By Henry Staggs, RRO
The Tile Roof Institute, who are they, and why does it matter to you?
Who are they?
The Tile Roof Institute has been around since 1971, started California by people who wanted to provide better standards for the tile roofing industry. Originally called the National Tile Roofing Manufacturers Association (NTRMA), it has been actively working very hard to help roofers install suitable tile roofs.
As you may know, some associations work for the industry broadly, and others that narrow their focus to a specific segment of the industry. The more broadly focused associations are more active in lobbying and that sort of thing. While the more narrowly concentrated association pays attention to installation methods, setting standards for the industry, and providing training.
Read the building code and the Tile Roof Institute's installation manual, and you will see the similarities are too many to be coincidental. And when you go on any tile roofing manufacturer's web site to download their installation instructions, you'll get a copy of the TRI installation manual. These things considered, the TRI is very relevant, wouldn't you think?
Why does it matter to you?
If you are the owner, it matters because you want your tile roof installed correctly, so that it will provide you with the most extended and more reliable service life possible. Tile roof systems are great roofs, but they need to be installed correctly; if not, you will experience problems throughout the life of the roof, which will cost you time and money.
If you are the contractor or the installer, it matters because if you are not doing your work as per the TRI standards, chances are pretty good you are not doing your job as per the building code. And could violate the Arizona Standards of Workmanship for licensed contractors. Creating potential for callbacks for leaks and other problems and exposing yourself to a complaint with the Registry of Contractors. One, I might add that you are very like to come out of poorly, and no contractor wants complaints on their record much fewer ones they ended up losing.
If you are a consultant or architect, then hopefully this is nothing new to you. But it is, I would strongly suggest you down a copy and use it to help guide you when designing a concrete or clay tile roof system that will last and make your client happy.
What do you do?
If you are the owner, you can download the manual yourself; it's free and pretty simple to read. Make sure your contractor knows you have it, and that they contractually agree to do work on your house on compliance with the TRI standards. If for whatever reason, you aren't able to read the manual or make sense of it, that is OK. It's not written for the owners, but instead for the designers and installers. Call on a consultant to help you; most will offer at least a final inspection.
If you are the contractor or installer and want to grow and succeed as a tile roof installer, the first thing you need to do is join the TRI. Then sign up for the next training near you, the training they offer is excellent and more than worth the money. After that, USE the information you have gleaned to improve the way you do your work. Following the TRI standards will help keep your callbacks to a minimum, and if you do get a ROC complaint filed against you, your chances are much better.
Good roofing is not cheap, and cheap roofing is not good.