broken clay roofing tiles

A concrete or clay tile roof system vs the VanGalee FirstShake Roofing System—what are the key differences?


A concrete or clay tile roofing system requires the additional cost of reinforced engineered roof trusses. Concrete or clay tiles can weigh up to 10 pounds per square foot or more.

VanGalee FirstShake weighs 2.5 pounds per square foot, about the same as a light asphalt shingle roof, and can be installed on common roof trusses.

Walking on the Roof

One can walk on a finished VanGalee FirstShake roof surface without damaging the product. Of course, it is best to be careful. Like any roof it can be slippery when wet, frozen, or dusty. 

With concrete and clay tiles, one must be extremely careful not to break the tiles, especially as the roof ages.

Freeze-Thaw Breakdown

Issues with freeze and thaw cycles cause the early breakdown and deterioration of concrete and clay tiles.

By comparison, VanGalee FirstShake is unaffected by these conditions as there is no absorption of water into the metal or the foam core.

Water Penetration

The VanGalee FirstShake Roofing System, when installed with hurricane clips, prevents water from being driven into the roofing system.

With clay or concrete tile roof systems there is an underlayment which catches the water that penetrates the system on a regular basis. This allowance is referred to as ‘weep factor’. Water makes its way through the tiles to the underlayment and runs through the entire system, coming out at the bottom edge. This eventually causes the deterioration of the wooden strapping that the tiles sit on top of. It also makes it very difficult to determine where leaks are and to make repairs.

Organic Attractant

Moss and algae growth typically occur on concrete and clay tile roofs because of their surface texture. Their porosity holds dust and water, allowing moss and lichen to grow.

With the PVDF finish on VanGalee FirstShake, the moisture on the roof is reduced to near zero within hours of a rain event. The extremely smooth surface allows for dust and spores to be easily rinsed off the roof instead of taking root. Due to these factors, the roof system will remain beautiful for years without staining or organic growth.

Beauty: The Look of the System

When comparing these two types of roofing systems there is a marked difference in the long-term look. Both types of roofs have an initial beauty. With clay or concrete tile, maintenance is required to maintain the look.

In most instances, VanGalee FirstShake requires no maintenance to maintain the sharp clean look.

Join the movement.

Join us now in the movement toward permanent building solutions.

Crown your castle with the enduring value, beauty and protection of a VanGalee FirstShake Roofing System.

Reserve your FirstShake roof today!

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