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Roofing/Concrete or clay tile


Hi Brian,

We are in the process of purchasing a home with a tile roof and are struggling to get someone to take a look at it in short order--we should be able to get an expert in late next week but that is a bit later than we'd like given contractual timelines.

First, I cannot tell for sure whether it is concrete or clay tile. However, my hunch is that it is concrete. Can you tell by the link to the photos below?

Second, we've been told (and read) the quality of the work will determine the life remaining in the roof. Is there some way I can evaluate the quality. Do the photos reveal an potential negatives or positives on the type of install? The roof is 27 years old so, if concrete, it could have 23 years left in it from what I've heard.


Also, here is the general home inspection report:
Material: Tile
Conditions: Loose --- Some of the roof tiles are loose and or cracked and in need of service. Some ends are open allowing for bird and animals to make nests. Repair as needed.
Location: several places
Rating: Maintenance Required


Good morning Brian,

Well, you asked the right person this question because my company and myself specializes in repair and the evaluation of concrete and clay tile roofs.

That tile is concrete not clay.  It looks like it is standard weight as opposed to light weight.  I like standard weight better.  It doesn't break as easy.

Concrete tile roofs can last as long as 30-50 years.  30 being on the low end and 50 on the high end.

Things to look for when inspecting the roof are signs of previous repairs.  On a tile roof this could be someone gluing tiles instead of replacing them, the replacement of broken tiles, or hopefully you won't see this but sometimes we see roofs that have had that black roofers tar spread around to try and fix leaks.

If you don't see that then the inspector can focus on the quality of the install.  Making sure the storm collars are present, making sure vent cap are in tact and present, making sure there's no leaves or debris in valley's or behind chimneys or fireplaces, check all the plumbing and heating flashing for proper sealant.  If the sealant on them is worn ask the roofer to clean off the worn sealant and reseal them with a polyether based sealant.

Of course all broken tiles should be replacement not glued, mortar should be repaired as needed.

Those are things to look for.  Good luck!  


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Brian Atkins


I can answer any questions related to all type of roof repairs (especially tile roof repair and flat roof repair work). I can also answer most new roof or roofing related questions with the exception of questions in regards to single ply roofing (PVC) and standing seam or metal panel roofing. I have little or no experience with those applications.


I was first introduced to roofing by my father who was started his own roofing career in Orange County CA. By the time I was 10 years old I knew what most general roofing materials were and had some idea of their purpose. At the age of thirteen I started working during the summers doing roofing. After graduating from High School I began working full time as a journeyman roofer doing roof repair work and complete new roofs. My area of specialty and interests has always been on the roof repair side of the business. In 1997 I took the CSLB testing and qualified for a license on my own and moved my roofing business location to Lake Forest, CA 92630. Currently I operate South County Roofing company serving the following areas of Orange County Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Aliso Viejo, Buena Park, Brea, Cypress, Capistrano Beach, Costa Mesa, Corona Del Mar, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Foothill Ranch, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Beach, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Orange, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Seal Beach, Silverado Canyon, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Tustin, Trabuco Canyon, Villa Park, Westminster, Yorba Linda.

I have written articles about roofing in general for a couple local magazines.

La Quinta High School 1988 Westminster, Ca 92683-7098

Awards and Honors
We have a bunch of Certifications from most of the roofing manufactures, some "Best of Awards" from things like Angie's List and some others that I can't remember.

Past/Present Clients
Just your average everyday people. We did a nice little restoration project for the California Department of Parks and Recreation in 2005, the Crystal Cove Beach Cottages -

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