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Roofing/Spanish Tile Roof leak...


Dear Mr. Henderson,

First of all, thank you very much for volunteering on this site!
I have Spanish tiles for roof in my house of 10 years.    (We just recently bought the house).     During the last downpour this PM we had a leak over our garage area, where it is difficult to visualize the roof.   
    O   What are the most common reasons for this type of roofs to leak?!    
  Are there any tricks to walking on these tiles?  
  Any rules of thumb in ref to weight, etc?
  How often should I hire someone to inspect the roof?
  Any general advice you could give me?   

Thank you very much!       

Pablo Durissimo

I live in the northern part of North America and tile roofs are rarely installed here. We do see slate, cedar and asphalt shingles.

The roof deck is normally covered with a water shedding felt or fabric. wooden battens, a structure that elevates the tile above the deck is installed. The tiles are installed on top of this wooden grid.

Leaks could be attributed to many factors, improper installation, no underlayment, no mastic on the ridge cap tiles, broken tiles, nail holes, etc.

Check out the Roofing Tile Guru, he may be able to help: for assistance.

Walking on the tile depends on the slope of the roof. the more slope, the more chance of slipping. From a safety point of view I can not answer the part about foot traffic on tile. I suggest you find a roofing tile contractor who can view the roof safely and give you recommendations as to why it is leaking.

A water test with a garden hose may also assist in pinpointing the area of leak. start at the low point of the roof and work your way up the slope.

Sorry that I could not e of more help.


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D. John Henderson


My 33 years in the building science business has involved air barriers, waterproofing, and flat & steep slope roofing systems.


My roofing encompasses commercial systems (BUR, mod-bit, single-ply) and residential applications (asphalt shingles, cedar shingles, slate and metal. I am cognizant of code stipulations in regards to FM and UL for commercial roofs.

Attended numerous courses offerd by Roof Consultants Institute, Roofing Industry Educational Institute, Factory Mutual Research Corporation, University of Wisconsin, and BURSI. Lectured for RCI and mentored at a local university for a Building Science Certificate.

Past/Present Clients
Government, commercial businesses such as The GAP, hospitals, school boards as a roof designer.

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