What You Need to Know About Installing a Tile Roof

When picking out a roof for your home, there’s a lot of options to consider. And you want to be careful with your choice as the roof must withstand nature and time if it’s going to protect the people living under it. 

If you’re looking for beauty and longevity in your roof, a tile roof may be an excellent investment. This type of roofing can last for several decades and provides lots of design options to choose from. If you’re considering getting a tile roof for your home, here’s what you need to know. 

What Type of Tile to Use

Tile roofing used to be more popular back in the day. But that doesn’t mean it’s no longer relevant or out of style. In fact, concrete tiles offer lots of diversity. If you want a more vintage style, they can mimic the past’s classic clay and terracotta styles. But if you want something more modern, there are concrete tiles that can give off that vibe. There are even concrete tiles made to look like other materials, such as slate and wood shake.

Installing the Underlayment

While tile roofs are pitched to let the rain run off the roof more quickly, you still need to do some waterproofing. This is where underlayment comes in as it helps keep the water out.

When installing the underlayment, you should begin from the roof’s bottom edge and work your way up, overlapping the strips. And according to the official guidelines from the Tile Roofing Institute, at least one layer of 30-pound felt underlayment is advisable.

Attaching Battens and Flashing

Once you install the underlayment, you must attach a series of battens to the roof. These long strips of wood are meant to support and slightly lift the tiles from the underlayment’s surface. This allows for better drainage and airflow. By installing tiles over the battens, you can create an air pocket that serves as a thermal barrier, keeping the heat and cold from penetrating the roof. 

Simultaneously, flashing is installed to help direct the water away from areas where water can collect or penetrate the roof. Flashing is often installed in valleys. The point where the two slopes meet directs the accumulated water off the roof. 

How Long Do Tile Roofs Last?

Once you install the underlayment, battens, and flashing, you can now install the tiles. A tile roof could last for half a century or even more when the installation is done right. But its lifespan can depend on the environment it’s in and the type of underlayment used.

Maintenance is also a significant factor in the longevity of the tile roofing. So, regularly cleaning your tile roofing is essential, especially when bird droppings are involved. Bird droppings aren’t as harmless as people think. They are acidic and thus can eat into the tiles.

Accumulated debris can also damage your tile roof. When tree branches, leaves, and other debris fall and collect on the roof, they can prevent water flow. This can restrict drainage and lead to water pooling up and damaging the roof.

If you see any sign of water damage, this may indicate a need to replace your tile roof. Check the exposed eaves for signs of water stains. If water runs down the roof until the eaves, this means that the water has gotten under the tiles and underlayment. When the water accumulates, it can lead to wood rotting. 

Final Thoughts

Tiles are an excellent option for roofing due to their longevity and beauty. However, it’s crucial to install the tile roof properly to ensure a long lifespan. This includes using quality underlayment, battens, and flashing. These are all meant to protect the roof from water damage and provide better drainage. If water does get under the tile, this can lead to wood rot. In this case, your tile roof won’t last as long as intended and would need to be replaced.

Install your tile roof the right way with the help of 5 Star Roofer. We are roof contractors in Birmingham, AL that provide residential roofing, complete roof tear-offs, and commercial flat roofing systems. We proudly serve Jefferson, Shelby, Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, Walker, St Clair, Mobile, Baldwin, and Blount County areas. Schedule your free roof inspection now!

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