Tile Roof Repair & Restoration
Tile roofing is a timeless tradition on Florida homes. A well built tile roof is likely to last longer than the structure on which it rests. Over time, however, the elements of nature, as well as humans, can damage roof tiles. When you require Tile Roof Repair, trust Kelly Roofing. We have over been in the roofing business since 1972. We know tile roof repair and will repair and restore your tile roof to your standards and expectations. Below is a list of the most common tile roof repair issues.
Tile roofs with a #30lb.felt paper base and a #90lb.hot asphalt installed underlayment system is installed and the tiles adhered using mortar add extra weight to the system. During our hot months the roof temperature rises above 160 degrees softening up the asphalt adhesive. With the extra tile weight and without enough fasteners to hold the tiles to the deck cause the roof system to slide, especially on high-pitched roofs. There is no way to repair this issue. However, it is a sign that replacement is near.
As a roof expands and contracts the roof system moves. This is a daily occurrence and is associated with Thermal Shock. During movement the tiles bind against each other. Sometimes a tree branch or flying debris may impact the roof causing damage. 3rd party damage is another issue. As people walk across the roof they can cause damage. The Tiles on this Estero roof have been damaged. Since this leaves the underlayment showing, it is our recommendation these areas are repaired.
Tiles are not a waterproofing material. When installed correctly, they do “shed” water. However, if installed on a flat roof, they would allow massive seepage. The way Tiles work is by their overlapping design. As the previous layer is covered by the next it creates a stair step water shed design, disallowing seepage. This stair step design also has a vertical component to it. If each row is not offset correctly, water may enter the system. This Immokalee roof does not have the proper offset and was installed “line on line”, allowing water to travel under the system.
Tiles are designed to be installed using special stainless steel screw, as per code. Each tile has two predrilled screw holes. If a wide screw or nail is used it will crack the tile. This also leaves the roof susceptible to roof blow-off in the event of strong winds. After Hurricane Andrew in 1992 our code system was completely redesigned. In 1994, when this new code system was introduced, the requirement is now 1 screw per tile, except for the first row, which requires two screws or a fully certified adhesive. However, most of the good roofing contractors install 1 screw per tile and in order to achieve the enhanced wind performance add tile adhesive to each tile.
It is important that all fasteners are installed perpendicular to the roof’s surface and driven in at a perfect 90 degree angle. As seen on this Fort Myers Beach roof, here are areas where the fasteners were not driven straight in and the fastener heads are lifted slightly. Over time this can and will damage the roof system and allow seepage.
When two different types of metals come in contact a chemical reaction occurs: Electrolysis uses moisture as catalysis at a molecular level to pass ions from one metal to the other. The process causes a deterioration of both metals similar to the effects of rust. Using the wrong type of fasteners causes a real concern due to the importance of the fastener itself. Electrolysis causes the fastener puncture to deteriorate and widen, allowing a water path and seepage. Incompatible fastener types were used and electrolysis is occurring.
“High nails” were found from the roof system’s underlayment. During roof installation it’s easy for installers to forget about proper pressure setting on their nail guns. In most cases too many nailers are hooked up to a low volume compressor and the air supply is not sufficient to drive each fastener fully. At time of installation only the severe “high nails” are noticeable. “High nails” begin to protrude and lift tiles causing an increased wind uplift point and breaking tiles. Rusting and seepage can occur.
The most susceptible area on a roof to wind damage is the cap. Cap tiles are used to cover the hip and ridge areas of two adjoining decks. Most installers simply use a mortar cement to hold down the cap tiles to save money. Over time movement causes the mortar to break loose from the cap tiles. Since mortar does not self-heal it continues to separate. If mortar is the only attachment method the cap tiles are help by gravity alone once the bond is fully broken. This Sanibel Island roof is missing cap tile. When it is time to replace the roof ask your contractor to use a special ridge anchor flashing to hold the cap tile in place with fasteners and mortar. This will help prevent the cap tiles from blowing off.
