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  1. #1
    Matt Hawley's Avatar
    Matt Hawley Guest

    Default Strange Aluminum Roof

    The home I inspected today had aluminum roofing tiles. These tiles look like concrete tiles, but they are aluminum.

    The owners said they could not be walked on. He said the roof was installed abot 8 years ago. He did not have much info on the roof other than it was manufactured by Reynolds Aluminum. The tiles were fastened with ringshank nails and there appeared to be at least one nail per tile.

    Here are some photos, thanks in advance for your input.

    The customer is having a hard time getting the roof insured because nobody is has seen this typ of system.

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  2. #2
    David Banks's Avatar
    David Banks Guest

    Default Re: Strange Aluminum Roof

    I found this. Hope it helps. Aluminum Shingles


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Strange Aluminum Roof

    Did you get up close to this roof and confirm it to be aluminum? I have never seen that around here. Concrete tile is very long lasting, I can't imagine why you would choose aluminum.

    How did the flashings look?

    Dom.


  4. #4
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Strange Aluminum Roof

    I have seen them twice. The first time I was not smart enough to know not to walk on them. The second time (4 years later) I did not remember to NOT walk them and did.

    In the insurance business we call those "foot-falls"

    If you do walk these type roofs... be advised, you WILL cause damage. I don't care how careful you are or how many thousands of roofs your have walked (3000K+ for me)... you will do damage.

    Rich


  5. #5
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Strange Aluminum Roof

    OOops... almost forgot to add the attachment of what happens when you walk these...

    Also, these are installed over battens and are truly a beeiitch to install-- the cost associated with this shingle is just plain stupid. The only pay-back is they can last 40-50 years and you don't have a tear off (because of the battens).

    Well... the freaking file would not upload due to the size. Crap.

    Rich


  6. #6
    Matt Hawley's Avatar
    Matt Hawley Guest

    Default Re: Strange Aluminum Roof

    Richard,

    It's funny you mentioned not to walk on this type of roof. The homeowner said the roof was originaly installed in 1975. The previouse owners had the roof cleaned and the company doing the cleaning damaged the roof. The entire roof had to be replaced. I'm not sure who flipped the bill for the damage, but somebody had a bad day.

    I did not dare walk on this roof. The inspection was actually a 4 point insurance inspection. The homeowners having a hard time getting insurance for his home. The roof has been in question everytime he trys to get insurance.

    Dave,

    Thanks for the link, i'm confident thats what the roof covering is. Now I can at least point the insurance underwriter in the right direction.

    Thanks Guys!


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Strange Aluminum Roof

    Matt,

    Those are typically used on commercial roofs, those Mansard types which overhang the walkway next to the parking areas in strip centers.

    Depending on age of the underlayment beneath the tiles, you've got a good Class A fire resistant roof there.

    Of course, a good Class A fire resistant roof which is 25 years old and the underlayment is something like 43# base sheet is probably doomed simply by its age.

    Like all metal roofs, the shingles are not (to my knowledge) considered 'the weather protection'. Like 25 year old tile roofs on 43# base sheet, the roof would be 'shot', even if all the tiles were in good condition (unless it's a System One, in which case having all brand new like tiles would make the roof just as good as it was when it was installed, as the tiles *are* considered the weatherproof covering - and System One tile roofs are, well, not much good the day they are installed, so I guess that does not say much for a 'like-new condition' 25 year old System One tile roof.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    Martin lehman's Avatar
    Martin lehman Guest

    Default Re: Strange Aluminum Roof

    Like 25 year old tile roofs on 43# base sheet, the roof would be 'shot'
    Jerry, are you saying tile roofing that is 25yrs old with a 43# base sheet does not provide proper protection from leakage??? Would the entire underlayment need to be replaced??
    How can I identify if a tile roof has 43# base sheet? I have never heard of this stuff. Is it similar to #15 or #30 felt??


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Strange Aluminum Roof

    Roofing felts, whether they be 15#, 30#, 43#, 70#, 90#, 210# (as in "shingles") have limited life's due to their drying out. The heavier the felt, the more asphalt which can be impregnated into it, the longer it lasts.

    Typical "90# tile underlayment", which is organic mat felt, and is not supposed to be left exposed to sunlight as it deteriorated rather rapidly (2-5 years in South Florida sun and its gone, wasted), will last 15-20 years (25 if you are lucky). In other parts of the country, it probably lasts longer, heck, normal 15-20 years shingles only last 6-8-10-12 years max. in South Florida.

    How would you know what is installed? Only by knowing what is required for that roofing system and what was typically used in your area.

    I had a client who was putting tile on his roof (35,000 sq ft of tile on a 12/12 slope) and the roofer was going to install 90# tile underlayment. I told my client that it would be a shame to waste that tile in 15-20 years when the underlayment deteriorated - why not install modified bitumen, which will last 2-3 times longer?

    When you are paying $25 PER TILE, and each tile cover approximately 1 sf ft, the cost difference between regular organic mat 90# and modified disappears in 'waste tile'. We were talking about $875,000 IN TILE COST, no underlayment, no labor - just for the TILE.

    Then, he was having several 'flat' (low slope) roof areas to keep the overall roof height below maximum allowed roof height, and the roofer was going to install modified on those areas. I told him that, with the way the flat roof would have to be flashed to the tile roofs, when the flat roofs were replaced in 15-20 years, the roofer would need to tear into the tile roofs. Why not install a custom made flashing and counter flashing around the flat roof areas such that the counter flashing would be removed and replaced as flat roof replacement, and the flashing and tile roof would not need to be disturbed.

