In the early 2000’s, DiVosta requested a 4-page brochure be prepared by MonierLifetile™, the now-defunct vendor of the concrete tiles used in IslandWalk. The brochure content has been captured here for posterity. A search in 2020 failed to find the company in the US. Contact information has accordingly been removed. Click a topic header to show or hide the content.
You Have a Tile Roof -
Now, What Do You Do With It?
• The Care and Feeding of a Concrete Tile Roof - A General Introduction
Initially, your new roof shouldn't require any attention once your contractor has finished it.
Some questions may come up over time. This document has been published to address the anticipated questions that may arise and give you some general guidelines to consider.
Some of the typical questions that we have been asked, fall into several different categories.
• So, Can You Walk On Your Roof?
While walking on any roof surface should be avoided or kept to a minimum, occasionally it may be necessary. Caution should be exercised not only to ensure your personal safety, but also because most manufacturers specifically do not warrant tile breakage due to foot traffic on the roof.
If tiles are broken during trafficking, they should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid damage to the underlayment from water or exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
To avoid breaking tiles, there are certain methods of traversing the roof that may minimize damage. Typically, it is recommended to step at the bottom three inches of the installed tile. This is the portion of the tile that is supported by the lapped tile beneath it and the weight is then transferred through it to the deck below.
Orient your feet in a direction parallel with the ridge and try to distribute your weight evenly and walk as softly as possible.
On S shaped tiles, it is recommended for you to distribute your weight with the heel and toe on the high points of adjacent tiles.
Another option that proves helpful, particularly when a work task may distract you, is to use walk pads to distribute weight over a larger area you may be working on.
Pads may be fabricated in a number of ways but are typically made from sheets of plywood cut into 2' X 2' sections. The underside of these pads can then be fitted with softer material such as carpet or rigid foam that will help spread the weight and prevent slippage.
It is also recommended to stay away from hips or valleys to avoid breaking specially cut tiles that would be more difficult to replace. The exception to this would be in situations where the hips and ridges are attached by being bedded in either mortar or foam, in which case, they may be preferred walking paths.
Valleys can also be ideal access paths, if the tiles are cut away from the center of the valley wide enough to allow foot traffic on the valley flashing instead of the tile. Take special care when walking on valley flashing, as the metal can be slippery.
Keep in mind that activities such as gutter cleaning and holiday light hanging can be accomplished by ladder from the ground up, rather than walking your roof. Ladder braces may be attached to avoid damage to your gutters and tile.
• Why is Your Tile Roof Starting to Look Dirty?
Mildew, algae and moss are plants, and like all plants, they will grow wherever there are minerals, moisture, warmth and light. For these reasons, many climates across the country are conducive to mildew, algae and moss growth on everything from glass, stucco, siding, driveways, to roofing products including concrete tiles, giving them a dirty appearance.
The mildew, algae and moss do not grow directly on the tile, but grow on the accumulation of dust and other organic materials that settle on the tile. When enough cycles of heat, moisture, and light are present, these spores start to grow.
There are many environmental variables such as the location of the house, the direction the house is facing to the sun, and the quantity of trees, canals and lakes in the area, all which contribute to mildew growth.
While research continues, currently there is no known manufacturing procedure or job site coating that would have any long-term effect on this condition.
Until the technology becomes available, roof tile manufacturers have no control over the process and mildew, algae and moss will remain a maintenance issue.
Fortunately, mildew, algae and moss can be removed or treated and should be handled by a professional. If the growth returns, the treatment can be repeated, as often as necessary.
We recommend that a professional cleaning company be used, so you avoid the many dangers associated with trafficking a wet tile roof.
• Cleaning, Re-coating or Painting Your Tile Roof
When algae, mildew or moss forms on your tile roof, you can seek out a roof cleaning, painting company to clean the surface of your tile.
The following method is recommended to properly pressure clean the surface of your roof to remove the dirt, algae, mildew or moss. Some differences in method may be used depending on whether your tile is slurry coated or through color. In most applications, though, a pressure cleaner set at approximately 1200 psi should be used. The tip of the nozzle of the pressure cleaner should be kept approximately one to two feet from the tile. The limited pressure and distance from the tile is used to prevent damaging the surface.
Most modern pressure cleaners have an induction system to deliver a 10% solution of chlorine to water. This will help remove, temporarily, the mildew, algae or moss while using the recomended reduced pressure.
