Concrete roof tiles - everything you need to know

Marley roof tile on housing project

If you’re looking for a reliable, attractive and affordable roof covering, concrete roof tiles could be the ideal choice. While clay roof tiles and natural slate have long been the traditional choices for covering homes in the UK, concrete roof tiles provide similar performance, aesthetics and durability.

How long do concrete roof tiles last?

Concrete roof tiles have a very long lifespan. Here at Marley, we offer a 15-year system warranty on our complete roof systems, and the roof tiles are generally expected to have a lifespan of 60 years or more. Usually, other parts of the roofing structure will need to be replaced long before the concrete roof tiles wear out.

How are concrete roof tiles fixed to the roof?

BS 5534, the British Standard for Slating and Tiling recommends the dry-fixing method for concrete roof tiles. This code of practice makes it clear that mortar cannot be relied upon as the sole means of securing a roof covering.

Instead of using mortar or cement to secure the cement roof tiles in place, mechanical fixings such as nails or clips are used to attach the tiles to the roofing battens.

Dry fixing is a safer and more reliable way to attach concrete tiles to the roof. Installation is also easier and faster, and the finished roof is less likely to experience weather-related damage.

Can damaged concrete roof tiles be repaired?

If you notice a damaged concrete roof tile, the best solution is to get it replaced, rather than repaired.

While it can be tempting to try to repair the roof tile, with one of the many products on the market, these products are generally designed for hiding superficial scratches or nicks. They will not work for tiles that are cracked or broken. The only way to properly deal with a tile that is broken or cracked is to replace it. Attempts at repairs are unlikely to last and could lead to more significant roof damage.

How to replace a concrete roof tile

Replacing a concrete roof tile requires removing the broken tile and replacing it with a new one. This typically actually requires removing several tiles to expose the nails or clips.

For homeowners who are skilled DIYers, you may be able to replace the broken roof tile yourself. We offer more guidance in our guide to roof tile replacement and repair and in our Roofing Sitework Guide. However, as with any project involving concrete roof tiles, we generally recommend leaving the repairs to the professionals, as working at height can be dangerous, and you don't want to risk damaging the rest of your roof.

How to remove moss from concrete roof tiles

Concrete roof tiles rarely require any cleaning or maintenance, other than to ensure debris is removed from the roof. If you notice the growth of moss or lichen, we recommend hiring professionals to carry out the work.

In most cases, they will use a toxic wash to remove the moss or lichen from the concrete roof tile. This solution must be kept away from people and animals and disposed of properly, which is why it’s best left to the professionals. They will also be trained to work safely at height.

We do not recommend using pressure washers to clean concrete roof tiles, as the high-pressure water jets can crack or damage the roof tiles.

Take a look at Marley’s range of concrete roof tiles

As experts in roofing materials, Marley offers a wide range of concrete roof tiles in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours to meet any design brief. Whether you’re looking for a smooth slate lookalike for a modern home, an attractive alternative to clay tiles on a traditional country house, you’re sure to find something suitable.

If you’d like to see and feel the quality of our concrete roof tiles for yourself, you can request some samples through our sample service or get in touch to discuss any upcoming roofing projects that require direction or support. 

Category: Concrete