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I have a Tile Roof with no sheathing or underlayment! What should I do?
This is the old way of doing tile roofing. It’s been around since ancient China, Rome, Greece, etc. It’s found around the world… the Chateaux’s of France etc.

This is how tile roofing was done before felt paper was invented and arguably a great way of installing tile. 1) You know you have a leak instantly. 2) so there is very little dry-rot if every any. 3) the attic breathes really well. 4) it actually works. It’s worked for thousands of years. 5) It’s very very easy to repair. Slide out the old tile and slide in a new one. No felt to repair. 6) This installation is usually only decorative on rear patios by pools where no living space is under these tiles.  This is because this application is no longer code in the Tile Roof Institute Installation Manual.  This is the ancient way of installing tiles.  However, I wanted to give the ancient craftsmen their due for the genius of the application that was around for thousands of years.

Downsides: 1) It leaks instantly. Felt paper does offer a secondary protection. However, felt can conceal a hidden leak for years. 2) It does not have plywood shear on the roof. In areas that experience earthquakes… that shear is a big deal. 3) It allows animal intrusion. I’ve seen attics infested with bats, squirrels and rodents as it’s easy to just walk into the attic. 4) It’s not in accordance with Tile Roof Institute installation manual or any local building codes any longer.  So, this means you wont have a warranty with this application.

If you decide to re-roof your home that has this application you may wish to consider a few things:

  1. Consider sheathing with Radiant Barrier OSB.  The Radiant Barrier OSB upgrade is minimal, and even if it does not work at 100% efficiency due to the skipped sheathing boards it still works and will help the energy efficiency of the home.
  2. Calculate your ventilation. Many times the builder did not install intake soffit vents because the intake ventilation came in through the eave tiles. If you close up the roof with sheathing then you are also closing off your intake ventilation. You’ll need to add soffit eave ventilation to compensate. Make sure enough ventilation is installed high in the roof to properly exhaust the roof.
  3. Install a self-adhered underlayment on the eaves. Wind blown rain tends to affect tile most on the eaves where the tile meets the gutter or drip edge.
  4. Consider installing a rake metal on the rakes. One major weakness with tile is the rakes where wind blown rain can force water under the rakes and rot the gable end rafters.
  5. Consider increasing the overlap on the tile. Most tiles are installed with a minimum 3″ overlap.  Consider going old school and install he tiles with a 4″ minimum overlap. It only adds about 10% more tile to the roof. You may need to consult with a structural engineer – but it’s worth it if your structure can handle it.
  6. Use 5 crown valley metal and side wall metal with a crown or rib.
  7. Oversize your flashings.  Do not use comp flashings on a tile roof.  Use custom oversized flashings for hvac and plumbing pipe penetrations.
  8. Maintain your roof after it’s done. Get it inspected every few years for wind/hail or damage from freeze/thaw and other construction traffic.

Brazil Quality Construction, Inc. CA license number is 975579.

What can I do if I have a roof leak?

What you can do on the inside of your home:

  1. Don’t panic.
  2. Get a bucket or plastic container for the water to drip into.
  3. Place towels around to soak up any water so it does not damage your interior.
  4. If the ceiling is bulging or bubbling – safely poke an approximately dime sized hole in the sheet rock at the center of the leaking area to drain the water. It’s easier to repair a small hole than to fix a ceiling collapse. If the water accumulates it will drop sections of the ceiling. In very large roof leaks this may happen anyway. So, if the leak is very large, safely move things away from the leak.
  5. If a roof leak is in a bedroom with children or other occupants, it is recommended that they be moved out of the room.
  6. Document the roof leak with photos and or videos for your insurance company.

NOTE: Be careful about getting on the roof or accessing the attic yourself. Climbing ladders, walking in attics or on roofs are some of the more dangerous and deadly occupations even for professionals.

Information your Roofer needs:

  1. Where is the leak? Is it on the first floor or on the second floor? Is it on a wall or in the middle of the room? What room is it in and where in the house is that room?
  2. How major is the leak? Is it a major leak or just some dripping? Is it leaking inside or outside in the overhangs, in a garage, or porch?
  3. What kind of Roof do you have? Is it an asphalt shingle roof? Is it a concrete tile roof? If you take a photo of the roof from the front or back yard – many times it helps your roofer determine what type of material your roof is. This may save you time & money. For example, if your roof leak is a real clay roof tile there are many roofers who do not work with that material. Some roofers will not even walk on some roof tiles. If you have asphalt shingle a roofer may have some similar shingles in his yard and may be able to bring the correct materials with them. If you can have the roof leak stopped, repaired, or mitigated on the initial inspection it may save you a tarp fee.

