Sunday, December 28, 2014

Tile Roofs – Clay or Concrete?

Ask ten Miami roofers, “Which is better, concrete tile or clay tile?” – and it may end up a tie. I prefer concrete, and I’ll tell you why, but it really is a matter of taste. We recently completed two tile roofs, one in Miami Springs and another in Coral Gables, which illustrate the differences and similarities very well.

There are three things to consider when mulling one’s options for tile roofs in Miami – color, profile and concrete or clay? Follow my posts for a while and you’ll notice a preference for white. Shingle roofs, tile, metal roofs - it doesn’t matter - white is better for energy efficiency and durability. I also prefer Spanish S, or barrel, tiles over flat tiles as they allow less water to penetrate through to the waterproofing underlayment. Without poring over engineering and testing reports I can tell you that barrel tiles are also stronger, having walked on thousands. Medium-profile, or Double-S tiles, are even stronger but I am not a big fan of how they look – that’s just me.

It is the strength of concrete that leads me to prefer it over clay. I am comparing the common, mainstream products used in residential roofing systems in South Florida. There are some clay tiles, Ludovici for one, which are comparable to concrete in strength but as I said, I am talking about mainstream products - Ludovici is extremely expensive. You may have read that pound-for-pound clay tile is just as strong as concrete, if not stronger. That may be true, the problem is clay tiles are thinner and that is the main reason for their overall tendency to break. To put it to rest, I have been called dozens of times by distraught homeowners who have had their clay tile roofs badly damaged by exterminators after having their homes tented. I have never gotten such a call from someone with a concrete tile roof.

So, it’s official, Roofer Mike likes white concrete barrel tile. I do, but I am looking at it mostly from a roofer’s perspective in consideration of roof integrity. To me these benefits trump aesthetics and I am not shy about bringing them to a client’s attention if they are at all indecisive as to a selection. I have learned, however, that while it is OK to be so bold as to suggest, you must respect a client’s preferences. In keeping with my general philosophy I put the information out there and let the customer decide.  I have had many people tell me they haaate white and they hate barrel tiles and they love clay. Given that tile roofs are very attractive systems I must respect a person’s decision when they put aesthetics first, as these customers did when they went in different directions with their choices. One went with a terra cotta concrete barrel tile while the other went with a Spanish S clay tile roof, also terra cotta. I am not captioning the photos here. Can you tell which one is clay? Suffice to say the concrete tile manufacturer did a good job mimicking clay tile.    Related Content  

by Michael Slattery                                                                                                 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Roof Cleaning & Painting - Miami Springs

Roof Cleaning and Painting in Miami Springs, FlBefore we performed our roof cleaning service on this home in Miami Springs it was so black from algae growth that the actual color of the concrete tile was difficult to determine. The inherent energy efficiency of the tile roof was negated as it now absorbed the sun's rays, heating and aging the underlayment and raising temperatures inside.
We were called to provide an estimate for a roof
cleaning but upon inspection discovered an attached
 flat roof, a white Ruberoid system, that was equally black with algae stains.
This condition is all too common in Miami where there are many flat roofs over additions which often go neglected for the roof's entire life cycle. One can hardly blame homeowners, really, it is human nature - "Out of sight, out of mind". Roof salesmen hardly ever discuss maintenance of flat roofs and sometimes tout them as maintenance-free! I suppose they are, until they fail . . . No roof system benefits more from maintenance than a flat roof, the life expectancy of which can easily be doubled with the timely application of a quality elastomeric coating.

After cleaning the flat roof and applying two coats of elastomeric coating it was now brilliant white. This will greatly reduce temperatures inside, cooling costs and the load on the air conditioning system while extending the life of the flat roof.
Ideally this roof cleaning and roof painting should have been done sooner but it is good to know homeowners in places like Miami Springs are more aware of energy
efficiency and the benefits of roof maintenance.

By Michael Slattery


Monday, March 17, 2014

Roof Coating Miami – Pinecrest, Fl

This “before” shot of a roof coating job near Miami in Pinecrest, Fl. was taken after an extensive roof cleaning, so you can imagine how dirty it was before the algae stains were removed.  Flat roofs benefit from maintenance more than any other residential system and should be inspected every year. We offer FREE yearly inspections to all residents in our service area.

Roof Coatings In Miami, Fl.
In general, the life cycle of a flat roof is proportionate to the degree it is maintained. Particular attention must be given to the buildup of debris which can eventually rot the roof membrane or clog roof drains, which can prove disastrous. Excessive standing water, or “ponding”, can also cause problems and shorten the roof’s life expectancy. Excessive ponding, as defined by Miami-Dade County, is any water that doesn’t evaporate after 48 hours. This criteria is flawed as a flat roof in Miami could be submerged for most of the summer, so we have adopted a 24 hour standard for our low-slope applications.

The application of elastomeric roof coatings is the most effective maintenance practice for low-slope roofs. These coatings slow the aging
process of flat roofs and increase a home’s
energy efficiency by blocking solar radiation.

Roofer Mike Inc has extensive experience in the application of acrylic, polyurethane, and silicone roof coatings in water based and solvent based formulas. Solvent-based coatings tend to be much more expensive and must be used where ponding conditions are present. Water based coatings are used on flat roofs with good drainage, metal roofs and even tile roofs but should not be applied to shingle roofs.

This flat roof in Pinecrest turned out great after we applied two generous coats of Somay Roof Mastic, a high-quality acrylic coating from a local manufacturer formulated for tropical climates. This application comes with our 5-year workmanship warranty.

The South Florida roofing market features many local and national manufacturers of elastomeric roof coatings. From economy coatings to pro-grade, there is a coating for almost any budget. Roofer Mike Inc is 
familiar with all of them and can recommend 
the best product for a customer’s needs.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Roof Repair On "Crickets" In Miami-Dade

 This roof repair involved two "crickets" in western Miami-Dade County in the middle of a concrete tile roof. Crickets are water diverters commonly found behind chimneys or, as in this case, structures designed to transfer water from one roof area to another.

These areas were created as part of the design of the front of the house to create an aesthetic and detail. The upper cricket is a flat area where two opposing roof planes meet and is an acceptable design. They are flashed using conventional methods. Often architects will terminate a roof plane at a vertical wall, a "dead valley", as in the lower area where the cricket itself was never built. This is simply a bad design but something roofers must deal with. In this case we tore out all roof materials to the wood deck and installed a cricket with a slight pitch to the next sloped roof area. We installed 5”x 7” metal base flashings and stucco-stop, GAF  #75 base sheet and torched a layer of GAF Ruberoid Torch Granule.
Ruberoid is an ideal material for addressing cricket areas.

Tile Roof Repair On Cricket In Miami, Fl.
We installed new metal flashings from the lower cricket, up-slope to the upper cricket and torched Ruberoid over that as well. Then we put the tile back and as an extra reinforcement applied two coats of GAF Topcoat Surface Seal to the lower cricket especially, in consideration of the volume of water it tolerates. 

by Michael Slattery