When you think of concrete or clay tile roofing, you often picture the terra-cotta coloured skyline of California, Florida, or some other warm destination. Many builders and home owners have tried to replicate this coastal look on the West Coast, but unfortunately have run into issues over the years, mainly because in Greater Vancouver we don’t have the same high-heat climate. Vancouver is a rain forest, and in order to protect one of your biggest investments, you need a roof that has zero water absorption and can withstand years of rainfall.
Ninety percent of the tile roofs in the lower mainland are concrete tile roofs and not clay tile roofs. Concrete roofing tiles are a porous material that absorbs water which freezes and creates spider cracks over time; coupled with months of rain which erode and wear down the concrete tile makes for an undesirable situation for concrete tile roofs.
Repair Broken Concrete Roof Tiles & Concrete Roof Tile Maintenance
All roof types require maintenance and concrete tile roofs are no exception. Regular gutter cleaning, skylight washing, removing leaves and moss from your roof are needed to keep your roofing system performing adequately. Difficulty comes into play with concrete tile roof maintenance because walking on concrete tile roofs often cause the tiles to crack and break. Over the years, concrete tiles become brittle due to exposure to ultra-violet light and will crack or break under pressure. Storm debris such as a falling tree branch, or simply from the concrete roof system naturally expanding and contracting over the years are other common factors for why tiles can break. Once a crack is noticed it’s important to correct immediately because the roofing underlay is exposed to the elements; this can prove difficult to repair because someone walking across the brittle tiles often cause further damage. For this reason, concrete tile roofing is known for being high-maintenance in comparison to other types of roofing like standing-seam metal or rubber roofing which require very little maintenance over the years.
EPDM Gutter Lining Failure in Concrete Tile Roofs
One of our most common concrete tile roof repair calls from home owners is for developing leaks. Most often than not this is due to a failing EPDM internal gutter lining. Many of the homes that had concrete tile roofs installed in Greater Vancouver in years passed were installed quickly and the EPDM internal gutters were not installed to today’s rigorous roofing standards. Nowadays, EPDM internal gutter lining is installed at tie-ins, drain seals and around other protrusions where water could potentially ingress. Many of the homes we have converted to other types of roofing materials show that the previous installers did not install EPDM internal gutters correctly at these locations or sometimes did not install any at all!
It’s important to remember that concrete roofing tiles are not waterproofing material and once EPDM internal gutters have been damaged your home is no longer protected from the rain. Concrete tile roofs can reach a high surface temperature in the summer which can contribute to the expansion and contraction of the tiles that can lead to failure of the concrete roof tile system. Unfortunately, most manufacturers and roofing companies installing concrete tiles are no longer in business in BC which leaves concrete tile home owners in a difficult position when in need of repair for their concrete tile roof.
At Penfolds Roofing & Solar we do not install concrete tile roofing because of the reasons above. To our customers we recommend converting away from concrete tile roofing to better weather-proofing material made for the West Coast, such as our exclusive CedarTwin asphalt line or our environmentally-friendly rubber EcoRoof. If the elegant design of slate tile is what you’re after and you live on the “wet coast”, no need to despair. The EcoRoof comes available in both a medium and heavy slate tile profiles and a variety of colours. Aside from knowing your home will be protected from the wet weather along the coast, you can feel good knowing that your EcoRoof is made of 95% recycled material and is keeping 200-400 tires out of the landfill. No longer will you need to worry about broken tiles cascading off your roof or leaks in the internal gutter lining, the EcoRoof comes with a 50 year warranty so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your attractive, waterproof roof for years to come.
Before – Concrete Tile Roof
After – EcoRoof Medium Shake in Woodlands Brown
Concrete Tile Roof Repair vs. Conversion