What do tarp’s cost?

  1. In general a tarp is the cost of the materials, time and gas to drive to the property and time to install the tarp.  Remember, that roofing has some of the highest insurance costs in the industry.
  2. Many roofers do not tarp alone, because usually when your roof is leaking the weather consists of wind and rain.  Large tarps may be impossible to install alone in some conditions.  With that being said roofers have their own minimum charges to install a tarp.  Also, if you need your whole house tarped it is a considerable effort and expense.  Tarping around flashings, chimneys, and skylights is extremely dangerous and is generally avoided if possible.  Some roof lines due to the architecture, steep slope, or low slope may be impossible to properly tarp.
  3. Tarps are not a roof, and may not fully stop a roof leak.  They also are not made to stand up to heavy wind gusts or pouring rain storms, etc.

Tip:  Many roofers will offer you a discount off the tarp fee if you use them for a re-roof or repair.  

After your roof leak is inspected, tarped, mitigated, etc., you will probably need some roof repairs.

What are the most common causes of roof leaks?

  1. Flashings.  The flashing is too small, or the material is wrong for the application, or the flashing is in the valley or below the valley.  The flashing is rusted or parts of the flashings are not sealed, or the flashing is full of debris.  Also, certain weather seals need to be replaced from time to time like rubber collars, or the sealant in the skylight lid.
  2. Missing or broken tiles or shingles.  Lots of roofers will repair tiles by gluing them together.  This doesn’t work and allows water intrusion.  Roof tiles need to be replaced.  Shingles that are blown away need to be replaced with new shingles.  (usually you need to hand tab these down)
  3. Debris on the roof.  Debris causes water dams.  The water cannot flow off the roof and goes side ways under tiles or shingles or even up hill!  Contrary to popular belief… underlayment is not the real roof in 99.9% of applications.  Water getting on your underlayment regularly will rot the underlayment and cause damages and or leaks.  (Picture of debris on a roof)
  4. The roof is bad.  The roof may be in need of a re-roof or it’s done wrong and needs a re-roof.

Reminder:  All roofs need Maintenance and Cleaning from time to time.  Schedule a Maintenance inspection with a Licensed and Insured Roof Contractor.

It is best not to wait for your roof to start leaking before you have it inspected.  We offer inspections, roof repairs, maintenance, and cleaning.  We maintain our workers compensation and liability insurance so you can have peace of mind while we work on your home.

Check your contractors license by clicking here: https://www.cslb.ca.gov/onlineservices/checklicenseII/checklicense.aspx

Or go to www.cslb.ca.gov and find the check license page and type in the contractors license.

Brazil Quality Construction, Inc. CA license number is 975579.

What to expect when you request an estimate?
  1. You can email, text, call or fill out our estimate request form with your information. The general information we need is:
    1. Name.
    2. Address of the roof that needs to be inspected/replaced.
    3. Phone Number and other contact information.
    4. Preferred method of contact – phone calls, text, email, fax or all the above.
    5. Type of roof you currently have and type of roof you are interested in getting a quote on.
    6. Any other notes you wish to share.
  2. Our Professional Estimator will contact you and schedule a time to go to your property. You can be present, but it is not required as long as we have access to all the roof areas for inspection and measuring. It is helpful if we can get in the attic to check insulation levels as well. Solar estimates require us to check your electrical panel, and shading from trees, etc.
  3. After we inspect and measure the roof we will work up a detailed written estimate and schedule to meet with you at a time and place convenient for you. We can then explain to you the estimate, time frames, details etc… and answer any questions you may have. Appointments can be as quick as a coffee break or they can be more in-depth. Our goal is to answer all your questions and make sure you feel comfortable with the installation methods and the whole construction process including permits, city officials, installation, weather, clean up, etc.
  4. We are a NO-PRESSURE sales company. We do not use “high pressure” sales tactics that are common in the industry. Our Estimator’s present the facts, answer your questions, give you a legal written estimate with our time tested method of installation, and you as the homeowner can then exercise your right to choose who you want to do business with. We hope to earn your business with an honest, straight-forward, educational approach built on our reputation in the industry as a quality and customer service oriented company.
  5. Contact Us. It’s Free. We will not hound you with sales calls or just show up at your house. There is a reason most of our customers use us again, and most our clients are through referral. Go to our Contact Us page by clicking here -> CONTACT US

Did you know that in California you can cancel a contract up to 3 days after signing a Home Improvement Contract? Know your rights as a homeowner by visiting Contractors State License Board at www.cslb.ca.gov

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by Brazil Quality Construction, Inc. Always consult a licensed, insured, professional contractor. Always consult local building codes and governing authorities.