    To me, that was like a DUH!, but no one had thought about "replacement issues".

    In my opinion, why waste a good tile roof (or even a metal roof like Matt has) over underlayment which is, at best, going to last 20-25 years? You are then tearing off a "perfectly good roof" just to replace the weather protective layer below. Install a longer life underlayment - like modified, so the entire roof will last, and last, and last (like the Eveready Bunny).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Strange Aluminum Roof

    Knock-it off Peck!!

    What you just posted is pissing off the roofing contractors out there. You're now getting into their pockets by making too much sense...

    What the hell are you thinking, anyway??

    The picture I tried to scan in and make a pdf file out of was of a wood shingle roof with the battens being installed to hang the aluminum shingles.

    Rich


  11. #11
    Matt Hawley's Avatar
    Matt Hawley Guest

    Default Re: Strange Aluminum Roof

    Jerry,

    Great points, its seems all to often people get tunnel vision because they are so use to doing things a certain way.

    Now that you bring it up I cant imagine why anyone installing a tile roof would not recommend the homeowner paying a little extra for a modified bitumen underlayment, in fact it should be code, as should lots of things.

    I guess it's a matter of thinking outside the box a little, and planning for ahead for the inevitable like replacement issues. Great points, thanks Jerry and all who replied.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Strange Aluminum Roof

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    In my opinion, why waste a good tile roof (or even a metal roof like Matt has) over underlayment which is, at best, going to last 20-25 years? You are then tearing off a "perfectly good roof" just to replace the weather protective layer below. Install a longer life underlayment - like modified, so the entire roof will last, and last, and last (like the Eveready Bunny).
    Just thought I'd point out that a System One tile roof is a result of just the opposite thinking ... which is typical of roofers (they are businessmen and need "business") ... design a roof which is crap going down, might last 10-15 years tops, and has basically no (very limited) underlayment life, which means you get to replace the roof every 10-15 years.

    Now, from a roofer's point of view, that a whole lot better than installing a roof which should not need replacing for, say, 60 years. ...

    I would explain to my clients that, in archaeological digs, what is found? Pottery, made from clay. Take a clay (or concrete) tile roof ... what will be found in the land fill 5,000-10,000 years from now? The tile.

    It certainly WILL NOT BE ON THE ROOF ... because the underlayment failed miserably during that time (yeah, like after 20 years, and there you go, tearing off and throwing away "perfectly good tile which might last another, oh, 5,000-10,000 years" ).

    Can you imagine being a roofer if all the roofs you installed lasted for generations? You roof one house and *maybe* your great-great-great-great-grandkid will get to re-roof it, and that'd only be because of 'storm damage'.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
    Chad Fabry's Avatar
    Chad Fabry Guest

    Default Re: Strange Aluminum Roof

    Many of the aluminum shingle roof designs are the primary water shed and don't rely on an underlayment. We have several aluminum roofs in my area that were installed in the early sixties using aluminum fasteners that are in fine condition and likely will last at least another 50 years.


  14. #14
    Matt Hawley's Avatar
    Matt Hawley Guest

    Default Re: Strange Aluminum Roof

    Chad,

    This may be the case here, im not sure though. I did not get on the roof or even play with the tiles. The owners kept cautioning me how easily damaged these tiles were.

    Apparently the roof was replaced after a company hired to clean the roof damaged it.

    $25,000 and that was 10 years ago.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Strange Aluminum Roof

    Quote Originally Posted by Chad Fabry View Post
    Many of the aluminum shingle roof designs are the primary water shed and don't rely on an underlayment.

    All of the metal roofs I've seen, the metal roofing *is* "the primary" water shed/weather resisting surface.

    Even regular tile roofs, with 30/90 hot mopped systems for underlayment, the tile *is* "the primary" weather resisting surface. They are designed to keep about 90% of the water off the underlayment, which now protects the structure below from that last 10%. With a 30/90 hot mopped underlayment system, *the 30/90 underlayment IS THE water proof and water tight surface" ... i.e., the roof is water tight without the tile installed.

    Metal roofs I've seen are designed to be even more protective, probably more like above 95% water shedding ability, but, it is acknowledged by the manufacturers that 'water will penetrate past the metal roofing system and will need an underlayment to drain away that water'. The underlayment also serves as a slip sheet, to allow for expansion and contraction of the metal roofing.

    Are those metal shingles in your area *THE* water proofing surface, or, are they, as you said, "the primary water shed"? There is a difference.

    True barrel tile on those old roofs proved to be THE water proof surface, and as long as nothing happed to the tile, the roofs never leaked - for 50-60 years. However, once there was a leak, and a repair, the roof would continue to leak, because the underlayment was dried out and shot, basically being non-existent anymore. Thus, when those roof leaked at that age, replacement was needed - unfortunately, the new roof would not be barrel tile, even though it would would be tile, and the new roof would have a life expectancy of, maybe, 20 years.

    The new barrel tile roofs are not installed with the care or workmanship of those old barrel tile roofs, thus new barrel tile roofs are there for looks. Not that the tile is cosmetic, but the shape/design/size/profile/color of the tile is cosmetic.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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