Swing Tape and Layout Methods Make Tile Layout Easy

When I see a home with a tile roof, my first thought is, “Nice roof”. A roof goes from “nice” to “Wow, that roof is spectacular!” when the installer pays attention to the details. Some details that make a difference are appropriate flashings, or chimney, skylight and wall metal work that is consistent and does not detract from the aesthetic look of the roof. However, nothing conveys the knowledge and skill of a craftsman more than crisp, clean, straight lines of tile, row after row.

Nothing conveys the knowledge and skill of a craftsman more than crisp, clean, straight lines of tile, row after row.  PHOTO: ROOFWERKS INC., RALEIGH, N.C.

Nothing conveys the knowledge and skill of a craftsman more than crisp, clean, straight lines of tile, row after row. PHOTO: ROOFWERKS INC., RALEIGH, N.C.

Consistent row spacing (exposure) is aesthetically more appealing. It requires dividing the space between the top and bottom of the roof by the number of rows while avoiding a short course at the ridge. Using long division and 1/8- inch increments from a tape measure is one way to achieve this goal. However, that’s a method that challenges my calculator, let alone eager installers who just want to start pounding nails. They may believe it’s easier to deal with the ridge when they get there! It’s no wonder new installers can be intimidated by the layout stage of a tile roof installation. Even experienced installers may miss opportunities to minimize cuts, increase efficiency and achieve that “perfect look” we all admire.

WHAT IS LAYOUT?

Unless precluded by a specific manufacturer’s design, proper clay and concrete tile installation requires a 3-inch minimum overlap. That means a typical 17-inch-long concrete tile has a “maximum exposure” of 14 inches. If the goal is to space the rows evenly, we must first determine the location of the eave course and ridge course. For example, if we find the space between the eave and ridge courses is 140 inches, we can have 10 rows set at the maximum exposure of 14 inches. Perfect!

But what if the distance is only 135 inches? Setting nine rows at 14 inches will require us to cut 5 inches off of our top row. Cutting the tile would remove the fastener holes and tile lugs and make the top course uniquely short, taking away from a precision aesthetic. Most tiles have an “adjustable headlap”, meaning the overlap can be increased. If we set each of the 10 rows at 13 1/2 inches, we would absorb the extra 5 inches evenly over the entire slope with an extra 1/2-inch overlap per row. Row spacing would be consistent; fastener holes and lugs intact; and we would not have to cut tile, drill new holes and throw away the scraps.

The math is not always as easy as an extra 5 inches divided by 10 rows. Eighths and sixteenths don’t work well in long division. The TRI/WSRCA Concrete and Clay Roof Tile Installation Manual, from the Edmonds, Wash.-based Tile Roofing Institute and Morgan Hill, Calif.-based Western States Roofing Contractors Association has a Quick Reference Chart on page 27. It shows proper row spacing for sample eave- to ridge-row measurements. You may find situations where the chart is helpful.

HORIZONTAL LAYOUT USING THE SWING TAPE METHOD

ILLUSTRATION: TRI/WSRCA CONCRETE AND CLAY ROOF TILE INSTALLATION MANUAL

ILLUSTRATION: TRI/WSRCA CONCRETE AND CLAY ROOF TILE INSTALLATION MANUAL


Craftsmen develop “tricks of the trade” that make complicated tasks simple, their work easier or the finished product better. The “Swing Tape Method” does all three.

To avoid the math and use the Swing Tape Method, installers mark their measuring tape at the maximum exposure of tile they are using. Continuing with the example of a 17-inch tile and a 14-inch maximum exposure, the tape will be marked at 14, 28, 42, 56 inches, etc. Using the 135-inch eave- to ridge-course distance in the previous scenario, the installer would place the tip of the tape at the eave-row chalk line and run upslope to find the top-row chalk line at 135 inches. Seeing his tape is marked at 140 inches, the installer would swing his tape in an arc to the left or right until the 140-inch mark aligns with the top-row chalk line. Although the tape is marked in 14-inch increments, the now diagonal lay of the tape has shortened the distance of each horizontal row to 13 1/2 inches. The Swing Tape Method arrived at the same conclusion as the previous arithmetic. The installer marks the underlayment with chalk or a crayon next to each 14-inch increment on the tape measure. He repeats the same process at the other end of the slope and then chalks horizontal lines along the new markings on the underlayment.

