Note: This is cleaning/treatment/restoration only. We do not offer roof repair services.
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Asphalt Shingles Vs Concrete Tiles: A Comprehensive Comparison

asphalt shingles vs concrete tiles


When selecting roofing materials for your home, the choice often boils down to two popular options: asphalt shingles and concrete tiles. Both roofing materials have unique features, pros, and cons. This article aims to comprehensively compare asphalt shingles vs. concrete tiles to help you decide on your roofing needs.

Understanding Asphalt Shingle

Asphalt shingle roofs are common in many residential areas. They are lightweight, cost-effective, and relatively easy to install. With various types of asphalt shingles available, from traditional 3-tab shingles to thicker architectural shingles, this roofing material can adapt to various architectural styles.

Types of Asphalt Shingles

Types of Asphalt shingles vary in quality and durability. The primary types are 3-tab shingles, dimensional (or architectural), and luxury shingles. Dimensional shingles are thicker and offer more visual depth, while luxury shingles mimic high-end materials like cedar or slate and are designed for durability and aesthetics.

Lifespan and Durability of Asphalt Shingles

The average lifespan of asphalt roofs is around 20 to 30 years, depending on the climate, maintenance, and quality of installation. Some premium shingles last even longer. However, asphalt shingles are susceptible to environmental conditions and may crack or become missing shingles in high winds or heavy hail.

Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are easy to install and replace, making them a preferred choice for homeowners and roofing contractors. They are also available in a wide range of colors, which allows for customizable aesthetics. Despite their advantages, asphalt shingles may not be as durable as other types of roofing materials, like asphalt, and may require more frequent maintenance.

A Deep Dive into Concrete Tile

Concrete tiles are a durable and aesthetically pleasing type of roofing material. They are heavier than asphalt shingles and require a stronger roofing structure to support them. However, a concrete roof tile can withstand extreme weather conditions and has a longer lifespan than asphalt shingles.

Types of Roof Tiles

Concrete roof tiles also come in several types, including flat, low, and high profile. Each type offers unique aesthetic and functional benefits. Moreover, concrete tiles are available in various colors and finishes, including textures resembling wooden shingles and slate.

Lifespan and Durability of Concrete Tiles

Concrete tiles can last 50 years or more, significantly outlasting asphalt shingles. They are exceptionally durable and withstand high winds, hail, and fire. However, while the tiles themselves are durable, the underlayment beneath them may need to be replaced every 20 years.

Pros and Cons of Concrete Tiles

Concrete tiles offer excellent durability and longevity, making them a sound long-term investment. They provide better insulation than asphalt shingles, potentially lowering energy costs. However, due to their weight, they require a sturdy roof structure and professional installation. They may also cost more upfront than asphalt shingles.

Asphalt Shingle and Concrete Tile: A Comparative Analysis

When comparing asphalt shingles vs. concrete tiles, one must consider cost, durability, aesthetics, and installation requirements. Asphalt shingles are initially less expensive and easy to install but may require more frequent replacement. On the other hand, concrete tiles have much higher durability and lifespan but require a greater initial investment.

Special Types of Shingles and Tiles

In addition to traditional asphalt shingles and concrete tiles, there are special types, such as solar shingles, composite shingles, and even wooden shingles. These alternatives provide additional options for homeowners seeking specific aesthetic or functional features.

What is the Difference Between Roofing Shingles and Roof Tiles?

The distinction between roofing shingles and tiles lies primarily in their composition and durability. Roofing shingles, commonly known as asphalt shingles, are popular due to their affordability and ease of installation. They are composed of layers of fiberglass or organic materials coated with asphalt and granules. On the other hand, tile roofs, which can include materials like clay, concrete, or slate, are renowned for their longevity and aesthetic appeal.

 Tiles last considerably longer than asphalt shingles, often spanning several decades, making them a more durable option. While shingle roofs may be less expensive upfront, the long-lasting nature of tile roofs can offer better value over time. In the shingle roof vs. tile debate, it’s important to consider both the initial investment and the long-term benefits when selecting the roofing material that best suits your needs.


In conclusion, whether you prefer the lightweight versatility of asphalt shingles or the robust longevity of concrete tiles, your choice will largely depend on your specific needs, budget, and preferences. By understanding the distinct characteristics of each roofing material, you can make the best decision for your home

Cedar Shake Roof Cleaning in Des Moines Iowa
Cedar Shake Roof before & after cleaning

Meet Bruce

50 Years of Experience &
Over 2,000 Shake Roofs Cleaned

Bruce Sullivan has over 50 years of experience in maintaining, cleaning, and restoring cedar shake roofs. Making him one of the top authorities on cedar shake roofs in the US.

Watch the Cedar Shakes Cleaning Process in Action in this video

Play Video about Roof Cleaning How to Remove Moss, Lichen, Fungi from a Cedar Roof Sullivan Roof


What can I say? Bruce and Keith provided an exceptional service, and they are really nice guys too. Found out at the last minute they were in Minneapolis, and they fit me in for a cedar shake roof cleaning the next evening after their regular job was done. Even cleaned up my gutters, small fence, and small deck at no charge. The place looks outstanding! Highly recommended.

Mike Richards

I highly recommend this business. Due to the work performed we are going to get another 10-14 years out of our cedar shake roof. We were told by some roofing companies that the roof should be replaced in 2 years. I lucked out and found Sullivan Roof Cleaning while researching companies that perform this service, and was pleased to learn that the company does work outside of Iowa. If you need your cedar shakes cleaned, go with Sullivan Roof Cleaning.

Eric Oelrich, 
St Cloud, MN

Bruce did a great job cleaning the whole exterior of my house. The roof has new life! It looks practically brand new. All the mold and moss on the roof, on the gutters, under the eaves, completely gone. He exceeded all our expectations. When he tells you what he can do for your house, you can believe and trust him. Great guy, great service.

Stuart Malone
Kansas City, MO


Cedar shakes are organic. Though a resilient material. Being organic they need to be maintained. Over time, like any organic material that are subjected to weather elements, they reach a stage of deterioration. Like UV exposure, moisture and seasonal changes. Which results in moss, mold, mildew, lichen and brown rot fungi. These infestations need to be removed to further preserve the integrity of the cedar shake.
The proper way to clean a cedar shake roof is from a ladder. By spraying a special formulated solution onto the shakes and then rinsed with a garden hose pressure. Best done by a professional cedar shake roof cleaner. Not DIY recommended.
No. Pressure washer will require walking on the shakes, which will harm them, and even at its lowest setting will also damage the shakes.
On average, cedar shakes should be cleaned every 10 ten years. Subjective to the grade of the shakes and the amount of surrounding tree cover.
Avoiding walking on a cedar shake roof, other than for repairs.
Never seal a cedar shake roof. Cedar shakes need to breathe. They expand and contract in rain conditions. Seal will shorten the lifespan, to the point of premature replacement.
Staining has no real preserve value and can also harm the integrity of shakes, as stated, they need to be able to breathe. Also, if the shakes are not properly cleaned staining can seal the deteriorating infestation within the shakes.
Depending on the grade of the shakes and installation, and if maintained properly, 40 to 60 years.


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