Asphalt and metal roofs may be more common now than tile roofs, but there are still plenty of homeowners that choose concrete and clay materials for finishing off their homes. If you've been enjoying your tile roof for a few decades, you're likely wondering what you should do to keep it looking great. Before committing to painting as the right way to refresh tile roofing, consider these four facts about the process.
1. Routine Replacement
Once you commit to the first coating of paint on roof tiles, you're stuck refreshing that coating every few years for the life of the roof. Without prompt coating when the paint starts to crack and show signs of wear, the roof becomes flaky and peels. This can also damage the tiles by making them more porous and susceptible to ice cracking in the winter. As long as you're willing to have the roof re-painted every few years, it's perfectly fine to choose this method for refreshing the look of older tiles.
2. Spray Application
You can't just climb up on a tile roof and use brushes or rollers to quickly coat the surface. Using these kinds of tools takes too long and produces an uneven surface. Using a paint sprayer, specifically an airless sprayer, is the best way to evenly and fully coat a tile roof with paint. The sprayer deposits a thick but even layer that lasts the longest under difficult weathering situations like intense sun exposure and regular rains.
3. Stain Cover
Clay roof tiles are covered in a tough glaze prior to the initial installation, but eventually, that glaze wears away. Even concrete roof tiles that feature dye mixed all the way through the material eventually fade, develop white surface deposits, or change color. Painting the tiles is the best way to cover the stains and discoloration that eventually develop on even the best-maintained tile roof. Since discolored tile roofs may still have decades of life in them, painting is one of the most affordable alternatives to a roof replacement.
4. Roof Access
Plan to pay for scaffolding or lift truck rentals so the painting crew can reach the roof without having to step on it. Walking over a tile roof will always cause damage, so it's necessary to keep the painters off of the surface as they work. Lifts and scaffolding both work better than ladders because the crew can bring up paint and equipment without having to carry it all by hand.