Using a tape measure with this method requires marking each row onto the underlayment. This only should be done with chalk or a crayon. Scarring the underlayment with a nail or screwdriver can lead to premature failure of the underlayment.

A modern advancement to the Swing Tape Method uses Layout Tape instead of a marked tape measure. Layout Tape is a paper roll marked with red arrows highlighting the maximum exposure for the tile being used. In this example, the arrows would be at 14-inch intervals. Using the same process as with a marked tape measure, the installer can secure the Layout Tape, placing a red arrow on the top of the eave-row chalk line, then unroll the tape upslope to the top-row chalk line. Using the same 135-inch eave- to ridge-course example, the installer will find a red arrow 5 inches above the top-row chalk line. He will swing the tape to the left or right until the red arrow lines up with the top-row chalk line. The red arrows become the targets for the horizontal chalk lines. Because the Layout Tape is left in place, the installer avoids the step of marking each and every row on the underlayment.

PICTURE PERFECT

Of course not all roof slopes are simple rectangles. Some roof designs are quite complicated and as installers we have to play the hand we are dealt. The Swing Tape Method can help you make the best of challenging situations by allowing you to virtually try out different layout options. If a slope has multiple ridgelines, you can set the tape to the most beneficial location. This may reduce your cutwork or put a short course in the least visible location. On larger sections, you may choose to adjust the row spacing to better accommodate ridgelines, headwalls or dormers. Be aware that midslope adjustment of exposure can result in a change to the diagonal line of the tile sidelaps but does not affect function.

Using the Swing Tape Method with Layout Tape or a marked tape measure appropriate for the tile being used will ensure proper exposure. It will also reduce cutting and increase your efficiency while laying the foundation for a picture- perfect installation.

SWING TAPE METHOD STEPS

1 Determine eave-course placement (consider eave closure, gutter, desired overhang) and snap a line to place head of the tile or top of the battens if battens are to be used.
2 Determine top-row placement (consider ridge riser board, ventilation, etc.) and snap a line to place head of the tile or top of the battens if battens are to be used.
3 Using Layout Tape or a marked tape measure, place an arrow or mark at the eave-course line. Measure straight to the ridgeline. Swing the tape to the left or right until an arrow or mark aligns with the top-row chalk line.
4 If you are using Layout Tape, fasten the tape. If you are using a marked tape measure, you must mark the underlayment at each mark on the tape measure.
5 Repeat this process at the other end of the roof. Snap lines between the arrows or marks on the underlayment.

A Magnificent New England Home Receives a Roof that Will Stand up to Harsh Winters

New England winters can be brutal, and the winter months of 2014-15 were ones for the record books. Roofs throughout New England suffered extensive damage from the crushing weight of snow and ice accumulation, including the nearly 7,000-square-foot Waterford, Conn., waterfront estate owned by John Antonino.

For a roof of this size and a home of this value—roughly $1.7 million—we knew we needed a very durable, reliable and proven combination of products to ensure a prolonged service life of maximum resistance to harsh weather.

For a roof of this size and a home of this value—roughly $1.7 million—we knew we needed a very durable, reliable and proven combination of products to ensure a prolonged service life of maximum resistance to harsh weather.


Gerald Stefanelii, a local Waterford contractor and custom homebuilder experienced with Cape Cod architecture, built the Antonino home 15 years ago. The family wanted its residence to be nestled in a prime waterfront location and selected a build site on the bank of the 5-mile-long Niantic River in Waterford, about 10 miles west of the historic seaport and iconic village of Old Mystic. Although the average snowfall in this area is 24 inches, the blizzard of 2015 brought more than 30 inches in a single storm, and prolonged periods of record-cold temperatures kept the accumulation from thawing. As a result of this weather, the intricately fashioned architectural-shingle roof on the Antonino home became delaminated, and ice damming led to serious damage inside of the home, as well.

