Repair Question - Roof Leak, Flat Concrete Tile with Underlayment


Our home is experiencing intermittent leaks in two areas of our home, and we believe it is related to an issue on the roof in each area. I had three roofing companies inspect the area, and each one has a different solution to the problem. The roof is about 18 years old. It has flat concrete tiles which are on top of what I believe is a single layer of 30 pound felt. The tiles sit on wooden battens. I believe the original felt was attached using staples according to one of the roofing companies. I have attached a couple of pictures showing the areas impacted by the leak; they are almost mirror images of each other. We believe the water is entering the home somewhere on the roof and then running down the wall near the windows. We spent time this weekend spraying large amounts of water at the windows and could not get them to leak so we are fairly confident the roof is the culprit. Here are two of the proposals we received.

Proposal 1: Remove existing roof tiles in area. Install new double layer felt underlayment and battens. Install metal where needed in repair areas and replace J metal on wall and install new metal behind stucco. Reinstall tiles removed for repair.

Proposal 2: Remove tile at leak area, clean debris in cricket, install new Boral Tile Seal HT underlayment which will be installed (adhered) over the top of the existing underlayment in leak area, reinstall existing tile and cut back to open cricket area.

I would appreciate any feedback regarding these proposals. Thanks!


I’m going with number 2. This estimate includes a watershield underlayment. This underlayment features the ability to seal around any fasteners that penetrate. From your photo, I would suggest looking specifically at the bottom edge of the roof, next to the wall. Alot of times this area will build up with debris, causing the water to hop the kicked out flashing. When it jumps the falshing, it’s then between the stucco and the wall studs, or in your case, on top of the window.


So many wrong turns on this tile roof.

You need a metal drip edge installed to the decking and flanging over the stucco fascia (stucco fascia, yikes). If the felt paper just runs to the edge of the metal and nothing turns down the fascia you have a real problem.

The stucco kick out is too small. The stucco kick out appears to be a piece of tile pan that have been “cut and flipped” into place rather than a independent stucco kickout that is 12" up the wall and 12" on and up the deck with a 110 degree angled soldered outlet. Water can back up onto the decking if the kick out is not soldered.

The stucco too low to the tile roof and water can wick up through the stucco weep screed.


I would defently reconnect upgrading the underlayment to a self sealing type as proposed in #2. If you are going to the expense to take this apart use the best understatement a available.

As keep said the tiles are basically buried in the stucco where they meet the wall, there needs to be space there. The stucco facia detail with no drip edge is a big red flag for a leak, Water getting in that horizontal section can travel anywhere. It is likely a stucco or stucco/roof issue best diagnosed and corrected by a roofing company.

In a situation like this you really need to pick an experienced contractor that you feel comfortable workong with. Once they get a section opened up be available to talk with then look at pictures etc. Do not be surprised if they find something and need to do a change order for more work. Our estimatoras make it very clear to the customer in situations like this you really can’t tell what’s going on until it’s apart.


Thank you very much for all of the replies! This is great information. Does the Boral Tile Seal HT underlayment in option 2, which appears to be the preferred option, have a weight like other underlayments? I found out with option 1 today that they would use two layers of Fontana 30#. I also have a attached picture from the company which provided option 2 showing what the area above looks like with the tile removed. Does proposal 2 still look like the best option based on what is visible here? Are there other issues visible here which could be contributing to the roof leak, such as lack of a drip edge? Also, with proposal 2 the existing flashing would remain. Is it ok to keep the original flashing using the self-sealing underlayment? I believe I was told they would try to put the self-sealing underlayment as far as possible under the original flashing visible in picture. I really would appreciate any additional feedback based on what you see here. Thanks, again, for the assistance!


I also found a picture of the cricket area around the corner which was not visible in the original picture I posted. Any additional thoughts or suggestions based on the additional photos would be greatly appreciated!


Also, the roof is approximately 18 years old. How long should one typically expect this type of roof to last? I have heard some people say 20 years, and others have said up to 30 years. The repair work is not cheap, and if the roof is nearing the end of its life, I obviously do not want to waste money on repairs if a full roof replacement is right around the corner. I would welcome any input. Thanks!


The ties themselves look like they have plenty of life left. However if your tiles were laid in a way that the underlayment is keeping more water out than the tiles themselves then your roof may be nearing the end of its life.


As island said tile looks like it has plenty of life left. If I was giving you a proposal it would be to remove all tile in that section, install all new underlayment, replace all flashings including wall and cricket, and reinstall existing or new tile. In my opinion when dealing with a complex situation like you have everything needs to be redone to ensure the leak is fixed.


Besides natural rain fall and unless there is a two story gutter, Ton of water is coming off the two story roof
Flooding that wall corner and flowing directly under the tile.
It was doomed to begin with…


Thanks, MPA, for the feedback! The first option I listed in my initial post would include removing the existing flashing as well as repairing the underlayment. However, that company uses two layers of 30# Fontana paper. Is that material ok for concrete tile? Their Web site just mentions asphalt shingles for that paper. Fontana has another paper called VulcaSeal 30# which does mention it is for use with concrete tile. Is that the paper which should be used, or should only a self-adhering paper be used like the one from Boral? Once again, any feedback would be greatly appreciated!


The company should have no problem upgrading to a self sealing underlayment if you are willing to pay for it.


Thanks, again, MPA! If for some reason, they do not offer that option, should I insist on the VulcaSeal 30# from Fontana over the Fontana 30#? I have no issue paying for better paper whether it is the self-adhering type or the upgraded Fontana paper. Please let me know at your earliest convenience. Once again, thank you!


I just received a note that the proposal for option 1, which would replace J metal on wall and install new metal behind stucco, but not the cricket, and install 2 new layers of underlayment, includes using Fontana VulcaSeal 30#. Is this paper adequate, or should I ask them to give a price on using a self-adhering underlayment?


Things are five different in different parts of the country. North East here so we have lots if ice and snow, alot of slate and clay tile, not too much concrete tile. You shouldn’t pick a contractor based on what underlayment they propose but rather oh reputation, your confidence in there competence they know what they are doing, and that they will stand behind there work. Let then explain why they proposed what they did until you are confident they are doing the right job. Like I said earlier it’s a complicated section of roof you just need to have confidence in the guy you hire.


Thank you to everyone for all of the input regarding our roof! As MPA suggested, I will follow up with each company to make sure I fully understand how their proposed solution will address the water leak in those areas for good. Thanks, again!