Terracotta Roofing: Pros and Cons of Tiles in Florida

Did you know that terracotta roofing has been a popular roofing material in Florida for over 500 years? First brought to Florida by Spanish settlers, terracotta roofs have been a common sight in the Sunshine State for generations. But do they hold up to modern roofing standards?

We’re John Hogan Roofing, your experts on all things Florida roofing. Today, we’re using our 30+ years of local roofing experience to tell you everything you need to know about roofing with terracotta tiles. To get started, let’s talk about how this roofing material has evolved and changed over the years.

The History of Terracotta Roofing

The History of Terracotta Roofing

In theory, terracotta roofs work the same way now as they did centuries ago. Overlapping terracotta tiles create a path for water to move freely off your roof without getting stuck and pooling. In this way, the idea is that water can never sneak its way into your home.

But if you’ve been in Florida for a hurricane, you might already see the problem with this. Sure, a traditional tile roof could probably protect against light rainfall, but when a major storm hits, high winds can whip water around in ways that could easily force it underneath your shingles. This could lead to leaks and, over time, serious damage to your underlying roof structure.

Thankfully, modern terracotta roofing has a solution for this. By covering your wood decking with a water-resistant underlayment, your home can now stay dry and protected even through the worst of Florida’s storms. By keeping water off your roof decking, this underlayment protects the rest of your structure from any leaks or water damage.

This improvement has made a world of difference for terracotta roofing and allowed it to thrive in the modern day. But like any roofing material, terracotta tiles have their pros and cons. Let’s talk a bit more about how you can know if terracotta roofing is right for you.

Pros of Terracotta Roofing

Terracotta roofing has remained so popular over the years thanks to the many great features it offers. As you consider terracotta roofing for your home, let’s cover some of the biggest things that homeowners love about this luxury roofing material!

Terracotta Roofing Lifespan

If you want a roof that will last for decades to come, you won’t find a better option than terracotta tiles. Thanks to their natural composition, terracotta tiles age better than any other roofing material, even in humid Florida. On average, you can expect a lifespan of about 50 or so years. However, with proper maintenance, your terracotta roof could last for a century or more!

That’s much better than the most popular roofing material, asphalt shingles, which only last for 20-25 years. It’s no surprise why homeowners who value longevity often pick terracotta tiles for their homes!

Resistance to Florida Weather

Resistance to Florida Weather

Florida’s climate comes with more than a few things that are tough on roofs. While we’ve covered how terracotta roofing stands up to rain, there are many other weather events to consider. The heavy UV exposure, high winds, and constant humidity all take their toll on local roofs. But terracotta roofing can stand up to all of it.

Let’s talk about some of the best protective features that come with terracotta tile roofing:

  • Wind Resistance: Terracotta roofing can withstand winds over 170 mph, making it one of the best Florida roofing materials on the market. For comparison, asphalt shingles often come off with winds over 100 mph.
  • Mold Resistance: Humidity is a real problem for roofs in Florida, especially if you live along the coasts. But terracotta roofing resists both rot and mold development, which keeps your tiles strong and capable of protecting your home. As a bonus, this resistance also makes them inhospitable to local pests, so your terracotta roof is unlikely to have any infestations.
  • UV Resistance: For many roofing materials in Florida, UV rays age them prematurely. But terracotta roofing reflects UV rays away from your home. Not only does this mean your roof will last longer, but it can also lead to significant drops in energy bills!

These are the biggest roof killers in Florida, and terracotta roofing can handle every single one. So if you highly value durability, terracotta tiles are very much worth considering.

Unique Florida Style

When talking about terracotta roofing, it’d be a mistake not to mention their gorgeous aesthetics. With a variety of color and style options, terracotta tiles can allow you to create unique patterns on your roof. This allows for nearly unlimited customization and a roof that is totally unique to your home.

Terracotta tile roofs are usually paired with Spanish or Mediterranean homes, and the combination of these essentially Floridian styles can go a long way in creating visual interest for your home. This makes terracotta roofing a great option whether you want to stay in the home and enjoy the beauty for years to come or if you want to sell it eventually and enjoy the benefits of what high curb appeal can do for your home’s value.

Cons of Terracotta Roofing

Despite all these great features of terracotta roofing, no roofing material is perfect for everyone. Terracotta tiles have a few key flaws that make some homeowners elect to make other investments in their roofs. Let’s look at the downsides of terracotta tiles to help you make an informed decision!

High Roofing Prices

As a luxury roofing material, terracotta tiles are anything but cheap. While they can be a great investment in your home for all of the reasons above, there’s no denying that they demand a high up-front investment. So what is the terracotta tile cost per square foot, exactly?

Prices always vary depending on unique roofing and economic factors. That said, terracotta tile prices usually fall between $14 and $26 per square foot, including labor costs. This is a large investment, but for many homeowners who want a long-lasting roof, it’s certainly one worth making.

High Weight Demands

While tile roofing is an excellent option, it simply isn’t suited for every roof. This is due to the heavy weight of terracotta tiles. In fact, terracotta tiles can weigh as much as 1,500 pounds per 1,000 square feet of material.

So how do you know if your roof can take that much weight? The only way to tell is with a roof inspection. With a licensed roofing company, this inspection should come as part of your free roofing estimate. If they find that your roof needs additional support to handle the weight of terracotta roofing, they’ll offer an estimate for the cost of adding support to your structure.

Hire Local Tile Roofing Professionals

If terracotta roofing sounds like the kind of investment you want to make in your home, then John Hogan Roofing is ready to help. And if you think another roofing material could better suit your needs, we’d be happy to talk about your options and provide you with a customized estimate. As local roofers, we make it our business to give our customers exactly what they’re looking for.

Start the roof replacement process by scheduling your free roofing estimate! With no fees and no obligation, there’s no reason not to give us a shot and see how our customer service is second to none. With more than 30 years of experience with Florida terracotta roofing, we know that we can get you a roof you’ll love at a very competitive price.


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