Concrete Tile Roof Leaking


  #1  
Old 12-23-05, 02:30 PM
kayeswan
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Unhappy Concrete Tile Roof Leaking

10 years ago, a local (No. California) contractor installed a Monier Premium Duralite Tile roof for us. Before that we had a wood shake roof and it never leaked. The first leak on our new 50 year tile roof happened the first rain storm. The roofer came back and fixed that one. About 2 years later another leak, in a little different place. They came back and fixed that one. 3 years later another leak in a much different place. By this time we are getting very frustrated since we had no problems with leaking roofs until we replaced it.

One of the men that came to look at our situation said that "this is just a problem with tile roofs. If they get any debris on them, they leak. Is this true? Another guy said he didn't feel the roof was installed correctly, noted that a number of the tiles had cracks in them and proceded to use grey caulk to "seal the cracks." Won't this caulk deteriorate in the sun and eventually crack and leak again?

Third question. When we were deciding which material to reroof with, we were led to believe that this concrete tile was virtually maintenance free and we were told we shouldn't get on the roof because we could crack the tiles. So we haven't gotten on the roof. Now we are being told that someone needs to get on the roof once or twice a year to power wash it to remove the leaves and tree needles that collect on it. We can't do both - stay off the roof and get on the roof to power wash. To pay someone to do this several times a year (we have a lot of trees in our neighborhood that deposit leaves) would cost a fortune over the next 30 years and what will keep them from breaking more tiles and causing more leaks? This is the most costly roof we've ever owned. Is this normal? What experience have others had with their concrete tile roofs?

The original roofer is coming Monday to settle this "once and for all" and I feel like this has been a lemon from the very beginning. I would rather have a 40 year composition roof that we can walk on to remove stuff if we have to rather than this nightmare we have now. Any suggestions or insight into this dilemma would be most appreciated. Thanks!
 
  #2  
Old 12-25-05, 11:08 PM
rdn2113's Avatar
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Hi,

Concrete roof tiles, like slate, can be very durable if they have been manufactured properly, the roof substrate is prepared correctly, and if the tiles are installed correctly by the roofer.

Monier Premium Duralite is a well known manufacturer that has a pretty good reputation in the industry. I don't know which style of tile you have. For many of the styles, Monier claims that they may be walked on if the substrate is done right and the tiles are installed correctly. They also claim to have a 50-year transferable non-prorated warranty. The warranty alone tells me that they have a lot of confidence in their products. (you can Google them to learn more details.)

The fact that you have leaks and many cracks leads me to believe that something went wrong with one or more of the three "conditions" I mentioned above. I recommend that you review the Monier warranty that should have come with your tiles. In addition, any warranties specific to the contractor should be reviewed and understood prior to any additional discussions. Hopefully, all of this is in writing.

Here are a few thoughts regarding the above conditions:

1. The tiles are defective - this would allow you to invoke your warranty and put the liability back on the manufacturer rather than the roofer. Again, read the Monier warranty and follow any directions they provide for making a claim. The roofer can help you put together the claim information (and would likely be financially motivated to do so).

2. The substrate was not prepared correctly - this is not the manufacturers fault, and may cause conflict with your roofer unless you can prove that this is the case, and that it was his responsibility to ensure the roof decking was properly prepared to receive and sustain the tiles during the warranty period. You may have to ask an objective expert - like a qualified house inspector - to come a take a look at your roof. (Avoid using another roofer since he/she is likely to be in competition with your original contractor or may otherwise be bias.) I recommend that you avoid giving an inspector the name of the your original roofer, or any details of your relationship with him. Focus on the roof and the problems you are having with it, and your need to discover why you are having them. Get a report in writing and signed.

3. They were installed incorrectly - again not the manufacturers fault, and will indeed cause conflict with the roofer even if you have proof. This is the one thing that he is fully responsible for without exception. Again, you will need an objective expert to tell you if they have been installed correctly. Get a signed, written report of his/her findings.

Keep in mind that any warranty claims, depending on the cost, may require the manufacturer to inspect the roof to assess the condition. This is not unusual since they may have to pay out thousands to fix this problem. Again, no big deal since the warranty is not prorated.

I hope this gives you some ideas to work with, and that all works out well.

Best wishes.

Rick
 
 

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