If you want to coat the roof tile after the roof has been pressure cleaned, it is recommended that the roof be primed with a clear alkyd primer, following the manufacturer’s recommendations for application and curing.
If you also want to change the color of your roof by painting it, the surface should be painted with a good quality 100% acrylic paint, after the pressure cleaning and priming is completed and dried.
If you don't want to change the color of your roof tile, you may have the surface coated with a 100% clear acrylic sealer after the pressure cleaning and priming.
• What If Your Roof Has a Patchy, Chalky Look?
Efflorescence is a temporary surface condition which is common to all concrete products.
The process is caused by the chemical nature of cement. Manufactured cement contains free lime, and when water is added, a series of chemical reactions takes place.
These reactions are accompanied by the release of calcium hydroxide that can form a white chalky crystalline salt deposit on the tile surface when reacting with carbon dioxide. This reaction can appear as an overall chalky bloom (a softening of color) or in more concentrated patches.
It is difficult to predict how long the effects of efflorescence will last. It depends on the type and amount of deposit as well as local weather conditions.
The action of carbon dioxide and rainwater will gradually remove the deposit, in most cases, leaving the original color of the roof intact without further efflorescence occurring.
It should be remembered that the efflorescence phenomenon is temporary in nature. It is superficial and in no way affects the quality or functional properties of the tile.
• You Found Some Broken Tiles - What Now?
As mentioned earlier, your best bet is to contact a professional roofing contractor to repair the broken tiles. The following provides a guideline of how the broken tiles would be replaced.
When replacing an individual broken tile, it is easiest to remove the broken tile by further breaking it into smaller pieces with a hammer or similar tool. This will minimize disturbance to surrounding tiles.
Once the tile has been removed, any remaining fasteners should be removed and the resulting hole in the underlayment should be cleaned and patched with roofer’s mastic.
For roof slopes over 7:12 (where battens have been used in positioning and securing the tile during the original installation), wedge surrounding tiles upward, apply roof tile adhesive and slide the new tile in place.
For roof slopes 7:12 and below (where the tile has been positioned and secured directly to the roof deck), nail an approximately 12" X 6" piece of 1/2" plywood to the deck in position to act as a batten, then insert a new tile, or apply mastic to overlapping areas of the new tile and put into place.
When adhesives are used, it is important that it is placed in a position that will ensure contact with adjacent tiles, but not restrict the flow of run off water.
If adhesive is applied to the interlocking water channel, it must be placed above the headlap to avoid water damming.
Remove any shims that had been used to wedge up surrounding tiles during the repair process and ensure that all tiles surrounding the replaced piece are properly fit and seated.
• Weathering Effects on Concrete Tile
Since MonierLifetile concrete roof tiles will last for many years, they will be subjected to the worst nature can offer. The combination of elements that destroy most other roof coverings will not, however, seriously affect the protective properties of tile.
Over time, the surface of any product left un-attended will show signs of aging, and concrete roof tiles are no exception.
Tiles are normally colored by either adding pigment into the body of the tile during the mixing stage or by applying a concentrated slurry coat of cementitious pigment to the top surface following extrusion and forming.
Slurry coated tiles are usually selected when high contrast, bright colors are desired while integral colored tiles provide a more subtle appearance. Slurry coated tile can oxidize and turn chalky before gradually wearing down to the concrete base.
The integral colored tile on the other hand may experience some surface lightening but will retain its base color indefinitely.
Periodic cleaning and resealing (as mentioned in another article herein) can rejuvenate and prolong the surface finish of either type of tile.
• How to Choose a Contractor…
Regardless of whether you just want your roof inspected (which should be done every couple of years) or whether you have specific repair needs, you should take some precautionary steps in selecting a roofing contractor.
If your roof is still under warranty from the original installation, contact that contractor for all inspections or repairs so that your original contractor’s warranty is not voided by other contractors being on your roof.
If your roof is no longer under warranty, take the following steps to find a contractor:
- Check with your neighbors for contractors they have had success with.
- Check with the better business bureau in your city for any complaints logged against contractors you find in the yellow pages, before contacting them.
- If time permits, get 2 or 3 bids for the work you need, in writing.
- Make sure that the contractors you are considering have specific experience with concrete tile roofing.
- Make sure you check the licensing and insurance of the contractors you get quotes from.
- Ensure that your contractor secures permits before any work begins, or you will be responsible for any code violations.
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Kenneth W. Brown, 4057 Trinidad Way, Naples, FL 34119
FBO Trinidad Way Neighborhood, IslandWalk