however, could cause snow build-up in valleys, and also increased the probability of ice dams being formed and creating damage.
In another sense, regions that experience a lot of rain, or alternatively dry climates could benefit from curved tiles. Curved tiles are better at facilitating the drainage of water and decreasing the chance of water retention on the tiles’ surface.
In dry environments, tiles made of either synthetic or clay materials are better adapted to cope with the sun’s harsh rays as opposed to wood or asphalt. Whatever option you finally decide on, flat or curved, both need proper maintenance to ensure their longevity. It’s always advisable you hire a professional to get the job done.