Should I paint my terracotta roof?

January 23, 2016

This is sadly a question we don’t hear often enough; “Should I paint my terracotta roof?” To put bluntly we think it’s a bad idea, but this all depends on who you talk to.

Should I paint my terracotta roof

Over the years Terracotta tiles, like any roof, collect a build up of dirt, pollution, moss and lichen making it seem visibly unattractive. But what lies underneath those layers are generally strong beautiful tiles that once restored properly look amazing.

Some “I can do anything for money” roofing mobs like to push painting terracotta roof’s as it is more profitable for them than to have it simply cleaned and treated. Other than the obvious ethical issues of these practices,  there a few more problems with this;

  1. The older style curvy (Marseille) terracotta tile shapes do not complement flat painted finishes well. If you had a flat modern concrete tile then, and yes painting these surfaces with the right preparation looks fine, but not the older terracotta styles we see around Melbourne – it mostly just doesn’t work.
  2. Terracotta absorbs paint differently to concrete tiles, for which the paint has been designed for. With a lack of preparation you can see the paint peeling from the tile prematurely causing the appearance to look far less appealing even than before

What we suggest at Casey Roof Care is to have your roof inspected, cleaned and treated. Depending on the age and condition of the tile, they can be prone to cracking under foot quite easily. The first thing we do is to inspect roof watercourses and existing flashing, repairing as we go. We then source your exact tile from recycling yards with the intention of leaving you will a surplus supply once we’ve finished. We will pressure clean your roof replacing any tiles and flashing as required. We then apply an anti-fungal primer to inhibit the growth of moss and lichen in addition to two coats of sealer. Once finished your roof will look like new again.

We believe this is the best approach to take. We have published more articles on Melbourne Roofing that you are most welcome to read. In addition we have full list of professional services offered by our local business or simply call on (03) 9028 8795 for more information.

If you are going to have your roof painted, we suggest reading this article by the ABC on making an energy efficient colour choice.