Repair or Re-Do?


My living room recently showed a leak after a heavy rain. I would like opinions on whether I should repair the leak, or have underlayment replaced for the entire roof.

Here are some facts
-26 year old roof with strong concrete shingles and a single layer of 30 lb paper
-Live in Southern California…not much rain
-Had the roof inspected 5 years ago; inspector said the paper was in good condition
-New underlayment estimates are coming in around $14k; repair about $2,500
-Only one person in my neighborhood has had their roof underlayment replaced

What do you think I should do?


Need to see pics to offer any decent advise. Also who inspected your roof? Roofer or home inspector? If it was the latter I wouldn’t put much faith in his opinion as most home inspectors know little about roofing.


It was inspected by a former roofer who moved onto other work. I’m not certain what to take a picture of…it looks like a a typical flat concrete tile roof, and I’m not qualified to remove a tile to expose the paper.


Look for broken tiles and debris build up in valleys.


Of course. My real question though, is if a roof automatically has a 25-30 year life. I have three roofers advising me to replace my underlayment, and a general contractor stating that the roof is probably still good and I shouldn’t waste my money replacing it.


There are lots of different types of tile roofs. Some are 100s of years old and never had any underlayment installed ever. While I doubt you have such a tile roof the point I am trying to make is no they don’t automatically have a 20 yr lifespan. Just it depends on the instilation. How does this contractor plan to “repair” your tile roof is what I would like to know. And as stated in my first post, pics would make it MUCH easier for us to offer decent advise. Without them its like asking “my ford is broke down, should I repair it or buy a new one?”


Sad sad sad, the specs that these tile companies have given to these contractors over the years.
One layer of 43# basesheet."
One layer of 30# felt"
Most of the roofers dont know what to do either
And only want to pay for as little underlayment as they can get away with.
They think the tile is the roof and should be responsible.HAHa idiots.
On a concrete tile roof the roof IS the underlayment.
The tile is just cosmetic jewlrey protecting the suns harmful rays from the real roofing underneath.
Should have been mandatory ice and water sheild
Underlayment over the whole roof
nothing less than 2 plys of asphalt saturated 30# D226.


Wow, they are going to remove the tile roof,
Replace rotten wood,
Remove batten strips
Remove old underlayment!
Install ice and water underlayment over entire roof
2 ply asphalt saturated 30 pound D226.
Install new batton strips(1x2)
Reinstall tile
Plus the ones they broke removing.
Re-concrete in the cap to matching color shade
All for 14k???

hes going to make some money for sure
But its not horrible if he does a great job
With at least the minimal specs exactly as i have described.


Hard to say if $14K is unreasonable without knowing the size of the roof, pitch, height, etc. and also knowing the details of what they are proposing. Agree with roof_lover in general. $14K in Southern California, probably not that big of a roof would be my guess. Labor wise, I’d rather put on a whole new roof versus the material handling in removing, storing/preserving and reinstalling those old materials. How do you account for how many are cracked or will be broken due to mishandling?

Again, depending on a number of factors, I’d look to see if the repair could be done assuming everything else seems to be in good shape. If that doesn’t work, I’d consider a complete roof replacement. You could go back with a cement covered steel like Arrowline or possibly better yet, a synthetic composite material like Brava Tile. Depending on where you’re at in Southern CA and how large the house is, this is a half million on up property. Spending $25K for a new roof on that property is an easier consideration than for the same roof in a rural area of Kentucky.


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Nice job spamming your own link.


I also am in California. 95% of leaky roof calls I receive are tile leaks. and 80% of those are congested single ribbed valleys that need to be swapped out with 3 rib “W” tile valleys. I have done entire re felt jobs on roofs before but I would suggest a repair first. And even then you need to make sure you choose the right contractor.


Most likely your leak is around or below a penetration of some sort pipe chimney etc.? The underlayment should still be good. I have seen 50 years under tile and I live in an environment that gets freeze and over 100f. However the repair should not be to the surface. It should be the underlayment. You should also request the underlayment repair include a flexible flashing to the penetration a single ply material or a modified asphalt will accomodate differential movement and be more puncture resistant.