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How Often Do I Need a Tile Roof Replacement?

[fa icon="calendar"] Sep 18, 2019 3:18:00 PM / by Krystal Coddington

Krystal Coddington


Homeowners who are looking to install, repair, or replace their roof might be wondering “how long do tile roofs last?” While tiles typically have a long lifespan and offer excellent protection against the elements, they aren’t invincible. There are some tell-tale signs to look out for that indicate when they need to be replaced. Knowing what to expect from a tile roof in terms of longevity can help you make the right decisions when it’s time to install, repair, or replace one.

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How Often Do Tile Roofs Need to Be Replaced?

Roof tiles can last anywhere from 50 years to over a century. However, the extent of that lifespan can be influenced by your environment. Environmental factors include natural disasters, such as storms that leave debris; pests, such as squirrels, termites, and birds; and daily occurrences like the amount of sun exposure.

The health of your roof’s tiles can be affected by your home’s ventilation and insulation. It can also be influenced by the roof’s own characteristics, such as the way it was installed and whether the roof slopes. This extends to the materials used to construct the roof, too; slate tiles are typically durable but expensive, while concrete tiles may be more susceptible to salt water erosion and clay tiles to freezing.

Related: Why Do Roof Tiles Slip?

Types of Tiles and Their Longevity

HomeAdvisor reports that the average cost to replace a tile roof is anywhere from $7,779 to $23,154, with an average price of $15,118. This breaks down to $8 to $25 per square foot, with $5 to $18 of that going to materials costs and another $2 to $10 covering labor costs. The accessibility of the roof, its steepness, as well its type and size can also increase or decrease the amount you’ll pay.

The material of your roof tile is also another important factor affecting the overall repair costs. For example, concrete is a cost-effective and durable option for a roof, but it can be difficult to install and its color will fade with time. On the other hand, clay is equally as long-lasting and can be visually stunning, but is also heavy and difficult to install. Such factors can lead to a longer, more difficult, and expensive installation process.

It can take eight to nine days to replace a concrete or clay tile roof and a few hours or even days to make a repair, making labor costs a significant factor to consider when scheduling a replacement or repair. The cost to repair your roof can also be higher if your roof underlayment also needs to be replaced.

How Much Does a Tile Roof Replacement Cost?

On average, replacing a roof tile can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000, or about $4.00 to $15.00 per square and $700 to $800 per square. All tiles are made to be resistant to fire, insects, rot and breakage. But, every rooftop project is different. Some tiles may require more support to last. The accessibility of the roof, its steepness, as well as the type and size of roof can also add or deduct from the final cost.

For example, concrete is a cost-effective and durable option. It can last anywhere from 50 to 100 years! It is surprisingly versatile, meaning that it can be molded into any shape or color and manufactured to be light-weight. Yet, concrete can be difficult to install and its color will fade with time. On the other hand, clay is equally as long-lasting and can be visually stunning. But, clay is also heavy and difficult to install; it may need more support.

Such factors can lead to a longer and more difficult installation process, which could affect the ultimate cost. This cost can also be driven higher if the roof’s underlayment needs replacing, too.

How Long Does the Tile Roof Underlayment Last?

Roof underlayment is a water-resistant barrier underneath the tile. It is meant to function as a second-line of defense against the elements or debris. It can be found under the house’s eaves, valleys, low-slopes, or underneath any protrusions, such as vent pipes, skylights, and chimneys. Without it, rain or ice might not only leak and form inside the house, but the tiles may entirely slip off the roof.

There are three main types of underlayment including: asphalt-saturated felt, a synthetic, and rubberized asphalt. The most popular type of underlayment is the asphalt-saturated felt, a type of tar paper, while felt is a common type in old homes. It is famous for its durability against ice or water damage, resign damage, and extreme heat. It meets many requirements found under building codes.

Much like the tile, the underlayment can be affected by weather, pests, and the home’s internal conditions. For this reason, it is often replaced alongside the tile. On its own, though, underlayment can last approximately 25 years, but this varies depending on what material it’s made of. By scheduling regular inspections every 3-5 years, you can maximize the underlayment’s lifespan.

Related: How Long Does Tile Roof Underlayment Last?

How Much Does It Cost to Replace Felt Under Roof Tiles?

The felt under roof tiles can cost from $65 - $80 per square to replace. This does not include the labor costs, which can range anywhere from $300 - $500. This price will change depending on the complexity of your roof and how much underlayment is needed, too; a 15-pound underlayment cost less than the 30-pound one.

In recent years, many roofers are moving away from felt and using a synthetic underlayment. It often includes fiberglass, which makes it tear and slip resistant and thus more stable. However, much like the rubberized asphalt, the synthetic underlayment can be expensive to install; some sites gauge that it’s about $350 - $600.

Does Your Home Need a Tile Roof Replacement?

A stable rooftop that can withstand the test of time is the keystone for a strong home. For that reason, it’s vital to monitor the health of your tiles. Staying on top of repairs can be far less costly than ignoring them, as damage to your roof can begin to affect other aspects of your home. Working with experienced roofing professionals can save you time and money, helping to keep your investment safe.

Check out our Roof Guard® Maintenance Program to set-and-forget your roof’s maintenance needs. Our program can extend the life of your roof by 50 percent, making it a great investment for homeowners with tile roofs. If you think your roof needs repairs, contact us so we can schedule an appointment to fix it.

Krystal Coddington

Written by Krystal Coddington