The junction between your pitch roof and the flat roof is called the “tie-in”. This area is specifically important because there are two different roofing materials joining. Here is evidence from a Bonita Springs roof that the tie-in area is not sealed properly. It is also very important that the two roof systems have the correct flashing detail and extra sealant protection.
When installing a roof system it is important to always start at the lowest point and proceed upward toward the roof’s peak. This ensures that each layer of materials overlaps the previous. Even on flat roofs, this principle is important. As water travels, on a pitch or on a flat roof, if two seams are lapped in backwards a backwater lap occurs. This can “cup” water and force in under the layers, causing leaks.
Steel metal flashings exposed to the elements can rust over time. Today’s flashings are made of galvanized metal, a process that protects the steel core from rusting. Rust cannot be simply sealed over, it will continue to grow, as seen on this Captiva Island roof. The rust needs to be cut out and a new flashing installed, then sealed properly. Since the rust is open to the surface and flashings are vital to the integrity of your roof system, we suggest repairing the rusted flashing areas before seepage causes structural damage.
Although flashings bridge transitions in the roof, when not sealed properly they are ineffective. Flashing is designed to turn corners and breaks in a roof, which tend to have more movement than other areas. If not sealed properly, these flashings do little to stop water from entering the roof system. Here are voids in the roof flashings where sealants were not applied correctly. This is allowing water to enter the flashing detail area. This can be repaired with minimal expense.
Valley metal is installed by crimping the valley center, fastening the entire length of both edges and then applying mastic to cover the valley metal edge and fasteners. When valley metal is not properly pressed, fastened and/or sealed it causes buckling and waving. Since a valley is designed to channel water between two pitch areas a valley receives more water flow than any other part of the roof. Valley metal buckling disrupts the immediate flow of water and creates water vortices, a circular flow of water that leads to roof seepage.
Gable ends are where a valley terminates into a roof’s surface, rather than running the entire length to the roof’s edge. They are quite common and add to the roof’s design. However, if not correctly detailed with flashings and sealants, the gable end is an area of concern. With the valley channeling large amounts of water to the gable end area there is an increased chance of seepage. In fact, it is Kelly Roofing’s #1 repair area on all roof systems. Adding more sealant may stop the seepage for a year or so, but the only correct way to fix this area is by removing the flashings and installing them correctly. This will minimize the dependence on sealants, which will deteriorate over time.
As with all rooftop objects it is important that proper water flow and installation are considered. Flashing that is not layered correctly and sealant applied in the right junction areas allow water seepage. The boot flange on this Marcos Island roof was not installed correctly with the proper overlap procedure. Sealant has done a good job covering up the installation error, but is now showing signs of deterioration. Adding sealant may prevent seepage temporarily but is not a roof cycle solution. The boot should be replaced and installed correctly.
As with all rooftop objects it is important that proper water flow and installation are considered. Flashing that is not layered correctly and sealant applied in the right junction areas allow water seepage. The vent flange was not installed correctly with the proper overlap procedure. Sealant has done a good job covering up the installation error on this Naples roof, but is now showing signs of deterioration. Adding sealant may prevent seepage temporarily but is not a roof cycle solution. The vent should be replaced and installed correctly.
As you know, plastic typically dries out rather quickly in our environment. The sun’s UV rays cause oil migration much the same as it does to exposed asphalt. On this Fort Myers roof a plastic stack flashing was used to seal the pipe. A gap between the pipe and surrounding flashing is visible and allowing seepage. This boot should be removed and replaced with a new lead boot.
Ell flashing bridges the transition from the roof’s surface and a wall or upright surface such as a curb. Ell flashing has not been sealed properly and the shingles are pealing back from the flashing allowing seepage. This can be correctly by removing the area and installing mastic sealant correctly. New membrane may need to be installed in this area. Also, if the ell flashing cannot be cleaned or has too many old fastener holes in it, the entire flashings detail area may need to be replaced.
