Differences Between Curved and Flat Roofing Tiles

A flat roof system.

Asphalt shingles lay flat, and they’re arguably the most common roofing material for residences in the United States. But what about tiles and grooved roofing tiles? Should you consider the not-so-popular option and are the differences substantial enough to justify choosing one over the other. 

There are differences, but looking at them side by side is difficult. You’re evaluating not only the function but the materials which vary so widely that it’s not easy to say that one is better than the other. 

Tile roofing 

Tile roofing, unlike asphalt shingles, does not lie flat. These tiles are curved and layer over each other to create clear groves that direct water. A tile roof should ideally last longer than the structure itself. But it is susceptible to damage from weather such as hail and large pests such as birds, bats, and possums. 

Tile roofing requires nuance when being installed. When you have grooved tiles, the offset could be altered, and now the entirety of your roof’s integrity is compromised. That situation often happens when you have inexperienced roofers installing tile roofing and use a line on the line installation method. 

Ultimately, tile roofing is often seen as a better option, but it does come with its risks. Poor installation, damage from weather, and such can all call for costly repairs. The grooves themselves can help direct water, but it doesn’t ensure that there are no leaks. In the end, no roofing material can absolutely guarantee that you won’t have any damage or need for repairs over the years. 

A flat roof system.

Shaped Tiles 

Flat tiles are often asphalt or stone shingles that layer one over another to drain water in a straight or flush manner. Shaped tiles can come in many different degrees of curves, and the result can affect how the roof handles water and snow. 

Shaped tiles come in these varieties:

  • Flat shingles
  • S tiles which are pantiles 
  • Roman tiles which have a double curve
  • Gaelic roof tiles that have a large tapered roll-on only one side of the tile leaving a flat space

The differences and options for roofing all come with different benefits. But ultimately, the inference is that a curved tile will create a groove for water to move more easily. The differences between shaped tiles and flat shingles will also include snow load. 

When you have a flat roof, the weight of snow or even ice banks gets distributed across a flat surface rather evenly. When the tiles are curved, it means that the tiles don’t hold the weight evenly. Instead, the valleys of tiles will hold the bulk of the weight. It may also make them more susceptible to ice damming if there is a buildup of snow. 

Is It More Difficult to Flash Curved Tiles?

Generally, yes, it can be more difficult to flash with curved tiles, not so much because of their shape. More often, the issue that comes with flashing curved tiles is that if the flashing were to corrode or rust, which is inevitable, it is more difficult to access and repair later. Flashing on tile roofing is often done along with the tile materials calling for adjustment or installation of flashing over existing materials. There will also be the presence of specific terminal or ridge tiles working along with weather blocking mortar

Curved roofing, usually tile roofing, will call for a variety of weather blocking elements, not just the flashing. The flashing, however, can cause complex repair situations if something should happen to it. 

When Should You Consult a Roofing Contractor in Anderson, SC?

When you’re considering re-roofing your home, or if you’re building a new home, then you should definitely consult with a roofer early on. You don’t want to let your planning or building get too far without having a set plan for roofing. Now, tiles that are flat such as asphalt shingles, are popular and with good reason. They’re inexpensive and effective, but many people looking for a longer life might look for curved roofing. 

To learn the detailed pros and cons of flat or grooved roofing, you should talk to a local roofing contractor. Deciding the right roofing material should account for the local climate, humidity levels, rainfall, and snowfall levels. Even in Anderson, SC. you see a variety of weather types throughout the year, so you need a versatile option. 

Contact Family Roofing get in touch with a roofing contractor that can help you decide what is right for your home. 

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