Terracotta Roof Tiles

by | Apr 14, 2021

How Long Do Terracotta Roof Tiles Last?

If you currently have a Terracotta roof and you are thinking of having a terracotta roof restoration. Or you are considering having terracotta tiles installed on your new home. The question you are likely asking is how long do terracotta roof tiles last?

One of the biggest drawcards to terracotta roofs or terracotta roof tiles is the lifespan. After all who wants to spend tens of thousands on a roof replacement. Especially just 15 to 20 years after building their forever home. Sounds crazy right? At the end of the day, your roof is like your homes bodyguard. It’s the first defence against mother nature and everything she throws at you. Be it the 40 degree days throughout our hot Perth summers or the freak storms we get occasionally. You want to know you have a roof cover that is going to protect you and last. Carry on reading to see why terracotta roof tiles have such a long life expectancy. Furthermore what you can do to extend yours even more.

Manufacture of Terracotta Roof Tiles

Terracotta what is it?

I’m sure you all can pick out a terracotta roof or even the old terracotta plant pots. They stand out with their unmistakable orangey-brown appearance. Although you still may not be aware of what terracotta actually is. Or for that matter why in Australia it has become so popular.

Terracotta is created from ceramic made from clay. Firstly it is baked or heated to temperatures in excess of 1000 degrees. Particles of iron in the clay then react with oxygen and this is what will bring out the reddish colour. Baked earth is actually the meaning of terracotta in the Italian language.

Terracotta while popular for its affordability and also its simplicity as compared to steel or stone. In art when creating sculptures. In roofing, terracotta roof tiles are a great roofing material for a few reasons. It has a long life expectancy and good insulating properties among other things.

Another enduring quality for Australian conditions is the thermal mass making it ideal. This is why you will see so many roofs built throughout the 1900s with terracotta roof tiles.

Terracotta Roof Tiles Lifespan

Anyone who has previously had to have a roof replacement would be aware that it can be a costly experience. (not too bad if you use Powerdrive). So that is all the more reason to make the right choice when it comes to your roof cover. Powerdrive can provide options.

When it comes time to make the investment in your roof. It is worth doing the research and considering a terracotta roof cover that will last you up to 75 years. Exactly why in a world of colorbond roofing Terracotta is still a popular choice for Perth homeowners.

As mentioned above a terracotta roof properly installed and maintained can have a life expectancy of up to 75 years. Or maybe even longer. I personally have seen homes 100 years old with the original terracotta roof tiles still going fine. Even the cheaper terracotta tiles can last 50 odd years. That is a lifetime for most homeowners in one home. I will go over some of the benefits you as a homeowner will receive when you choose terracotta roof tiles.

Energy Efficient

Your roof should work for you and reduce your energy bills. This is exactly what terracotta roofing tiles do, they will collect the heat throughout the day. Throughout the evening it will be dispersed, this is great in places like Perth. In areas that are notably hotter, a terracotta roof can be treated or glazed. So rather than absorbing the heat, it will actually reflect it.


Although fragile in a sense when put under strain from an impact or heavyweight terracotta is extremely durable. Also extremely resilient against almost anything mother nature can throw at it. This durability is why it lasts the test of time.

Weather & Fire Resistance

I’m sure it is obvious that terracotta is waterproof making it a good protector against a homes worst enemy. Roof leaks. Terracotta is also naturally fireproof; this means not only is it a great defence against the harsh Perth weather. Furthermore, it is protected from fire ember if neighbouring bushland or properties are on fire.


The heavyweight of terracotta roof tiles may make it a bit of a pain during the installation process. Although that is why the guys at Powerdrive Roofing get paid the big dollars. Being a heavyweight has its advantages. The likelihood of being blown off in high winds is much less likely than a metal roof. A metal roof is always going to be fighting the uplift. Some times stepping on the scales a little heavy is a good thing, it does have its benefits.

Terracotta Roof Tiles vs Other Roofing Materials

So how does a terracotta roof stack up against some of Australias other popular roofing materials

  • Terracotta Roof Tiles on average last around 75 years.
  • Concrete Roof Tiles have been known to last 50 years.
  • Colorbond roofs anywhere between 25 – 50 years

Monier Prime has a 50-year warranty on their terracotta roof tiles. Monier has been a manufacturer and distributor of roof tiles for close to 100 years in Australia. A warranty from Monier will be provided on sign up.

All Monier Prime concrete and terracotta roof tiles are given a 50-year colour warranty. They will not corrode as they are salt safe. Terracotta is the superior tile between the two in the Perth weather conditions.

Roof Restoration on Terracotta Roof Tiles?

Even though terracotta is considered to have the greatest lifespan of any roofing material on the market still requires maintenance. Just the same as any other product. During its lifetime terracotta can lose its glaze, some tiles may even crack or chip. It is at this time you would consider a terracotta roof restoration. To further, extend the natural lifespan of your roof. You want to get more bang for your buck.

Replace Broken Tiles

In the roof restoration process Powerdrive roofing will replace all broken, chipped or terracotta roof tiles. Whether they be damaged by other trades or harsh foreign objects, (fallen branches etc). This step alone will improve the life span of your terracotta roof. Making sure there is no way for water to enter your roof.

Lichen Removal

A known downfall of the terracotta roof tiles is the porous nature and the fact it attracts moss. Otherwise known as lichen, not only does this affect the aesthetics of your roof. Taking away the natural shine but it also can block water channels. Which, in turn, will inhibit drainage and create roof leaks. In a terracotta roof restoration by a reputable and quality roofing contractor. Such as Powerdrive roofing an anti-fungal treatment, such as roof ripper, will be applied. As well as just cleaning the roof. This will in turn extend the life also.

Ridge Cap & Valley Repair

Commonly overlooked not only on a terracotta roof but all roof maintenance is the valleys and roof flashings. These are just as important as the terracotta tiles themselves. Flashings made from lead generally will crack over the years from natural movement. Valley trays will often rust or the lips (edges that prevent water ingress) will be squashed. As part of a roof restoration, these are things that need to be checked and rectified if required.

The Perth Mint Original Terracotta Roof Tiles

The Perth Mint, established on 20 June 1899, two years before Australia’s Federation in 1901. Would be overdue for a roof inspection and a look at a roof replacement. The Perth mint roof is covered with terracotta roof tiles. Which as discussed have a great life span. However, these would definitely be nearing their end.

A Roof Restoration by Powerdrive Roofing in Perth our reviews speak for themselves!

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