New terracotta tiles leaking

Hi - I’m a newbie.
We’ve just had a totally new roof put on our house and with the first heavy rain of the year the tiles began to leak. Our builder said that it must be a problem with the tiles and so he invited inspectors of the tiles to come and check. At the meeting they removed some of the tiles and indeed the underside of the tiles was damp. They accepted that seemed to be aproblem and said that this was completely natural process for the tiles to behave as such and that the rain of that instance was exceptionally heavy and caused them to leak. Now to me that’s totally unacceptabnle and we are insisting on new tiles. Our builder is in a very difficult position as it seems other houses that he built using the same tiles have also leaked.

The manufacturers have offered us a deal whereabouts they will seal the roof with resin and offer us the same 30 years guarantee.

Please has anyone else had a similar situation with their tiles? Or any helpful comments because we are in a real mess about this.

The bigger problem most likely lies with your underlayment. Tiles by nature allow some moisture through. The underlayment is there to ensure that this moisture does not make its way into your house.

The problem is not with the underlayment. Tiles “by nature” do not, and if installed correctly will not allow water into your house. There is a problem with the installation, either their gauging is out of wack and the headlap is inadequate, or a busted/cracked tile somewhere, that was missed and needs to be swapped out. Your tile roof is a lifelong product and will be fine. I would’nt go with resin although I am unfamiliar with it. You paid for a product and that is what you should get.
Chris, we been through this before here. Millions of tile roofs outside the US are installed every year without a waterproof underlayment and never leak. Don’t take it personally, just sayin’

No offense taken. I do not do tiles roofs but i have repaired a good deal of them. My experiences could be due to our lovely horizontal rainstorms combined with our sub 6 pitches here in florida. I do not claim to be a tile expert and I am always interested in the advice and experiences of others.

Could very well be the tile.

There is good tile, such as clay tile from Ludowici,which do not absorb water. And there are cheap cement composite tiles, which are easily broken and absorb water.

Could also be poor installation.

I think sealing the roof would cause more problems. And if the manufacturer is suggesting that, obviously they know they have problems. The thirty uear guarantee is useless if they are out of business next year.

Ask for a full refund of both labor and materials from the manufacturer, and put it towards a good clay tile roof.

Have to side with Dennis here. never ‘seal’ a roof. And something is definitely wrong somewhere.

You are correct RooferChris that a tile roofs needs a heavy duty underlayment installed with care. Its BS that you could install a tile roof with no underlayment without problems. I do a lot of tile roofs and we will be starting a Ludowici-Celadon rip and relay soon. That is we take off all the 100 year old tile numbering the cut ones, and reinstall the same tile with new underlayment,flashing work and fasteners, copper slaters nails good for another century we hope. this is also common with slate although slate is much tighters with its headlap. underlayment should be a minimum of 30lb or base sheet if not full I&W shield fastened with buttons with no holes through it. Do NOT seal the roof it will make it a bitch to do any future repairs on and is a crap solution to any problem.

You say it is BS.
But you’ve never done it so you don’t know.
Why are you using “copper slaters nails”?

“You are correct RooferChris that a tile roofs needs a heavy duty underlayment installed with care. Its BS that you could install a tile roof with no underlayment without problems.”

Depends on your location and design. Here in Ohio we work on tile roofs that are 90-100 years old and the old tar paper is dust. No leaks except where the flashing needs replaced.
If I were in a high wind area such as the Atlantic coast or Florida, I would use a heavy underlayment. Although it would have to be a good enough underlayment to last the life of the tile after having been nailed through.

I have done a ton of tile DT’s and the principle of the roof is the underlayment and the tile is just an estetic unless you have glazed clay tile or synthetic. You can install a good clay and have no water under them. Concrete is less likely…concrete is a porous material and needs a coating to be totally waterproof.

I like a 40# underlay, but do not rely on it. Often make repairs on broken tiles and find no sign of underlay. Some are on skip sheathing and never had underlay. I don’t patch holey felt. The roof will keep the water away.
MikeNZ has many pictures in his albums of batten and rafter roofs, no underlay. Of course his weather is better on the NZ coastline with winds in the 60MPH range all the time and it rains once a day minimum, as a rule.

Just a setting test post. Disregard.

I’ve personally never installed a tile roof. but i know down in south florida don’t most roofing contractors hot mop the roof to make it water tight? the last roofing contractor i worked for had a tile roof install and he dried it in with non torch modified bitumen nailed the top of the rows and then bulled the laps. sounds pretty shoddy if i say so myself.

Its very common in Florida to put modified or base sheet as underlayment for tile. here in New England a lot of the old ones had two ply 30 or 40 lb felt. that is why they need to be taken off and put back after ninty years or so with new underlayment. A lot of old tiles roofs didnt have the cuts mudded with red cement. nasty rip get real dirty and very common to have all kinds of critters living under the tile Bats,Bees etc…