Concrete Tile Roof System


The manufacturing process

Concrete Tile is manufactured using a mixture of smooth and combined with sharp jagged sand made from pulverized rock and reground tile that failed the manufacturing quality control process. The mixture is run through a series of tests to assure its quality mixture. The mixture is added to cement and water, along with color additive to make concrete. Which is pressed into a mold and heated to form the final product.

Styles; There are two types of tile, high profile tile, and low profile tile. 

Low profile tile is also commonly referred to as "flat tile."

Hight profile tile curved like an "S" or "M" shaped tile. Different manufacturers make different styles of, and they don't often work well together. It is essential to know what you have before buying any tile for repairs.

The system components

The decking
Underlayment; in a tile roof system the underlayment is vital to the success of the system. Many roofers will say, "the underlayment is the roof." While that is not exactly true, the point that they are making is correct. Water is very likely to make its way under the tile, so the underlayment has to be watertight.

In Arizona, most tile roof systems include roof battens. Which are strips of wood usually 1x2, sometimes elevated off the roof deck to allow better air and water movement? The concrete is hung by lugs on the back of the tile and sometimes fastened to the battens using roofing nails, depending on the roof slope.

Metal flashings are a crucial component of any roof system. Flashing protects critical areas such as skylights, penetrations, wall transitions, etc.

Hip and Ridge
The hip and ridge can be problem areas. Hip and ridge enclosure products can help prevent moisture and debris intrusion.

As it is, will any roof system, ventilation is critical. Proper ventilation is vital to the service life of the roof system components.

Tile Mortar
Concrete mortar is used to put the finishing touches on the roof. Tile mortar must meet ASTM C-220 requirements. Tile roof systems can include field venting that resembles the tile profile. Hip and ridge enclosure products that contain a venting element and a vented eve riser.

Several other components to consider when designing a tile roof system.
Rake flashings
Valley products
Batten Extender
Fastener and wind resistance products.

Service life expectancy

While the concrete tile its self can have a service life of 50 years or more, the same is not of the other system components. The service life of the underlayment and battens can range from 15-30 years depending on the materials, and of course the quality of the roof installation.

What does remove and replace mean

Roofs tend to speak "roofer" to everyone. The term "R and R" or "remove or replace" means to remove the existing underlayment, battens, and flashings. Then replace them with new materials.

Installation errors

The number one problem of any roof system is poor installation. That can be avoided with proper quality control. The number one cause of a roof leak is again, poor installation. Every roofing system is designed to perform a certain way. If the system has not installed as per the manufacturers' instructions, the system may not function as intended, and you may experience leaks. Water trapped in the system can cause damage and even promote the growth of mold.

Animals and other vermin

A roof can be a lovely home for various animals, such as reptiles birds, rodents, insects and so on. The debris they gather onto and into the roof system, their food sources, and the waste material can obstruct proper drainage, retain moisture, and accelerate the degradation of the roof system components. It's crucial to keep trees trimmed away from the roof.

Poor Maintenace

Most roof warranties either require a roof maintenance plan or expressly exclude any damage due to a lack of maintenance. Annual maintenance and assessments will extend the service life of the roof system and help the owner plan for repair or replacement.

Henry Staggs
Roof Consultant and Roofing Industry Advocate
(480) 265-1613

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