Whenever a roof surface meets a vertical surface ell flashing is needed to bridge the transition and protect from seepage. No ell flashing was installed at this detail. Although sealant may have helped avoid leaks, over time sealant breaks down. The correct technique is to install ell flashing here.
Ell flashing should be nailed every six inches on center. Not enough fasteners were used and the sealant has deteriorated. We suggest sealing the underside of the ell flashing and installing the correct number of fasteners as specified by code. Another layer of membrane should be installed to cover the ell-flashing flange and provide a more aesthetically pleasing transition area.
Ell flashing is designed to bridge the roof to wall transition and allow for protection against water intrusion. Water which runs down the roof and wall is caught by the ell flashing and channeled to the roof’s edge. It is important that the ell flashing’s end be flared so it sticks out past the siding/stucco. This provides a direct path for water to flow behind the wall surface and into the building. Often this type of leak takes time to show and may only be noticeable in heavy rains and the wall needs to soak enough to be evident. The only correct way to repair this issue is to add a layer of membrane over the existing flashing that directs water flow out and away from the wall. Some roofers may suggest cutting out the old flashings and installing new. We do not suggest this, as it is impossible to replace the wall surfacing material and regain integrity.
Since a valley is designed to channel water between two pitch areas a valley receives more water flow than any other part of the roof. A standard installation guideline on all roof systems is to never install fasteners in the valley’s center. Exposed valley fasteners disrupt the immediate flow of water. Because valleys are transition areas and absorb building movement, fasteners installed in the valley center uplift and allow water seepage. The only way to properly repair this issue is by replacing the valley flashing.
Flashing seams must be overlapped correctly and an adequate amount of sealant placed in between the overlap area to ensure proper waterproofing at the ell flashing transition area. Ell flashing seams were separating and in need of additional sealant. The correct way to repair this area is to replace the flashing with new. That is the only way to ensure the flashing detail area will not leak.
Separation firewalls are designed to extend past the roof level and protect against spreading flames in the unlikely event of a fire. Many times these walls are simply stuccoed and painted. Over time the paint deteriorates, often at rates faster than walls due to the direct sunlight they receive, and allow moisture to seep into the wall’s core. Under a maintenance program these wall caps can be coated using an elastomeric paint sealant. Other times it is best to use some type of wall cap to permately protect the wall top area. When moisture enters the wall it causes moisture bleed out and swelling. The additional moisture content is trapped and cannot evaporate causing further damages to fasteners, flashings and framing. The swelling can rust out concrete rebar and steel straps, both structural components of the wall. The correct way to fix this is to teat the wall top as a roof and install a roof system on it. This can be achieved by installing a metal coupling or a flat roof membrane with flashing on all four sides of the wall’s top. The flat roof membrane is a better detail as it provides one continuous piece and protection without added maintenance.
Vents are installed on the roof to allow for attic airflow. These vents should not be longer than four feet in length and should be installed at an angle. As water flows down the roof it often is blocked behind the vent creating a small area of water ponding. Ponding water is water sitting on any asphalt roofing material longer than 48 hours without run-off or evaporation. As the water sits it magnifies the sun’s rays and works on breaking down the sealant and underlayment used to seal the vent to the roof. The correct way to fix this issue is to install a new vent.
Whenever two different roof pitches transition a specially designed flashing is needed to bridge the slope change. This roof does not have the correct flashing and is relying on sealant to disallow seepage. Over time the sealant will deteriorate and allow leaks. The pitch transition on your roof does not have any flashing in it. Eventually the roofing materials and mastic used to seal this area will cause interior damages.
Counter flashing is metal flashing installed into the wall to protect the roof membrane from coming loose from the wall as it transitions from the roof area. Counter flashing can also be used in conjunction with ell flashing at the same detail area. The counter flashing, which has a concealed return flashing cut and installed into the wall, has come loose from the wall and is allowing water to enter. Counter flashing is an older flashing technique and requires constant maintenance by re-fastening and re-sealing the top wall cut to disallow seepage. This area should be repaired before interior damage occurs.
