View Full Version : roof help please

John Arnold
07-14-2008, 03:58 PM
I have never inspected a roof that looks like this. Can someone help me ID the roof and maybe give expected life, etc? Seems to be a terra cotta type of material.
To me, having never seen one, this one looks VERY OLD and to be near, at, or beyond its useful life. For what it's worth, I didn't see any evidence of leakage inside.
The seller had a home inspection report from a month ago that said this roof was 10-15 years old, which I don't believe for a nanosecond. It also said this type of roof had a life expectancy of 20-25 years, which I also don't believe. I think it is much longer than that. I suspect this roof is over 50 years old. Oh, yeah. The previous inspector said in his report that he looked at the roof from the ground with binoculars.
Any takers?

Billy Stephens
07-14-2008, 04:15 PM

My guess.

http:Asbestos Shingle Identification Photos, Also known as Transite Roof Tiles (http://www.customtileroofing.com/Tiles-Asbestos-Individual.asp)

Black & White Photo taken from link page 5 of the photo gallery.

Ted Menelly
07-14-2008, 04:36 PM
Looks more like a clay tile. That is really not the point though. The roof is not approaching it life expectancy or at its life expectancy. Quite frankly it is beyond dead. Not even the living dead.

wayne soper
07-14-2008, 05:17 PM
Was there an attic area with view of the underlayment?

John Arnold
07-14-2008, 05:19 PM
Was there an attic area with view of the underlayment?

There were a couple of attic areas, but the solid decking and insulation between most rafters blocked view.

Jerry Peck
07-14-2008, 05:59 PM
Seems to be a terra cotta type of material.

Not being there and you having been there, I will take your opinion as it being terra cotta instead of asbestos cement shingles.

That said, I agree with Ted.

It passed through 'useful life', through 'after death experience', and is now on 'zombie walking dead' time.

How old was the house?

You said "I suspect this roof is over 50 years old.", I'm thinking over 100 years old, but ... is the house that old?

Back when those tiles were likely made, they were likely 'not fired', possibly sun and air dried, or, if fired, not fired as it would be under today's standards. Look too uniform to be simply 'hand made', however, just because they may have been 'mass produced' does not mean they were fired, or fired properly.

Kinda, sorta, somewhat ... looks like some of the real old Spanish and Cuban tile (hand made, sun and air dried) tiles I've seen in South Florida, except instead of being flat, those were draped over the thighs of the women making the tiles, which made each tile a slightly different shape and size. However, when they began to deteriorate, that is "Kinda, sorta, somewhat ... " the way they looked.

John Arnold
07-14-2008, 06:02 PM
The house is supposed to be 78 years old. I didn't see anything to suggest it was a lot older than that.
I really appreciate all the quick replies.
I still can't believe the other inspector claimed this roof was 10-15 years old.

Nick Ostrowski
07-14-2008, 06:07 PM
I'll never understand how an inspector will blindly take a stab at the age of a roof. You just don't know. There is no serial number, model number, or installation date on roofs. It's all conjecture.

That said, I have seen roofs on 15-25 year old house which I feel pretty comfortable stating are original to the house based upon appearance and are therefore likely the same age as the house. Aside from that, I don't touch it. I love it when somebody asks how many more years the roof has.

Jerry Peck
07-14-2008, 06:07 PM
The house is supposed to be 78 years old.

Then that is probably how old those tiles are. No wonder they look like that.

When agents stated 'No, the roof is not that old.', I would tell my client 'Unless there is a permit signed off stating that the roof was replaced at such-and-such date ... the roof is original.'

Ted Menelly
07-14-2008, 06:14 PM
The reason those clay tiles look like that is because they are 78 years old. The other inspector whether he be one that visits this site or not should be spanked. The cheapest tile you could have bought made from clay, asbestos or anything else would not look 25 % of that type of deterioration in 15 years.