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Figure 2-30: Ridge and hip details for clay tile roofs (C) J Wiley, S Bliss Clay Tile Roof Flashing Details

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Flashing details for clay tile roofs:

This article describes the special connection methods used seal or close the ridge, hip, and rake sections of clay tile roofs.

Because of the longevity of a tile roof, high-quality flashing materials should be used. The International Residential Code calls for a minimum 26-gauge metal. Galvanized steel should have a minimum of 0.90 ounces of zinc per square foot (G90 sheet metal).

More expensive options include prepainted galvanized steel or 16-ounce sheet copper.



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Flashing Requirements on Tile Roofs

Figure 2-32: Tile Roof Flashing Details for Dormers (C) J Wiley, S BlissThis article series discusses best practices in the selection and installation of residential roofing. This article includes excerpts or adaptations from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction, by Steven Bliss, courtesy of Wiley & Sons.

[Click to enlarge any image]

Tile Roof Details Recommended at Openings and Walls

At walls, dormers, chimneys, and other vertical surfaces, extend the flashing up at least 6 inches and counterflash.

Extend the clay tile flashing under the tile a minimum of 6 inches or as specified by the tile manufacturer.

With flat style clay shingles, use step flashing with a minimum 6-inch vertical leg and 5-inch horizontal leg with a hemmed edge.

Profile style clay tiles along a wall should receive channel flashing turned up at least one inch on the lower flange (Figure 2-32 shown at left).

Pipe Flashing Requirements on Tile Roofs

Figure 2-33: Tile Roof Plumbing vent pipe Flashing Details (C) J Wiley, S Bliss

Pipe flashings protruding through a clay tile roof generally get both a primary flashing when the underlayment is installed and a secondary soft-metal underlayment that conforms to the tile.

For profile style clay roofing tiles, this can be 2 1/2 -pound lead or dead-soft aluminum with an 18-inch-wide skirt (Figure 2-33 shown here).

Valley Details for Tile Roofs

According to the International Residential Code (IRC), valley flashing in tile roofs should extend at least 11 inches each way from the valley centerline, and the flashing should have a formed splash diverter at the center at least one inch high.

The code requires a minimum underlayment at the valley of 36-inch-wide Type I No. 30 felt in addition to the underlayment for the general roof areas. In cold climates (average January temperature of 25°F or less), a self-adhering bituminous underlayment is recommended. Battens, if used, should stop short of the valley metal.

Tiles along the valley edge may be laid first and cut in place along a chalked line. Cut pieces are attached by roofing cement or a code-approved adhesive, or they may use wire ties, tile clips, or batten extenders.

Open Valley Details on Tile Roofs

Open clay tile roof valley (C) D Friedman

Open clay tile roof valleys on clay or other tile roofs permit free drainage and are recommended in areas where leaves, pine needles, and other debris are likely to fall on the roof.

Open clay tile roof valley (C) D Friedman

They are also recommended in areas subject to snow and ice buildup.

The open valley on this New York clay tile roof shown at above left has been patched more than once. At right our photo of an open valley on a clay tile roof demonstrates how a snow guard can block drainage of a roof valley, leading to debris clogging. [Click to enlarge any image]

Figure 2-34: Tile Roof Flashing Specifications for Valleys (C) J Wiley, S Bliss

[Click to enlarge any image]

The valley flashing for a tile roof should have hemmed edges and be installed with cleats that allow individual sections to expand and contract (Figure 2-34).

Closed Valley Details on Tile Roofs

In this type of valley, the flashing carries the runoff and the tile in the valley is only decorative. These are not recommended where debris from trees may fall on the roof or where the two roof planes joining at the valley have different pitches or length, causing uneven flows.

Closed roof valley on a tile roof (C) Daniel Friedman

Our photograph of a closed tile roof valley (above) was taken at a home in Surprise, Arizona, in an area where there were few trees or any other leafy plants.

Foot Traffic Advice for Walking on Clay Tile Roofs

Roof tile installation (C) Daniel Friedman

To prevent breakage, walk on tiles with extreme caution.

Profile tile and lightweight tile are the most vulnerable, and concrete tiles are more fragile when they are freshly manufactured or “green.” If possible, place antennas and other roof-mounted equipment where it is easy to access without crossing many tiles.

When it is necessary to walk on tiles, step only on the head-lap (lower 3 inches) of each tile.

With Mission- or S-tiles, it is best to step across two tiles at once to distribute the weight. When significant rooftop work is required, place plywood over the tile to distribute the load.

Watch out: our own experience is that it is absolutely impossible to walk on many clay tile roofs without damaging them, particularly soft clay such as the roof type used in Latin America (our photo at left).

Broken roof tile (C) D Friedman

For these roofs contractors have to remove sufficient clay tiles to provide a walking area. The removed tiles are replaced as the worker is leaving the work area of the roof.

On some other fragile but not totally fragile roofs such as slate roofs, cement tile, cement-asbestos, fiber cement, and hard-fired ceramic clay tile roofs, contractors suspend a ladder over the roof surface, hanging it from the ridge, and cushioning it off of the roof surface using foam or insulation padding, or contractors work from scaffolding. - Ed.

See ROOF INSPECTION SAFETY & LIMITS where we describe roof safety and roof damage issues when inspecting, repairing, or otherwise walking on clay tiles as well as other roof materials such as asphalt, slate, and wood roofs.

Tips for Replacing Broken Roof Tiles - You'll Need These if You Walk on a Tile Roof

Figure 2-35: Tile Roof Replacement and Partial Repairs (C) J Wiley, S Bliss

If a roofing tile is cracked, gently lift the overlapping tile and wiggle loose the damaged tile.

Remove the roof tile nail, screw, or clip with a slate ripper or hacksaw blade.

Seal any nail holes with roofing cement and slip a new tile into place, securing the butt end with an L-hook or bent copper wire (as shown in Figure 2-35).

-- Adapted with permission from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction.

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