When Mr. Antonino—whom I have done business with in the past—contacted my company, Advanced Improvements LLC, Mystic, Conn., for an initial consultation, it was agreed that a new roof had to be able to withstand more winters like the one experienced the previous year. Following a thorough assessment of the damage and an in-depth calculation for a bill of materials by my sales and design team, we discussed our recommendations with Antonino.

For a roof of this size and a home of this value—roughly $1.7 million—we knew we needed a very durable, reliable and proven combination of products to ensure a prolonged service life of maximum resistance to harsh weather. This was to be Antonino’s first reroofing experience and, though he suggested a product line to us, we strongly recommended another line of products that we knew were more fitting for the specific needs of his home, including seaside and winter weather, as well as other environmental factors. He agreed, and the project was underway.

A Focus on Every Shingle

We brought in Don Carlson, a territory representative for the line of products we suggested. No matter which manufacturer a contractor uses, it is critical to have a solid rapport and ongoing interactive relationship with hands-on, factory-trained field personnel. Carlson has been a valued and knowledgeable resource to my company over the years. Whether my clients need to quickly see a sample or my team has installation or warranty questions, he has been there each and every time.

We estimated installation of the new roof system would call for a crew of 11 team members under my direct supervision. Because of my long-standing relationship with Antonino and his companies, I wanted to be hands-on with this important job. The bill of materials called for 95 squares of asphalt shingles and 10 rolls of underlayment. A dual-layer, laminated fiberglass shingle was chosen because of its high amount of weathering asphalt. The laminated fiberglass construction also keeps the shingles virtually impervious to deterioration and leakage. Add in a warranty and designer look that includes a multi-dimensional color (Weathered Wood was chosen) and you have a roof worthy of such a grand residence.

We began roofing work by stripping the roof, cleaning up debris and making all necessary structural repairs (the sheathing was not replaced). Ice and water barriers were put into place on the bottom of the eaves, around the roof, and on the valleys and sidewalls.

We began roofing work by stripping the roof, cleaning up debris and making all necessary structural repairs (the sheathing was not replaced). Ice and water barriers were put into place on the bottom of the eaves, around the roof, and on the valleys and sidewalls.


After obtaining the proper permit with the local municipality, our work began. Permits are a given, but my team and I have also found it very important to earn and maintain all the major manufacturer certifications possible. It is important that our clients see that Advanced Improvement’s craftsmen are fully factory trained, and we proudly display credentials and certifications from various manufacturers in our offices.

Roof Protection

We began roofing work by stripping the roof, cleaning up debris and making all necessary structural repairs (the sheathing was not replaced). Ice and water barriers were put into place on the bottom of the eaves, around the roof, and on the valleys and sidewalls. We applied a synthetic polymer-based scrim-reinforced underlayment, designed for use on roof decks, as a water-resistant layer beneath the asphalt roofing shingles. Next, F5 aluminum drip-edge was installed followed by the shingles. Finally, the ridge vents and caps went on to provide proper ventilation.

As with any job we do, the welfare of the people around the site and my personnel is paramount. The crew, keeping with OSHA requirements, used proper fall-protection equipment. Also, because of the home’s layout and complex roof angles, tarps were laid on top of plywood from the edge of the roof, extending 12 feet to prevent debris from falling around the property.

Antonino turned to my company because he had faith he would get the fairest price for the finest work with the job being completed on time and on budget. When I asked for his feedback, he provided comments that would make any contractor proud: “Advanced Improvements not only did a fantastic reroofing job, they were extremely respectful of my property,” Antonino said. “The cleanup was as thorough as the roofing job itself. Also, they actually finished ahead of schedule.” The job was completed in less than one week.

As you’re reading this article, New England’s autumn palette is giving way to blankets of white. That snow and ice will lay on the new roof at the Antonino residence. It’s highly unlikely that it will do anything but rest there until melted away. The new roof will protect the family from the elements 24/7, 365 for many, many years to come.

Insulation Can Act as Standalone Underlayment

Environmentally Safe Products Inc.’s Therma Sheet roofing underlayment has been certified by the International Code Council Evaluation Service.

Environmentally Safe Products Inc.’s Therma Sheet roofing underlayment has been certified by the International Code Council Evaluation Service.

