Here in San Diego, concrete, tile and clay tile roofs are very common. Most new construction homes throughout the San Diego area have concrete tile roofs, as well as, older homes that are 15, 20, and 25 years old. Most of the problems we see and deal with involve these older homes but also on occasion the newer homes with the tile installations can and do leak. It is crucial that the installation of any roof system..but more so on a tile roof system, is done just right. Failure to do so could cause potential and future leaks.
San Diego Tile Roof Repair
Although tile roofs are typically pretty durable, they do occasionally leak—especially with older homes. The longer a roof leaks, the greater the damage, so it is important to keep your eyes open for signs of a leak so that you can repair your roof right away.
Usually when a roof leak occurs you will see a wet spot in the ceiling or even high in the wall itself. Most homes in San Diego have drywall surfaces, and when drywall gets wet it quickly becomes obvious. However, it is harder to spot a leak on a home built with lath and stucco walls, which can hold and hide water 5 times longer than drywall. Although most new homes are made with drywall, some homes in San Diego that are over 40 years old are made with the lath and stucco ceilings and walls.
We are finding houses that are over 15 years old with tile roofs in San Diego, due to the past installations, would be considered sub par workmanship within today’s and TR Construction’s standards. Here at TR Construction we install nothing but the best quality roofing products that have been proven over time. We use the required pipe, roof and tile pan flashings and 2 layers of 40lb thickness paper.
Most people are surprised to find out that the tiles don’t actually waterproof their roof; it is the underlayment or felting. Although the tiles are built to last a lifetime, the key to a watertight tile roof is in how they are installed. The tile acts as a protectant, but it is the roof felting that does all the work.
In most cases from what we have seen, throughout the San Diego area, tile roofs that are over 15 years old have a 30lb thickness underlayment and only one layer of paper, which increases the chances dramatically of leakage due to the thickness of the paper and the fact that there is only one layer. Still to this day there are a lot of companies throughout the San Diego area that still install only one layer of tile paper which in most cases is a 40 lb. thickness, or 2 layers of 30lb paper. However the ideal installation that is commercially used throughout the San Diego area is 2 layers of 40lb paper. Here at TR Construction we only use 2 layers of 40lb paper on all our tile roof installations. This is the best installation of underlayment you can use for a tile roof system. Here at TR Construction we want your tile roof system to last a lifetime. Most customers we see to either fix a current tile leak, or go in and completely lift all the tile on the roof and re-felt it, say to us ” I thought this tile roof was supposed to last a lifetime” and our response is that the tile itself is usually made out of concrete or clay and will last a lifetime, however the underlayment and the way the installation was done will affect and does affect the lifespan of the roof. We have found all through the San Diego area tile roofs usually those over 15 years old are done extremely poorly according to our standards here at TR Construction.
Another major flaw we see throughout these tile roofs, is the underlayment being thin and worn out. Additionally, all those funny pipes you see sticking through your roof, are pipes that vent your heater system, your hot water system and all your drainage for your sinks dishwasher etc.. are packed in with concrete to seal around the pipe and the tile. This has become a major problem over time because the concrete will expand and break away from the pipe which in turn allows water to leak through.
We at TR Construction only use pipe flashings that are specifically designed and made to flash your vent pipes and when these flashings are installed along with all the other proper metal flashing and underlayment applications you will have a tile roof system that will last a lifetime.
In most cases, unless the customer requests, the existing tile can be reused, thus saving you the expense of not having to replace the tile as well.