Roofing Terms Explained
Roofing has a whole language of its own. It is a mish-mash of framing and roofing terms with some areas of a house being called a different name based on who you speak with. Here are some definitions below. Many of the definitions can be found in the Tile Roof Institute Installation manual detail MC-01.

1. Square
Roofing is done by the “square” which equals a 10 foot by 10 foot area or 100 square feet. 1 roofing square = 100 square feet.
2. Field of Roof
The central or main portion of a roof, excluding the perimeter and flashings.
3. Eave
This is generally the edge of the roof where gutters are installed. Most roofers use this term only to describe the bottom edge of the roof where the gutters are installed, framers will use this term at times to describe all the perimeters of the roof.
4. Fascia
This is typically a board that is installed on the eave that is installed over the rafter tails as a decorative cap to protect the rafter tails. The gutters are installed over this board. Since this board is on the eave many framers will say “fascia” when referring to the eave. Some framers also refer to the Barge (see #5) as fascia as well… adding to the confusion.
5. Gable/Rake/Barge
These terms get mixed together and they refer to the same thing but different. Gable is typically a framing/architectural term that refers to the style of house. A “gable” house is a house with no hips… it can be described as the house you drew as a child… two walls and triangle on top. That is a “Gable”. The “rake” is edge of the gable. For example in tile roofing we have “rake trim” which is the tiles that hang off the gable edge or rake. “Barge” is used as a framing term for the lumber that makes up the rake. Confused yet? Me too. See the picture.
Barges rakes Eave Field and Hip
6. Hip
This is a framing/architectural term to refer to the style of the house and the framing member that creates the “look” that is being designed. A Hip is usually a framing board that begins a “turn” in the house that runs 45 degrees with the slope up to a peak. Hips usually run parallel with valleys.
roofing Lingo - Hip and Valley
7. Sheathing
Decking that the roof will be fastened too. Old shake roofs used “Skipped Sheathing” and all new tile and composition shingles require “Solid Sheathing” or plywood/OSB to be installed for a solid deck. Sheathing comes in multiple thicknesses/material and Radiant Barrier options are available.
Radiant Barrier Sheathing
8. Underlayment
This is a moisture/vapor barrier that is installed under the roofing shingles or tiles. Some underlayments are self-adhering and they seal the nails completely from water intrusion. (Many roofers call these self-adhering types of underlayment’s “Ice Shield” because of the brand name “Grace Ice & Water Shield” that has been a top notch brand of self-adhering systems for years.) Typical underlayments are 15lb or 30lb (ASTM) roofing felt paper. Recently SBS Modified and Synthetic underlayments have made a surge in the marketplace.
9. Roof to Wall
Anywhere the roof and a wall intersect is a roof to wall are requiring special flashing for each specific area. Each material requires a different type of flashing. For example, on a side wall a step shingle is required for shakes or comp shingles, but in roof tile a tile pan metal is required to flash this area. The flashing of roof to wall areas is critical to any quality roofing installation. Technically Roof to Wall areas fall into two major categories: Side Walls and Head walls.
10. Roof Jacks
These are the plumbing pipes, and fan pipes that vent out of the roof. The plumbing pipes are actually air intakes. When you turn on your sink or flush the toilet; have you ever wondered why the water does not “glug” like when you pour water out of a bottle? If you ever pour water out of a large bottle – poke a hole in the bottom of the bottle to allow air in and it will no longer “glug”. This is essentially what plumbing jack pipes do… they allow for your shower/faucet/toilet etc… to function smoothly without “glugging”. These pipes stick through the roof and it’s our job to make sure they do not leak – so we have to flash them. The fan jacks exhaust air from your kitchen hood, bathroom fans, and dryer vent. (Be sure to clean out your dryer vent on a regular basis. Clogged dryer vents cause lower drying efficiency and a fire hazard. If you have a dryer cleaning company walk on a tile roof – always get a roof inspection after they get off your roof.) All these roof jacks have to be properly flashed for the specific type of roof being installed on your house.


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    3871 Security Park Drive
    Rancho Cordova, Ca 95742
    CA License #975579

    Phone: (916) 873-ROOF (7663)
    Fax: (916) 351-8226
    Email: info@brazilroofs.com
    Text: (916) 805-9949

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    Michael J. Brazil

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