Environmentally Safe Products Inc.’s Therma Sheet roofing underlayment has been certified by the International Code Council Evaluation Service. The designation means Therma Sheet meets the code requirements of a standalone roofing underlayment for the building industry. Previously, code required roofers to install Therma Sheet over a layer of felt paper or another underlayment. Therma Sheet insulation is constructed of 99 percent pure polished aluminum facings, heat laminated to a closed-cell polyethylene foam core. This patented process makes Therma Sheet a thermal and moisture barrier under metal roofing, stone-coated steel, concrete, clay tile and more.

Synthetic Underlayment Provides More Coverage per Roll than Traditional Felt

Atlas Roofing, a producer of felt underlayment, produces a lightweight, synthetic alternative to organic felt known as Summit 60.

Atlas Roofing, a producer of felt underlayment, produces a lightweight, synthetic alternative to organic felt known as Summit 60.

Atlas Roofing, a producer of felt underlayment, produces a lightweight, synthetic alternative to organic felt known as Summit 60. This underlayment, manufactured from strong woven polypropylene fabric, offers advanced benefits not available with traditional felt.

Summit 60 Synthetic Underlayment, which has high-temperature stability and offers greater resistance to UV breakdown than felt, has the durability needed for jobs that have a long open time from the dry-in to the completed roof covering. On certain steep-slope roof projects, underlayment can sometimes face such exposure for up to 60 days. For these roofing projects, underlayment must be able to maintain its reliability; Summit 60 meets these demands.

Roofing crews will appreciate that Summit 60 has a textured wrinkle-free top surface fabric and a slip-resistant polymer coating applied to its bottom surface, for safer walkability during installation. This slip-resistant polymer provides improved grip for reduced slippage between the underlayment and the roof sheathing.

Installation is easier because Summit 60 is manufactured with pre-printed lay lines. This water-resistant underlayment is packaged in 10 square rolls, each weighing less than 30 pounds. It provides more coverage per roll than traditional felt.

Summit 60 Synthetic Underlayment can be mechanically fastened to many different types of substrate, making it a solid underlayment choice for both new and re-roofing applications. This excellent synthetic product can be used with asphalt shingles, clay and concrete tiles, slate, and wood shakes, or any other code-approved steep slope roof covering.

Summit 60 underlayment has earned ASTM D6757, the inorganic shingle underlayment rating standard. Its performance exceeds ASTM D226 Type I and Type II, the standard specification for asphalt saturated felt and it is UL Classified as demonstrating conformance to critical fire testing requirements for a prepared roofing accessory. It also received FL 16226, the Florida Building Code approval.

Designed to enhance the life of a roof, Summit 60 qualifies as an Atlas Signature Select Roofing System component. Atlas Signature Select Roofing Systems are offered at three system levels allowing contractors to target all market segments.

Underlayment Prevents Ice Dams

Atlas Roofing has released its WeatherMaster Granular SE underlayment, which can help prevent ice dams from forming.

Atlas Roofing has released its WeatherMaster Granular SE underlayment, which can help prevent ice dams from forming.

Atlas Roofing has released its WeatherMaster Granular SE underlayment, which can help prevent ice dams from forming. The peel-and-stick underlayment is designed for maximum ice and water protection under any roofing shingles, including asphalt, tile, wood shake, slate and metal. It helps secure the entire deck of a properly ventilated roof, especially in sections where water collects or drainage is slow, as well as vulnerable areas, including flashings, valleys, eaves, hips, ridges, rakes, dormers and skylights. The 55-mil-thick product’s backing seals directly to the roof deck and is reinforced with a fiberglass mat. It is cold-applied and no special adhesives, heat or equipment are necessary.

InterWrap Teams up with Habitat for Humanity to Build Homes

InterWrap teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to build homes and hope in partnership with more than 200 low-income families during Habitat for Humanity’s annual Home Builders Blitz. This was InterWrap’s first collaboration with Habitat, and the company is donating nine skids of RhinoRoof U20, equivalent to more than 500 rolls.