When two different types of metals, fair and unfair as they are called, come in contact a chemical reaction occurs. Electrolysis uses moisture as catalysis at a molecular level to pass ions from one metal to the other. The process causes a deterioration of both metals similar to the effects of rust. Using two different types of metal causes electrolysis and the rapid breakdown of metal.
Aluminum structures are inexpensive and easy to install. They often add value to a building by providing additional usable space. The roofing system is typically a pan or super-pan type made of aluminum and coated white. Insulation is sometimes used to help insulate and dampen rain patter. Pan roofs are large and lightweight. They are often fastened directly to the fascia board of a germinate structure and sealed with a simple bead of silicone caulk. During even light winds the entire structure moves causing the caulk bead to break and open and area for water to penetrate causing seepage at the tie-in and along the ribs. Since the caulking will not reseal it is our suggestion that a transition membrane be used to cover the tie-in area as would be installed on a normal flat roof tie-in. This will prevent water seepage and stop the fascia board from rotting.
Often associated with gutter installation and plumb fascia boards, perimeter drip edge flashings can create a shelf or ledge about three inches from the roofs edge. This shelf creates a flat roof area at the roof’s perimeter. Since this Bonita Springs roof system is not a flat roof, the perimeter flashings are not designed to allow for sitting water. During light rains and morning dew water seeps under the roof system and deteriorates the perimeter decking sub-fascia board and fascia board. This can be resealed as a temporary fix, but should be replaced for a more perminate measure.
A tile roof’s cap tiles are installed and held in place by a few different techniques. After general installation mortar cement is used to “point-up” the tile sides and enclose the gaps. This cement is either dyed using oxide during installation or painted using a concrete stain. Over time movement causes the mortar to break loose from the cap tiles. Since mortar does not self-heal it continues to separate. If mortar is the only attachment method the cap tiles are help by gravity alone once the bond is fully broken. Here cap tiles separated from the mortar and are loose. In a storm these would easily blow off and could cause damage to the roof, building and/or surrounding buildings.
Before roof tile adhesive and screw fasteners tile was installed using a single patty of mortar cement placed on the roof and the tile imbedded therein. Although installation techniques required each tile to be submerged in water prior to installation, this was rarely ever followed. Each tile was set in place and left to dry. Over time and movement the tile brakes loose from the mortar and does not re-adhere. The temporary solution is to lift each tile and spray roof tile adhesive under it to create a new bond. However, this is labor intensive. If not repaired, the roof tiles may easily dislodge and become airborne during a high wind event.
Duro-Loc is a local contractor who designed a tile roof coating as a “quick-fix” to existing tile roof systems to provide an aesthetically pleasing roof color. By filling all gaps between tiles and then coating the roof with paint the Duro-Loc company claims this is a new roof. However, there is no code approval for this technique and has caused serious damage to roofs. By filling the entire tile gaps and then sealing the roof there is no way the tiles can expand and contract with normal daily thermal shock. The monolithic layer transfers movement onto the roof’s underlayment and in the structure itself. We have seen these treated roofs rapidly deteriorate and allow seepage throughout the entire roof in as little as a few months. The only way to elevate this issue is to replace the roof. We do not recommend recoating the system, as recommended by Duro-Loc, as it will only exacerbate the problems. (Kelly Roofing has gathered customer testimonials who have asked us to pass this information on to others as a “buyer-be-aware”.
To help improve the aesthetic look of tile roofs specifies occasionally request cap tiles to be installed down the valley area. Tile manufacturers have released technical bulletins warning of issues arising from this practice. When cap tiles are installed in the valley area moisture is trapped and not allowed to flow properly causing underlayment deterioration and flashing rust. Although not worth the time and money to proactively remove, when repairs are made to the valley, the cap tile should not be replaced.
