Can Installing Concrete Roofing Be A Do-It-Yourself Project?

Can installing concrete roofing be a do-it-yourself project? There are do's and don'ts and most manufacturers of concrete and clay roof tile, do supply an installation manual in our industry, which is being a market leader.

"Yes, if somebody is pretty competent and handy, the system for installing a concrete tile roof is very easy to use," says concrete roofing expert Andy Dolan of Columbia Concrete Products, Ltd. in Canada. "Most manufacturers of concrete and clay roof tile supply an installation manual. The Tile Roofing Institute based in the United States has also generated an installation manual and it's pretty simple. If you're a handy person, then you should have no difficulty following it," he says.

Because roofing tiles are segmental the process is fairly simple. Concrete roofing tiles come in a number of different shapes and designs and can be attached to the roof structure in several ways. So your first step is to choose the type of tile that most appeals to you and best fits the existing structure of your home and roof slope. If you have a steeply sloped roof you may want to consider hiring a professional roofer who will have the appropriate equipment for scaling and maneuvering steep inclines. Climate is also a consideration in choosing the right roofing tiles. You will also need to calculate the measurements of your roof in order to order the correct number and type of tiles.

If you choose the anchor lug and batten method of installation, the first step will be covering the entire roof structure with an underlinement on which the wood battens will sit. The battens are strips that hold the anchor lugs attached to the back of each roofing tile. Once these are in place you will begin placing the tiles in interlocking rows starting at the lower most edge of the roof and layering each row on top of the previous one until you reach the ridge or uppermost part of the roof.

If you choose another method of attaching the tiles, you will begin with a solid covering of plywood or metal on the entire roof followed by an underlinement. In this case the tiles are attached to the base with nails, screws, or clips. Sometimes a combination is used. The tiles are designed to interlock with each other, which prevents rain from seeping between or beneath the tiles, and are layered in rows as in the previous method.

It is also simple to repair or replace cracked or missing roof tiles. The row above the damaged or missing tile must be raised and propped up with the use of wedges, and the new tile can be inserted and attached by either the anchor lug method or with the appropriate screws, nails, or clips. All that's left is to remove the wedges raising the row of tiles and make sure all the tiles lie flat and secure. Concrete roofing systems have a lifespan of 100 plus years, and the most common causes of need for repair are tiles damaged by walking on the roof or being hit by heavy debris in a storm.

© High Speed Ventures 2011