“It’s a great opportunity for professional home builders and suppliers to collaborate and help build homes for families in need,” says Scott Fisher InterWrap’s SE regional sales manager. “Our contribution of RhinoRoof underlayment provides these homes with a secondary layer of roofing protection should the primary roofing fail for any reason temporarily protecting the homeowner’s interior and valued possessions from water damage.”

During the annual building event, Habitat for Humanity recruited and partnered with local professional builders, who in turn provided labor, funding and materials while coordinating the project through its completion. This partnership allows Habitat affiliates to serve more families without the usual tasks of raising funds and recruiting volunteers.

Habitat for Humanity has hosted four national Home Builders Blitz events since 2006, with nearly 1,400 homes having been constructed by construction professionals.

Does a Low Price Mean Good Value or Bad Quality?

Why can’t roofing industry professionals understand that old technology and outdated products that have outlived their usefulness are no longer really considered competition but are a target for replacement? Higher-performing and technically advanced products replace outdated and underperforming products all the time. They don’t try to compete with them on price. That doesn’t always seem to be the case in the roofing industry.

The bar has to be set higher—not lower—when dealing with all types of products in the roofing industry; I tend to notice this disconnect when it comes to woven synthetic underlayments because of my line of business. However, test standards and inspection compliance should reflect the quality of all products in the industry. Today’s consumer is not demanding lower-performing products at lower prices with the intention that the materials on their house or business will not last and will not endure the weather and heat from the sun.

In addition, the roofing industry’s practice of selling the customer a 40- to 50-year or lifetime-warrantied roof with an underlayment that is warrantied for five or 10 years should be discontinued because this concept is not in the best interest of the customer. This is especially true when those products are used in a way that is in conflict with the restrictions placed on price-oriented imported products. Buyers, including roofing contractors, builders, distributors and homeowners, need to read the data and instruction materials to fully understand what they are buying.

Cheaper is not better! Better is better! There is no getting around it. If suppliers and manufacturers are going to employ salesmen and women, they ought to be able to sell the products in their charge and be able to give the buyer reasons why they should buy their product. For example, do you really think the consumer who is buying the higher-end asphalt shingle product wants a lower-end synthetic underlayment? You’re supposed to be replacing poor-quality products, not competing with them.

Using poor-quality cheap products is yesterday’s thinking. You’re not serving the public’s needs with that thought process. Quality and proven performance levels are being demanded in today’s marketplace, and price has nothing to do with it.

Why can’t the roofing industry understand this and stop this race to the bottom?

Metal Roofing Underlayments Protect Structures in Hawaii

The newly constructed Safeway Shopping Center, Honolulu, happens to be the largest Safeway on the Hawaiian Islands. It contains a parking garage below—in part, because of its location in a densely populated neighborhood.

The underlayment manufacturer worked on and approved a design in which the underlayment could be installed directly on the metal deck.

The underlayment manufacturer worked on and approved a design in which the underlayment could be installed directly on the metal deck.

ITS METAL ROOF WAS INSTALLED by Kapolei, Hawaii-based Beachside Roofing, which has been doing business in Hawaii for more than 25 years. The company, which installs all kinds of roofing and waterproofing systems, specializes in high-rise buildings, resorts and complex projects.

The 20,000-square-foot metal roof on the Safeway store had to meet strict color requirements in keeping with the Safeway brand. The color of the roof is Gargoyle, which is a greenish-brown.

The metal roofing was designed to be installed over corrugated 20-gauge steel decks. The underlayment manufacturer worked on and approved a design in which the underlayment could be installed directly on the metal deck.

The metal deck (HSB-36SS type) was installed with the wider corrugations facing up and parallel to the eaves (horizontally). The self-adhering underlayment also was installed horizontally, and the metal panels were then attached to the horizontal corrugations of the deck using panel clips and self-drilling fasteners penetrating through the underlayment into the flattop of the corrugations of the steel deck.

The self-adhering underlayment also was installed horizontally, and the metal panels were then attached to the horizontal corrugations of the deck using panel clips and self-drilling fasteners penetrating through the underlayment into the flattop of the corrugations of the steel deck.

The self-adhering underlayment also was installed horizontally, and the metal panels were then attached to the horizontal corrugations of the deck using panel clips and self-drilling fasteners penetrating through the underlayment into the flattop of the corrugations of the steel deck.