To help improve the aesthetic look of tile roofs specifies occasionally request rake tiles to be installed at rake edges. Tile manufacturers have released technical bulletins warning of the potential danger arising from this practice. Rake tiles are installed with one or two nails and a small amount of mortar only. More than half of the eight-pound tile is hanging over the roof’s edge providing a fall danger. Kelly Roofing does not recommend the installation of these tiles. Although it is not cost prohibitive to proactively remove the tiles, as repairs are made to the roof’s edge, the tiles should not be reinstalled.
Developed by a local manufacturer, Dan’s Customer Sheet metal, a new-patented metal anchor ridge cap flashing was designed to increase the wind uplift of cap tiles. After the major hurricanes a few years ago everyone learned the vulnerability of tile roofs at the high and ridge areas. Tile ridge anchors are now required in all tile installations.
For a period of time the tile industry allowed a reduced fastening pattern in an effort to complete against asphalt shingles, which offered an impressive look and has an increased useful life. During this time many roofs were installed with very few fasteners. One manufacturer’s specifications required one nail every fifth (5th) row at each third (3rd) tile. Of course with the failures tile roofs endured after Florida’s hurricane activity specifications have changed. However, some roofers still use the old method citing the tile’s weight as sufficient down-force. Today’s code requires screws, not nails. Specially bonded mortar and tile adhesive polyurethane are also approved fastening methods.
When tile roof systems are installed on steep roof structures, 1″x2″ wood baton strips are utilized to help hold the tiles in place during installation and provide a walk able surface. Some roofers use batons on all roofs because it keeps the tiles off of inferior underlayments. On roof pitches under 6:12 there isn’t enough slope to prevent the water from sitting behind the batons and find the thousands of underlayment nail holes used to hold down the batons. It is also acceptable to nail down batons and then screw the tiles into the batons. This does not provide the intended wind uplift.
For a period of time the tile industry allowed a reduced underlayment requirement in an effort to complete against asphalt shingles, which offered an impressive look and has an increased useful life. During this time many roofs were installed with simple felt paper, without any type of sealant or secondary water barrier. We have seen an increased number of leaks with this type of underlayment.
Lead flashings are used to redirect water from under the system back up and on top of the tiles. This is considered “Western Style” roofing where they don’t get the rain amounts we get here. The principle is that the tile won’t allow water under the system. However, as you can imagine, our normal summer rains are torrential and force water between all the tile cracks. On tile roof systems the underlayment is the waterproofing barrier and are required by code for this reason. Lead flashings were added during this roof’s installation as part of the opinion that the tile actually stops water and the lead is used at flashing areas to redirect water flow. Since the underlayment is not fully adhered, it is important to keep these flashings sealed to help prevent seepage.
Eve riser is used to prevent rodents and birds from nesting in the tile cells, to uplift the perimeter row of tile so it is the same level as the other rows and helps install by giving a guideline.
Eve riser is used to prevent rodents and birds from nesting in the tile cells. However, it is vitally important that weep holes allow water, which flows under the tile, to escape. In the past mortar was installed to perform this function. During installation the technician would simply use a wooden dowel or furrow to create the weep hole. Too often this hole is made higher than the roofline or not at all. This prevents water from escaping correctly and causes perimeter underlayment deterioration. Often this is the first area on a tile roof to cause seepage. Today’s roofs use a specially designed metal flashing with pre-punched holes. Your roof’s mortar eve riser is showing signs of underlayment damage and may be allowing seepage.
Tile roofs with a #30lb.felt paper base and a #90lb. hot asphalt installed underlayment system is installed and the tiles adhered using mortar add extra weight to the system. During our hot months the roof temperature rises above 160 degrees softening up the asphalt adhesive. With the extra tile weight without fasteners to hold the tiles to the deck cause the roof system to slide, especially on high-pitched roofs. This system is sliding as evident by looking at the perimeter edge. There is no way to repair this issue. However, it is a sign that replacement is near.
When installing tiles using nails and especially screws, an over turning of the fastener can put increased pressure on the tile’s corners. Daily expansion and contraction causes the corner edges to chip off. There is no system issue with this occurrence except to know that more chips will likely happen. The clips can be repaired, if found.