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Why choose ceramic tiles ahead of those made of other materials?

Throughout history, clay roofs have played a fundamental role in protecting and decorating homes. They have enabled us to protect buildings from the elements, while helping blend them in to their environmental and architectural surroundings using a variety of colours and shapes.

Specifically, clay tile roofs are waterproof and resistant to fire, wind, and steam. They insulate against heat and noise and are environmentally friendly.

Tiles are currently chosen ahead of other materials not only for their aesthetic qualities, but also because of their behaviour under the most severe climactic conditions, making roofs durable and integrating them with their environment.

Clay roof tiles offer the best quality/price combination and Solerati tiles also come with a 50-year warranty.

Why should I use accessories when building a roof?

Accessories, or special pieces for the roof, are elements that ensure the roof remains durable and functions correctly.

These pieces are made of the same material as the tiles (fired clay) and enable the roof to be completed at certain special points or discontinuities. Building codes in all countries includes the use of special pieces when covering roofs.

These pieces are essential for finishing areas where the standard tiles do not join perfectly; making sure the roof is waterproof, uniform and aesthetically pleasing. They enable dry installation of roofs requiring practically no mortar, which maintains the integrity of the tiles and prevents the appearance of problems such as dampness and cracking.

It is also worth pointing out that the use of accessories serves not only a functional purpose but also improves the aesthetic qualities of a roof, thereby adding value. La Escandella offers a wide range of special pieces for each of its tile models, designed to perform the tasks outlined above.

Can I use “old” tiles on my roof?

In recent years it has become fashionable to reuse tiles salvaged from old buildings. However, this can create significant problems if their origin and type of manufacture are difficult to define.

The New Zealand Building Code requires a range of documentation for supplies used on building works (labelling, manufacturer warranty and product certifications). This can be difficult to obtain for salvaged tiles, which lack approvals and post-sales service, rendering them as aesthetic additions that are not suitable for roofing.

What should I do if I am extending a roof made of tiles that are no longer manufactured?

When extending or partially repairing a roof you can easily identify the manufacturer and model by checking the markings on the underside of the tile.

If the model is no longer being made, we suggest you contact us and we will endeavour to find out whether any of the 1,500 distributors worldwide has the model in stock.

If the same model cannot be found, we will search for a current model to match your old tiles. If a match still cannot be found, we suggest that you rebuild the whole problem section, saving the tiles for future repairs and redoing the affected area with new tiles that are as similar as possible (in shape and colour) to your tiles.

Can I mix different coloured tiles?

Of course. As long as the same shape is used, colours can be mixed to create unique, fully customized combinations. You can view a range of combinations in our gallery, which mix up to 3 or 4 colours in the one roof. You can also consult us for advice on the best combinations for your home.

What are the advantages of glazing compared to the 'engobada' (powdered) finish?

As well as offering a bright finish, glazing repels water from the surface of the tile, helping colours stay more durable over time. Always taking care that the tiles have been properly installed, making the roof as durable and functional as possible. Good ventilation under the tiles from the eaves to the ridge is required, using ventilation tiles based on the length of the gable.

Does the colour of the tile affect a home's temperature?

Ceramic roofs help with thermal insulation, adding up to +3 degrees in the winter and -3 degrees in the summer. This promotes energy savings in the home.

As with any other material, dark colours will hold more heat. For this reason, lighter colours tend to be used in warmer regions, while redder, darker colours are used where the climate is cooler.

Regardless of climactic conditions, it is worth noting that clay tiles offer a higher degree of thermal insulation than other metal or plastic products or concrete tiles. This superior thermal performance is increased when tiles are correctly installed, particularly in relation to the slope of the roof and under-tile ventilation.

Are their shade variations in tiles of the same colour? How do I stop these from being obvious?

Tiles are made with different clay combinations and, because clay is a natural material, it can exhibit slight variations in shading after firing. This can be accentuated more in white clays, as they are more susceptible to this phenomenon.

To achieve a more uniform colouring, which doesn’t show up small variations, we recommend mixing tiles from across the pallet range, given that tiles are not installed according to a set order based on finish.

Why should I buy Solerati tiles rather than another brand?

  • Options when choosing the tile that best suits your needs and tastes. Solerati’s versatile range includes five main tile shapes: the Cureva tile, Marseille tile, Visum tile Innova Tile, Vienna tile and the Planum tile. These styles enable the use of the widest range of colours, covering every type of architectural requirement, from colonial-type projects to the most contemporary buildings. These products are complemented by the widest range of special pieces and roof accessories, which make installation easier and provide a perfect, polished finish to the roof.
  • Quality Products certified for projects in over 70 countries on five continents. Solerati tiles meet the strictest quality standards, both in New Zealand and Australia, as well as internationally (including AENOR, AFNOR, ICC-ES, DIN EN-1304, NOA, etc.). They are subject to rigorous, ongoing quality control across the entire production process, enabling them to be sold with the highest guarantee worldwide.
  • Service and Commitment. Service is assured at La Escandella, thanks to more than 55,000m2 of manufacturing space and over 230,000m2 of storage. This guarantees an immediate response anywhere in the world. The company is committed to innovation and regularly improves its production processes. It is environmentally aware, as shown by its use of a cogeneration plant that helps streamline energy use, leaving kilns and dryers cleaner and more environmentally friendly.