The walkability of the underlayment was an important factor, considering that the roof slope was 4 inches per 12 feet in some places. Also, the 120-day exposure allowance for the underlayment was reassuring, though not necessary for this project.

The metal roofing system included many architectural elements, such as canopies, penthouses and mansards. It covers not just the Safeway supermarket, but also other shops in the Safeway Shopping Center. The way the metal was used architecturally really dressed up the exterior of the project.

Secondary Water Barrier

A self-adhering metal roofing underlayment, like the one on the Safeway Shopping Center, perfectly complements metal roofing panels. The underlayment provides a watertight secondary membrane while the metal panels serve as the primary roof to protect against wind-blown objects and UV radiation. If the primary roof is damaged, the secondary roof acts as the water barrier.

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A Standing-seam Roof Protects a Bank and Its Offices for the Long Term

Located on a high-traffic, signature intersection in Taylorville, Ill., Palmer Bank sought a timeless design that would visually represent its strength and stability to the community of just more than 11,000 people.

Design for the project was provided by The Redmond Co., Waukesha, Wis. The design team blended extensive detailing and profiling of the metal roof with a masonry façade to create an attractive prairie-style look.

Design for the project was provided by The Redmond Co., Waukesha, Wis. The design team blended extensive detailing and profiling of the metal roof with a masonry façade to create an attractive prairie-style look.

Design for the project was provided by The Redmond Co., Waukesha, Wis. The design team blended extensive detailing and profiling of the metal roof with a masonry façade to create an attractive prairie-style look.

“We clearly wanted to take advantage of the great location with a strong, timeless design,” says Andy Young, The Redmond Co.’s director of project development and construction manager on the project. “We presented two options to the bank regarding the roof … It was pretty unanimous that everyone liked the standing-seam profile look. We also liked the life-cycle cost of the roof since the bank plans to be the owner of this building for the long term.”

Installation of the standing-seam roof was completed by E.L. Pruitt Co., Springfield, Ill.

Installation of the standing-seam roof was completed by E.L. Pruitt Co., Springfield, Ill.

Installation of the standing-seam roof was completed by E.L. Pruitt Co., Springfield, Ill. The crew, which consisted of six tied-off workers, installed fascia, gutters, downspouts and soffit. Flashing components were custom-fabricated in E.L. Pruitt’s shop.

The metal is coated with ENERGY STAR-approved colors and is vented for optimal airflow, which greatly in-creases the roof’s longevity and energy efficiency. The metal was installed over roof-deck protection and a self-adhered underlayment.

The metal is coated with ENERGY STAR-approved colors and is vented for optimal airflow, which greatly in-creases the roof’s longevity and energy efficiency.

The metal is coated with ENERGY STAR-approved colors and is vented for optimal airflow, which greatly in-creases the roof’s longevity and energy efficiency.

According to Dallas Stephenson, E. L. Pruitt’s project manager, the roofing job took about six weeks to complete. He explains: “The most difficult part was doing all the seam layout because the product requires a progressive install, which means you can’t really start in the middle of the roof and work both directions. You have to start in a corner and work out of a corner and then work into a corner and then work back out of the corner.”

The metal was installed over roof-deck protection and a self-adhered underlayment.

The metal was installed over roof-deck protection and a self-adhered underlayment.

Stephenson notes symmetrically lining up seams on the bank’s dormers and then across the roof was challenging. “Once we got all that figured out—took all the measurements on the job site and confirmed them—it went fairly smoothly,” he says.

“We knew the many hips and valleys would be somewhat of an installation challenge, but the installer did a terrific job,” Young notes.

Stephenson is quick to return the compliment: “Scott Brooks, site superintendent, and Andy Young from The Redmond Co. did an excellent job of picking a good team to build Palmer Bank. Everything just worked out great!”

PHOTOS: Petersen Aluminum Corp.

Team

Roofing installer: E.L. Pruitt Co., Springfield, Ill.
Designer: The Redmond Co., Waukesha, Wis.

