Aug 22

Leaky Roof? Roof Materials Strength Weakness

It seems no matter where you reside, this year we have all seen a colder, wetter, and longer winter than in the past.  How has your roof held up?  Wind, rain, ice, and snow all have an effect on the performance of roofing materials, and their interaction with the roofing structure.  In this article (part one of a two part series) we will discuss common types of roofing materials, their strengths, and weaknesses.

Regionally, roofing materials tend to take on historic architectural traditions. However, the necessity of modern Building and Manufacturing Codes has many traditional architectural themes giving way to hybrid designs. Today’s roofing materials are designed to accommodate consumer safety, and environmentally friendly requirements foremost.

In the Western, and South Western portions of the country, ceramic, and cement based tiles are most common. Originally introduced by European settlers as ceramic (terracotta) these types of roofing tiles are both extremely long lasting to extreme weather exposure, and fireproof by design.

Ceramic roofing tiles are ‘lap’ set, one upon another atop pitched roofs. The greater the pitch of the roof, the more successful the ‘run-off’ of water will be.  Generally inexpensive to manufacture, and easy to install, the primary downside of ceramic, or cement roofing tile is their weight.  The sub structure needed to support ceramic and cement tile roofing systems is far more enhanced than perhaps wooden shingle, or asphalt shingle roofing systems.  Roofing joists, sheathing, and underlayments are all upgraded significantly in order to support ceramic tile roofs, and building costs are increased accordingly.

Ceramic and cement roofing tile are attached to the roof sheathing with usually one or two nails in the back end of the tile.  These attachment points (nails entering the roof sheathing) are the most vulnerable for leaks.  With ‘lap’ installation, the attachment points are always covered over by the next tile in series, and therefore are protected.

Where there is a lifting of the roofing tiles, and exposure of the attachment points to weather, there will be problems; water will enter the sub-roof materials, and eventually into the home.

Typical causes for ceramic roof tiles lifting can  include the freezing and expansion of snow and ice under the tile, lift from significant wind, and sometimes, even rodents or birds building their nests under the tiles.

Once installed, ceramic tile roof maintenance is rarely required. However if tiles need repair, adjustment or replacement, always use extreme caution when walking upon them.  Aside the potential for further breakage, treading on ceramic tile can cause tiles to lift, moving attachments, and creating new, unseen problems.

Climbing ladders and getting up on your roof to do repairs can be dangerous, so for safety sake, and for the assurance that roof repairs are done right, go to Handyman Headquarters  http://www.la-laborjobs.com/handyman/ . You can select a Roofing Contractor in your area with proven experience working with your type of roofing system.

If you are looking for a professional contractor to help you with your project check out http://www.mylaborjob.com/find. It’s always free to use and you can find trusted local contractors for any kind of project.

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