Portland Roofing Contractor

Podcast: What Is Tile Made Of & How Do You Maintain It?

Aerial View

In this episode, Mark walks us through the different types of tile used for roofing and how Roof Life of Oregon’s crews maintain tile roofs.

Transcription of Podcast: RoofLifeB014- 116

Shayla: Thank you for joining us today for the Roof Life of Oregon podcast. I’m talking today with Mark who is a roof specialist at Roof Life. And, Mark, what makes up the component of a tile on a tile roof?

Mark: A tile is a concrete piece. It’s all manufactured, all replicated in the same dimensions and same material, and it actually fits and interchanges with the same roofing system. Now there are different types of tiles and different profiles. We have fancy names like Roma or Villa or slate. I happen to hold a piece of tile in my hand. It’s very smooth. It has a flash, we call it stripes or a flash, and the manufacturer is embedded in the back of each tile. And so we know what type of tile we can walk on, what type of tile it is, so we can replace it. It’s pretty exciting, actually, to go up to a roof and know that it’s a Monier, for example. We can walk on Monier. But there are other types of tile that we can’t walk on, because they’re too porous, too unstable. Nobody should be up on a roof that will collapse or break with every step that they take. There is a special way to walk on tile. I won’t go into that in this series, but a lot of times just the basics of looking at tile, we can identify what kind it is and if we can maintain it, meaning that we can walk on it and we can clean it. The tile that I hold in my hand, if I was to turn it upside down, it has a couple of areas here, it’s protrusions for those of you who can’t see it, and the protrusions actually hang on a one-by-two piece of wood. We call that a batten board. And the protrusions on the backside of the concrete tile actually hang on the batten board, like cleats. Some folks like to drive nails through the concrete tile and into the batten board. It’s a great way to secure them, but it’s really difficult to get them off sometimes because the tile that’s about it actually covers the hole where the nail holes are.

Shayla: So Mark, tell me what happens when you get damage to a tile. Does that mean the roof is shot or can you sort of work in pieces on the roof?

Mark: They are interchangeable and we replace the broken tile with the same tile that’s already there. Now what we can do is, once we identify the tile and the style, to answer your question, you remove the broken one and reinstall a new one. Now some homeowners might say, Mark, there is a difference between the brand new one that you brought and the existing one that is on my roof. The existing tiles have already been weathered, they’ve been stained, and it would be disastrous to see a brand new tile coming down your driveway as you look up and see one brand new tile. How awkward that would look. Your eye would automatically go to that one tile. So what we do, is we take the one brand new tile and we put in a location somewhere on the roof that you really don’t see and then we take a weathered tile from that location and put it in the place that you can actually see it. So it actually blends in better; still functional, but it doesn’t draw your attention to it. So on a tile roof, we do take our time. We have lots of things to look at. We have a saying here at the office, if it’s a tile roof, you’re going to be there for a while.

Shayla: Thank you so much, Mark. If you guys have questions about tiles, as you can tell, the guys at Roof Life of Oregon know the ends and outs of your roof, and they’re happy to talk to you about any of it, no matter how simple the question may be. Thanks, Mark.

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