Close up of reclaimed roof tiles

What are the risks of using reclaimed roof tiles?

Using reclaimed materials for construction and interior design is growing increasingly popular, with the rustic look continuing to be an ongoing trend.

More people are looking to upcycle items and use authentic materials from earlier time periods, as they are conscious that recycling old materials is environmentally friendly and sometimes cost-effective. 

New tiles are always best

However, we’d advise that with such a significant investment and crucial structural element as a roof, new tiles are always best. As we all know, reroofing a house is a significant cost, so it is essential it is done correctly.

With new tiles, the customer has peace of mind that it will last many years without repairs or replacements required.

The risks

There are risks to reusing old tiles, as there are no guarantees on their performance, remaining lifespan and quality. You are dealing with many unknown factors, making a reclaimed roof tile roof unpredictable and potentially risky. It is a simple fact that a roof constructed using reclaimed roof tiles will fail sooner than one with new tiles.

Rather than saving money, decent quality reclaimed tiles can often quite expensive as they are scarce and therefore a premium product. Some individual tiles may be in good condition, but a batch of old tiles would need to be carefully sorted through and checked to ensure that they are suitable for installing on a roof.

Thoroughly checking tiles is a very time intensive process and imperfections may not be obvious, such as hairline cracks. Don’t forget that there is a reason that these tiles have been removed from a roof!

Creating the rustic heritage look

If you are going to use some reclaimed tiles on a project, we would advise you not mix old tiles with new tiles on a roof. They will be easier to remove and replace when they do start to fail if you install them on a lower or separate elevation.

So when it comes to achieving a heritage look with roof tiles on both historic and modern projects, it is better to fake it with new tiles instead of old reclaimed originals. Roof tiles in a variety of colours and styles are available, some of which have been designed with weathered, rustic look in mind, featuring irregular colour patterns and sanded textures for that “faux heritage” aesthetic.

Wienerberger offers an expansive modern range, as well as handmade Keymer tiles and bespoke tiles made by our Heritage Services team which can add charm and character to any roof.

To find out more about heritage roofing, please visit the Heritage Services section of our website. 

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