Roof Materials

Approximately 9,000 square feet of 24-gauge, 16-inch Snap-Clad panels and 2,200 square feet of PAC-850 Soffit Panels were utilized to meet the design objectives. The Snap-Clad panels were finished in Charcoal and the 0.032 PAC-850 Panels were finished in Slate Gray.
Panels’ manufacturer: Petersen Aluminum Corp.
Roof deck protection manufacturer: Deck-Armor from GAF
Underlayment manufacturer: Grace Ice and Water Shield

The Benefits of Above-sheathing Ventilation

We know proper ventilation of the attic space is an important part of construction. But what is “above-sheathing ventilation”?

Most roofing materials lay directly on the sheathing. Heat from solar radiation and interior heat loss from the conditioned space are easily transferred through the deck and roof system. This can increase energy costs and cause ice damming. The build-up of heat and extreme temperatures wings can also reduce the life of underlayment and other system components.

Tile roofs have an air space between installed roof tiles and the roof sheathing. This space reduces heat transfer and allows heat buildup to dissipate from the sheathing and roofing materials. This above-sheathing ventilation, or ASV, inherent to tile roof installations can be enhanced using counter battens, shims or manufactured systems to raise the horizontal battens above the roof deck. The system design will vary with the environmental challenge and goals. Specific examples are described below.

The Elevated Batten System by Boral Roofing uses treated 1 by 2s with high-grade plastic pads, a vented eave riser flashing and vented weather blocking at the ridge. With these components in place, heat transfer is minimized and heat buildup is dissipated, which reduces energy costs.

The Elevated Batten System by Boral Roofing uses treated 1 by 2s with high-grade plastic pads, a vented eave riser flashing and vented weather blocking at the ridge. With these components in place, heat transfer is minimized and heat buildup is dissipated, which reduces energy costs.

Energy Conservation in Hot Climates

In hot and dry climates, the natural ASV and thermal mass of the tile provide a layer of insulation when exterior daytime temperatures are greater than the conditioned space in the home. Vertical counter battens or shims that raise the horizontal battens increase this space and the corresponding benefit. The addition of vented eave riser flashing and ridge ventilation completes an energy-saving ASV system. The system shown below is the Elevated Batten System made by Boral Roofing, which uses treated 1 by 2s with high-grade plastic pads, a vented eave riser flashing and vented weather blocking at the ridge. With these components in place, heat transfer is minimized and heat buildup is dissipated, which reduces energy costs. The upgraded ASV reduces temperature extremes that shorten the life of the underlayment and other roofing components. These benefits are achieved with no mechanical or moving parts.

Cool and Humid Climates

The same installation can provide a different benefit in cool and humid regions. The Tile Roofing Institute and Western States Roofing Contractors Association’s Concrete and Clay Tile Installation Manual for Moderate Climate Regions says that in areas designated “Cool/Humid” zones, “Batten systems that provide drainage/air-flow (shims, counter battens or other approved systems) are required.” The area designated “Cool/Humid” in the current manual runs from approximately Eureka, Calif., to the Pacific Northwest, west of the Cascade Mountains. In this climate, moisture-laden air can migrate under the tile and condense in the space between the tile and roof deck. The underlayment is there to protect the sheathing but if the battens are raised above the deck, condensation will be reduced. Raised battens also allow moisture under the tile to escape to the eave. When roof tiles are fastened to a raised batten, underlayment penetrations are minimized.

Cold and Snowy Regions

Ice dams are one of the most damaging phenomena roofing contractors face. Snow movement on roof surfaces can cause damage to people and property. The goal in cold and snowy environments is to prevent ice dams by enhancing the ASV under the tile roof. Typically, a more substantial air space is created using larger vertical battens. A well-designed “cold roof” system that includes proper snow retention is the solution.

The TRI/WSRCA Concrete and Clay Tile Installation Manual for Moderate Climate Regions refers installers to the TRI/WSRCA Concrete and Clay Roof Tile Design Criteria Installation Manual for Cold and Snow. Regions “in locations where the January mean temperature is 25 deg. F or less or where ice damming often occurs”.

For more information and to download the Tile Roofing Institute’s installation manuals, visit the Tile Roofing Institute at TileRoofing.org.

ILLUSTRATION: Boral Roofing