Historically, tile roofs were constructed for use in the arid climates where there is little rain. It’s a great product, but bring it up to the northwest, where we get thirty-plus inches of rain, and things are a little different.
Tile doesn’t actually keep water out of your home. It’s the underlayment that keeps your tile roof from leaking. It really does most of the work. Underlayment can be interchanged with tar paper or a synthetic felt paper, but that’s the layer that does most of the heavy-lifting where leak-prevention is concerned.
When I inspect tile roofs that are leaking, I always check out the gutter. I move the tile away from it and generally find that the tarpaper has cupped right before it goes into the gutter. The tarpaper is not made to pool water. If that happens, the tarpaper will deteriorate over time.
It’s a situation that arid states don’t even have to consider. But since we’re in Portland, we had to find a solution. We discovered what’s called anti-ponding metal, which helps straighten the tarpaper so that the water will rush down into the gutter, instead of pooling.
It’s an easy fix, but it’s not cheap. It’s time-consuming and requires a lot of labor. Really, it’s something that really should be done well the first time. The problem is, a lot of installers don’t take into account the heavy, heavy rain that these tiles roofs have to handle.
At Roof Life of Oregon, we install your tile roof with our climate and your home’s unique environment in mind. That way, you don’t have any costly repairs and you stay dry during Portland’s biggest surge storms.