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  1. #1
    Ron Bishop's Avatar
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    Default Concrete tile roofs

    I inspect quite a few homes that have concrete tile roofs, and most of them do not have underlayment. Is this a normal practice?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Concrete tile roofs

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bishop View Post
    I inspect quite a few homes that have concrete tile roofs, and most of them do not have underlayment. Is this a normal practice?
    No, it is not normal. It is wrong. Tile roofs (clay or concrete) must have an underlayment. A double underlayment is required if the slope is <4:12.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
    Ron Bishop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Concrete tile roofs

    This last house that I inspected was built in 1978. I read somewhere that concrete roofs were installed without felt underlayment at that time. Do you know anything about that?


  4. #4
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Concrete tile roofs

    Ron,

    I surely hope that all of those (like you described) that have previously been inspected have been deferred to a roofer...

    The tile is not the waterproofing. The tile holds a cosmetic value and provides a 'water-shedding' capability-- not waterproofing.

    The waterproofing is the underlayment. If not there.... then there is a big probem. As Scott identified 2:12 to a 4:12 requires two layers of underlayment. If you are in an HVHZ area, you must also use tin-caps (1-5/8 to 2") in lieu of plastic to secure the underlayment.

    rr


  5. #5
    Ron Bishop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Concrete tile roofs

    yes I recommended fruther evaulation of the roofing materials by an appropriate tradesman before the close of transaction.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Concrete tile roofs

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bishop View Post
    This last house that I inspected was built in 1978. I read somewhere that concrete roofs were installed without felt underlayment at that time. Do you know anything about that?
    I have never seen or heard that. I have seen 50 year old tile roofs with underlayments, granted the underlayments needed replacement but they were in place.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
    william wood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Concrete tile roofs

    Concrete tiles on spaced boards with no paper were allowed in this area for a couple of years aorund the mid to late 80's.
    You see it as soon as you walk in the garage; the very first time is Wha!?
    Yes every crack is a leak; the only flashing is in valleys and the only soild sheathing is under the dual-pac and a small strip down the rakes.
    Now I know which tracts have it and just explain it to the client and the agents if they've never seen it.
    Most times the client walks unless there are funds in the transaction for re-roofing.

    ww


  8. #8
    william wood's Avatar
    william wood Guest

    Default Re: Concrete tile roofs

    Sorry, that should have been "solid" sheathing

    ww


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Concrete tile roofs

    Ron,

    It would help if you put a state by "Shasta Lake" - that means nothing to me, maybe not to others too.

    But, that could mean a lot to the answer to your question: Are you in Arizona or New Mexico?

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

  10. #10
    Ron Bishop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Concrete tile roofs

    I am in California


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Concrete tile roofs

    Ron,

    That is very common in CA. I see it in homes built in the '70s and '80s. It is not quite as bad as RR posted. Hairline cracks typically do not leak. However, there is no secondary layer and any damaged tile does result in a leak, as does debris that blocks valleys. In addition, the concrete is porous, so as the glaze wears, water will soak into the concrete. Since Shasta sees snow, I wonder how that holds up. I would be concerned about ice dams and other cold weather problems, in addition to breakage of tile from the cold.

    I see a lot of these roofs in my area and they only leak when damaged. Needless to say, it is not uncommon to find damaged tiles. I let people know of the shortcomings, but do not defer to a roofing contractor unless I find a problem. I work really hard to find problems.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  12. #12
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Concrete tile roofs

    Gunnar,

    I certainly do not defer any roofs to someone else to make a determination. The reason I stated, as I did, " surely hope that all of those (like you described) that have previously been inspected have been deferred to a roofer...", was because if someone is not familiar with tile roofs (of anykind) and are performing inspections for a living, I would hope that they are deferring to a roofing contractor to cover their back side while they are still in the learning process...

    Otherwise, a tile roof problem (tear off, install underlayment and re-install) could be quite expensive if an attorney got involved.

    RR


  13. #13
    Ron Bishop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Concrete tile roofs

    most of the concrete and tile roofs out here crack just due to the weather. It is not a very good roofing material for Northern California, in my estimation. I have never inspected one that I have not referred for further evaluation.


  14. #14
    Joe Nernberg's Avatar
    Joe Nernberg Guest

    Cool Re: Concrete tile roofs

    Ron,

    There were only three years that this practice was allowable in California. I believe it was in the 70's. I see a few every year. The streams of light into the attic nearly make a flashlight impractical.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Concrete tile roofs

    Joe,

    Interesting. Either a lot of homes were built in those 3 years up here or the practice went on longer, because I see a whole lot of tile roofs on open skip sheathing.

    RR,

    Didn't mean to undermine your post. But, as I said, this type of installation is very common where I am and was allowed. I am not arguing whether or not allowing this installation was a good idea. I have had roofing contractors tell me that these roofs are the best tile installations around because the flashing and tile installation had to be done correctly, otherwise the roof would leak. Others will say that this type of installation is junk for just the reasons that you and I have stated, and should be replaced.

    Another problem is availability of replacement tiles. If the homeowner does not have extras lying about, it is going to be difficult to find any.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  16. #16

    Default Re: Concrete tile roofs

    Underlayment was not used by several mfg. This was mid 1970s and early 1980s.

    They found this not to work well and now require solid sheathing and underlayment.

    I always recommend to client having a roofing contractor evaluate and advise on and if repairs are needed.

    Hope this helps

    Rolland Pruner


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