What does the Solerati guarantee cover?

La Escandella guarantees that its tiles and accessories will be free of defects (as well as being frost-resistant) for 50 and 100 years after their date of manufacture.

The guarantee is applied in accordance with EN 1034 standard, which comes into effect from the manufacture date, provided both the manufacturer’s instructions and the country’s technical codes have been complied with, particularly in respect of roof ventilation.

The guarantee is valid from the invoice date and applies to the materials supplied in ex-works condition.

Why is ventilation so important?

Ventilation (known as micro-ventilation) between the tile and the supports beneath determines the tile’s efficiency and the durability of the roof across the years.

The tiles are made from natural clays, giving them a certain porosity that enables them to “breathe” by absorbing and expelling water and holding moisture inside the building. To prevent condensation and dampness that lead to leaking in to the home, the tiles must be installed in accordance with the relevant standards. Good ventilation and accessories that help this process are also important.

Ventilation enables air to flow beneath the tiles and allows them to dry. It also reduces the occurrence of moss and fungi, maintaining the appearance of the roof over time. Therefore, the ridge line must never be filled with cement or similar materials. Instead, it must remain open to facilitate air flow and be fitted with protection to stop birds, insects and small rodents from entering.

Why does condensation occur under a roof?

Condensation occurs when the temperature falls below the dew point of the surrounding area. This process usually occurs in winter and takes place when there is a difference of more than 2 degrees between the temperature and the cold surface (in still air). Condensation produces water droplets when the air is concentrated beneath an open roof as the temperature drops.

This condensation can lead to dampness and a subsequent deterioration of the roof due to fungi and other organisms.

It can be prevented by proper roof installation and ventilation, which helps air flow and dries out the dampness that can appear beneath the tiles.

Are water leaks due to the tiles?

Tiles are made from natural clay and are therefore porous. This porosity gives the material a degree of permeability, which La Escandella controls using a process of selecting, pressing, and firing the clay to remove all potential for leakage caused by the tile. Permeability, along with other characteristics of La Escandella tiles, is measured and audited periodically by various domestic and international institutions, which have awarded La Escandella tiles the most rigorous quality certifications.

As a general rule, a roof usually leaks as a result of poor tile installation (insufficient slope, excessive use of mortar, lack of ventilation, the sealing of special points such as chimneys, joins with walls, etc.), which can affect its water tightness. Each different installation requires close monitoring by a roofing professional.

How can I prevent mildew on my roof?

Mildew, or moss as it is commonly known, is a micro-organism that appears on roofs, often due to the tiles (because of their porosity natural condition) being exposed to certain environmental conditions. These include nearby vegetation, a north-facing roof, an insufficient slope on the roof and pollution, as well as a lack of ventilation and the use of mortar.

It is almost impossible to prevent mildew because of the large range of factors that cause it to appear. However, correct dry installation, particularly avoiding the use of mortar, and the necessary micro-ventilation between the roof and its base are important factors in keeping it at bay.

We also recommend that the roof be cleaned every 3 to 5 years, depending on the home’s location and climate. This removes any residues that may have accumulated, which can prevent the tiles from drying and correctly expelling rainwater.

How can I prevent stains and white markings on the tiles?

White markings on the tiles, known as efflorescence, appear on the tile surface due to salts or carbonates resulting from the use of too much water in mortars for installation, as well as excessive moisture and a lack of roof ventilation. The moisture is expelled by the well-ventilated areas. This water then evaporates, leaving salt deposits which cause white staining on the tiles.

Despite rigorous controls over salt levels in tiles, mortars and the water used with them can cause efflorescence. This commonly occurs during installation and can be easily countered by dampening the tiles with water and allowing them to dry (provided installation requirements have been met, particularly in relation to roof ventilation).

Where the problem occurs subsequent to installation, it must always be analysed and treated by specialists who will not only remove the efflorescence but correct the problems causing it. Normally they will clean the area with water, and even vinegar, treating the salts and removing the surface stains. However, it is always advisable that each case be studied individually and a solution prescribed depending on the type of tile, installation, and other architectural details.

How can I prevent the tiles from deteriorating in very salty climates?

In regions prone to adverse weather conditions, particularly those close to the sea, special attention must be paid to roof installation. Good ventilation is even more important in preventing the accumulation of salts or other organisms that can deteriorate the tiles.

Micro-ventilation (between the supports and the tiles) allows the tiles to be properly ventilated, quickly drying any moisture caused by proximity to the sea, by rain, etc. and making the tiles, and ultimately the roof, more durable.