Note: This is cleaning/treatment/restoration only. We do not offer roof repair services.
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Metal Roof Material vs Clay Tile Roof: The Core Debate

metal roof vs clay tile


Choosing between a metal roof and a clay tile roof for your home can be challenging. Both options have distinct advantages and shortcomings, each contributing to a home’s aesthetics, functionality, and overall value. The roofing industry is filled with innovations and options, but the debate between these two types of roofing materials remains at the forefront. Here, we delve into the features of metal and clay tile roofs, hoping to provide clarity for homeowners caught in this decision.

Metal Roof: The Modern Choice

The versatility of Metal Roof Panels: Metal roof panels are rapidly becoming a favorite among homeowners, not just for their contemporary appeal but also for their versatility. Many types of metal roofing products are available in the market, catering to different preferences and needs. From corrugated metal panels to standing seam systems, the choices are vast.

Metal Roof Cost and Longevity: When considering metal roof vs tile roof in terms of cost, many metal roofs tend to have a higher upfront cost than traditional shingles. However, their longevity and minimal maintenance requirements can justify the long-term cost. Metal roof systems are durable, with many metal roofs having a life expectancy of 40 to 70 years, making them a worthwhile investment.

Performance and Adaptability: One of the biggest advantages of metal roofing is its performance under various weather conditions. A metal roof will perform admirably, whether it’s strong winds, heavy rain, or intense heat. Metal roofing is also energy-efficient, reflecting more of the sun’s rays than absorbing, leading to potential savings on cooling costs.

Clay Tile Roof: The Timeless Classic

There are many types of roof tiles present, but today we are going to talk about clay roof tiles:

Beauty and Tradition of Clay Tile Roofing: There’s no denying a clay tile roof’s old-world charm and beauty. The beautiful clay tile roofs often come to mind when one thinks of the picturesque landscapes of Mediterranean or Spanish-style homes. The clay tile roofing industry alliance further emphasizes these traditional roof products’ lasting aesthetics and functionality.

Tile Roof Cost and Maintenance: When evaluating tile roof cost, it’s essential to understand that while they might be more expensive initially, clay tiles can last anywhere from 50 to 100 years if maintained properly. Tile roof cleaning is crucial to maintain its beauty and prolong its lifespan. It’s about removing dirt and debris and checking for broken or damaged tiles.

Concrete Tile and its Place: Besides clay tiles, concrete tiles have also significantly impacted the roofing world. While they might not have the same longevity as clay tiles, they are often more affordable and come in various styles, including those that mimic the appearance of clay.

Metal Roof  vs Tile Roof

Differences Between Metal and Clay: At the core of the metal roof vs clay tile debate are the inherent differences between metal and clay as materials. Metal materials are more lightweight, making their installation easier in same cases, but still the metal roof installation cost is high for some types. They’re also more fire-resistant and can be more energy-efficient. On the other hand, clay tiles offer unparalleled beauty and a sense of tradition that metal roofs might not achieve.

Spanish Tile and Metal Roofing – Can They Coexist? For homeowners who love the look of Spanish tile but are intrigued by the benefits of metal, there’s good news. Innovations in the metal roofing materials market have led to products that mimic the appearance of Spanish tiles. These products offer the best of both worlds: the beauty of tiles and the durability and energy efficiency of metal.

Roof Type Matters: While both tile and metal roofing have their merits, the right choice often comes down to the type of home, its location, and personal preferences. For instance, a home in a coastal region might benefit more from a metal roof due to its resistance to salt and corrosion, while a home in a historic district might be more fitting with a traditional clay tile roof system.


The debate between metal and clay tile roofs will continue for years. Both roofing options have unique benefits and considerations. Whether you like metal roofing for its modern appeal and functionality or are drawn to the timeless elegance of clay tiles, choosing a roof that aligns with your home’s architecture and personal preferences is the most important thing. As always, it’s wise to consult with professionals before making a final decision, ensuring that your investment stands the test of time.

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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