Tile roofs are used in most parts of the world, including the Naples area in Florida. These roofs are known to last between 25 to 50 years depending on how well they are installed and maintained. To achieve 50+ years with a tile roof, you need flashings installed to keep water on top of the tiles, with the underlayment only serving as secondary protection. In this guide, we shall highlight all the areas your roof is missing flashing and give tips on how to double the lifespan of your roof.
Benefits of Flashings
In Florida, more than 90% of tile roofs lack flashings, allowing water and moisture to run under the tiles and rely solely on the underlayment to keep the home dry. Water flowing under the tile will gradually break down the underlayment and shorten its lifespan by deteriorating, cracking and eventually causing leaks. That’s why some tile roofs in Florida begin leaking in just under 5 years and require replacement in 25 years or so.
Fortunately, you can install these protective flashings at any time and double the life of your tile roof. All you need is to work with an experienced tile roofer to inspect your roof and recommend the right flashings.
How To Get Tile Flashing Done Right
Tile roofing is among the most durable roofing options for residential properties. Tiles are incredibly resistant to damage caused by severe storms, earthquakes, hurricanes, and fires. However, to ensure your tile roof lasts as long as possible, you’ll want to have top flashings installed. Avoid the temptation of using less flashing or low-quality aluminum flashings to cut on installation costs.
Areas of your Roof that Require Flashing
Flashing is used to secure various joints in your roof, including where your roof meets a wall or a chimney, valleys, and around vents. Penetrations for chimneys, vent pipes, skylights, roof vents valley junctures, headwalls, and roof-to-wall and pitch transitions will also require flashings.
These areas are more prone to leaks during downpours, which is why it’s critical to install flashings. Flashings are designed to direct water away from your roof’s vulnerable areas, for instance, valleys between slopes and around the roof’s gutter system.
While adding flashing to your tile roof will increase the cost of roof installation, you’ll end up saving a lot in the long run. Flashings help prevent serious leaks that could cause damage to your tiles or underlayment. Once the underlayment weakens because of water damage, the structural integrity of your tile roof will be compromised. Additionally, the heavy weight of tile roofing can worsen the situation following a weakened underlayment.
Common Tile Roof Flashing Mistakes
There is no doubt flashings are critical components of any tile roof. However, improper installation can hurt your tile roof and compromise its integrity. Always work with an experienced roofing contractor that specializes in tile roofs. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when installing flashings.
- Using poor flashing materials – Some contractors can use poor quality flashing materials to cut down costs or position themselves for several repeat jobs every few years. Stay off regular aluminum flashings that don’t hold up to the elements of tile roofing.
- Using too narrow flashings – Apply wide valley flashings in areas where tiles slope away from each other. The flashing shouldn’t be too rigid either. You need some level of flexibility to allow for expansion and contraction during significant weather changes.
- Inadequate flashing around chimneys and vent pipes – Inadequate flashing in these areas can compromise the integrity of your chimney, leaving it vulnerable to collapse. Use much wider flashings around chimneys and vent pipes to minimize water permeation by effectively concealing the overlap by the wall.
How Top Flashing Impacts the Underlayment
Correctly installed top flashing can make a huge difference between a tile roof that fails in less than 25 years and one that lasts a lifetime. With top flashings, water stays on top of your tiles, so the underlayment is not wholly relied on for keeping your home dry.
The underlayment used on tile roofs often consists of fiberglass sheets saturated with asphalt to ensure waterproofing. If rainwater repeatedly runs over the underlayment, it gradually erodes through oil migration. In other words, oils from the asphalt escape the mat and rise to the top of the water. This erosion is rapid in areas with greater water flow, such as valleys, valley bases, and around protrusions. Over time, the underlayment becomes dry, brittle, and prone to cracks.
Work with a Professional Roofer
Since tiles can last a lifetime, you can save a roof that as lasted for years if an inspection reveals that the tiles themselves aren’t leaking. By simply installing flashings, you can halt decay and allow your tile roof to deliver its expected performance for several years to come. If you’re looking for skilled tile roof repair or flashings installation in the Naples area, contact us at Kelly Roofing. You can also request for a tile roof flashing installation estimates.