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Tile Roofs

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What's A Tile Roof Made Of Anyways?

Roof tiles, like the ones shown in the photo above, are normally composed of either clay or concrete. They're technically "hung" from the framework of a roofing system by mechanically attaching them with approved nails, or attached with special tile adhesive, overlapping them to make sure that rain doesn't seep through the system. Tile roofs come in a variety of different profiles, and specialty tiles can be prefabricated to look like almost anything. However, the most popular profile, by far, in Miami is the Spanish Colonial style.




Tear off existing roof system down to plywood decking


Install a layer of 30# underlayment and peel & stick underlayment


Install tiles by hanging them with nails or adhering them with glue


Address any finishing touches or accessories like gutters

01 Roof Demolition

Demolition of the existing roofing system down to the plywood deck.

The very first step in the installation of a new shingle roof is to get rid of the system that currently exists on the roof. Most tile re-roofs begin with a previously existing tile roof, which presents challenges unique to tile roof systems.

During this stage, laborers are sent to the job site with special equipment to uplift the existing system and literally tear it off. This portion of the process creates the most garbage and debris, so during the process, it's advised to not walk around outside as stray nails may be present on the ground. It's also advised to never be outside during the actual demolition as laborers frequently throw heavy tile off the roof into the dumpster.

It's also generally required to have ample space close to the roof to place a trailer or dumpster, usually 20-30 yards in length. For most homes, the dumpster is placed on the driveway. If the driveway is made of special material such as stamped concrete, protection will be placed below the dumpster to protect the driveway during the garbage accumulation process. On larger homes, it's possible that the dumpster needs to be hauled away, emptied and returned, but for the most part, only one dumpster is necessary.

This portion of the roofing process is the most invasive to your daily life as it creates lots of noise and trash, but luckily, it only takes a few days on most homes.


02 Underlayment

Underlayment is normally laid down at the same time as the roof demolition.

The second step occurs concurrently with the first step. That means that as a portion of the old roof is torn off, two layers of underlayment are usually applied. This ensures that your home is never susceptible to new leaks during random rain showers as the underlayments make the roof water tight.

Prior to installing the underlayment, however, the newly exposed plywood is checked for signs of rot and damage. If the plywood is in sufficiently bad condition, the entire board is removed and replaced. Most roofers, including Reggae Roofing, will include up to two or three boards of plywood replacement as being typical on a re-roof. Replacing more than that tends to get charged as a change order to the project. 

This is also the phase where the fascia and surrounding wood is replaced if it's damaged as well. Unfortunately, Florida Building Code does not allow homeowners to save money by forgoing these repairs. Legally, if a board of plywood or surrounding wood is found to be rotten by the roofing contractor, it must be changed out.

After the wood is prepared, a new layer of underlayment, usually what's called a "30 pound" (written as 30#) is installed over the plywood. Different layers overlap and then are secured with roofing nails and tin caps. Then a layer of membrane known as "Peel and Stick" is adhered to the 30# layer to prepare the roof for tile installation.


03 Tile Installation

During this phase, County inspectors get involved to ensure the job is done right.

After underlayment is laid down across the entire roof and secured, it's time for the roofing contractor to call the first two inspections: Tin Cap Inspection and In Progress Inspection.

The Tin Cap Inspection has a County Inspector come out to the job site and ensure that the wood is sufficiently strong to uphold a system, and that the underlayment has been made watertight. The In Progress Inspection has inspectors viewing a small portion of installed tile, usually about 100 sq ft, and ensuring that the tile pattern is correct and water tight itself.

After these inspections are passed, the tile installation crew is called out to the job site to start tiling the roof. The tiling process usually takes 4 or 5 days on a typical home. Tiles are installed in precise patterns, overlapping to give an extra layer of protection from the rain. Depending on the type of tile that was selected, it may be attached by hanging them on the roof, or by adhering them with a glue, commonly called TileBond. 

Special tiles are installed on the perimeter of the roof as well as the ridges to account for the special circumstances there. Additionally, the whole system will be secured with metals on every visible edge of the roof. This means valleys and terminating edges of the roof will carry some sort of metal. On tile roofs, the eave metals are usually manufactured in the same color as the tile itself to give the home a cleaner look.

The typical metal at the end of a roof is called a drip edge and hangs three inches off the fascia.


04 Finishing Touches

The goal during this phase is to pass the final inspection and close out the job.

This final phase of the project has the County Inspector coming out one more time to conduct a Final Inspection. This is the County's last chance to find any mistakes made during the installation process before the County certifies the roof as correctly installed by closing out the permit.

Sometime during or after, the finishing touches are to be made on the project. This includes roof accessories, such as switching out vent stacks or installing gutters and downspouts. 

During this stage, most professional roofers conduct their own final inspection to ensure that everything is both up to code and aesthetically pleasing. Once the whole scope of work is complete, the dumpster is taken away from the job site and the laborers pass through the whole perimeter of the home with a powerful magnet to lift up any stray nails from bushes and shrubbery. They also keep their eyes peeled for any garbage that didn't make it into the dumpster, to take that with them and leave the home in pristine condition.

After the workers leave for the last time, final payment is normally exchanged for the final release of lien and the work is officially considered complete.

Then it's time to kick back and enjoy the new roof!





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Boral Tile

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Eagle Tile

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This is not an exhaustive list of the products used on residential re-roofs. Rather, these are the most popular options. Feel free to click on one of the arrows to visit their website and browse their different products/colors. Additionally, we've attached a sample product sheet so you can see all the specifications of these sample products. This gives you an idea of what typically gets installed on a roof.


As compared with other roofing systems, here's why you should purchase a shingle roof:

  • Shingles are a much cheaper, more budget friendly option than tile or metal roofs.

  • Shingles still provide sizable 20+ year warranties from the majority of manufacturers

  • The installation process of shingles is much shorter and less intrusive than other systems

  • Other layers can generally be added to shingle roofing systems to further reinforce the system.

  • Removing and installing shingles provide minimal garbage, producing less waste, and making disposal less dangerous to the property itself

  • Shingles come in a variety of colors. Almost any color imaginable is available by some manufacturers

  • Shingle roofs require less maintenance overall. Even after years, shingles will generally not appear dirty or worn


As compared with other roofing systems, here's why you should not purchase a shingle roof:

  • On average, shingle roofs will last 10-15 years less than a tile or metal roof

  • Manufacturer's warranties are difficult to invoke and require certain conditions to be met

  • Shingles are made of pliable, breakable material, making it more likely to bend during storms

  • Major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher) tend to heavily damage and decrease the lifespan of shingle roofs

  • Shingles only come in two main options for style: three tab and dimensional.

  • Workmanship warranties on shingle roofs tend to be smaller and more restrictive than for tile or metal

  • Shingle roofs generally don't raise the value of a home by as much as tile or metal will

Considering a Shingle Re-Roof?

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