Tile Talk: Upgrade Your Installation

Don’t Miss the Opportunity to Upsell Components

by Richard K. Olson, president & technical director, Tile Roofing Industry Alliance










(Editor’s Note: Richard K. Olson is president and technical director for the Tile Roofing Industry Alliance. The association represents industry professionals involved in the manufacturing and installation of concrete and clay tile roofs in the United States and Canada, and works with national, state, and local building officials to develop installation techniques, codes, and standards for better roofing systems. Olson can be reached at rolson@tileroofing.org.)


The ability to increase the life of a roofing system is a key point of selling our services in both new construction and reroof markets. Roofing professionals need to become familiar with the component options for any steep-slope roofing system and learn how to make them a positive selling point in project quotes. Components not only upgrade your installation, but can also help save time, money, and increase margins if properly presented to the building owner. When doing roof maintenance, the ability to highlight the benefits from the additional work that provides a significant increase in the life of the roof is an easy sell.



As upgrades, the installation of improved underlayments under the valley metals can increase the long-term life. For our tiles, we have batten extenders that allow the cut tiles to be properly supported and can reduce the labor time in these areas. The upgrade to the inclusion of the batten extenders can reduce the chance of tiles settling into the valley, creating natural dams that redirect the water onto the roof plane. They also prevent the tile from pushing down or impeding the ability of the crimped edges of the valley metals to perform as designed. The use of the raised batten system options can also perform a similar function.


Raised Batten Installations

The batten acts as the code-required fastener for the areas of the roof that are not considered the perimeter. We have performed extensive research on the movement of air around our tiles that create a natural above sheathing ventilation (ASV). This natural air movement from the eave to the ridge increases the energy efficiency of the roof by reducing the heat transfer to the attic and condition airspaces below. By increasing the height of the battens through installing a vertical batten, raised batten, or an arched batten, we increase the ASV and increase the overall energy performance of the roof system.

Beyond the increased energy efficiency is the reduction of potential water that might get trapped upslope of the batten when it is installed directly to the deck. The airspace created allows any water that might have breached the system to have a path to easily flow downslope and off the roof. With the raised batten there is not the ability for buildup of sand, silt, and debris that often accumulates when a direct to deck horizontal batten is present.


Flexible Flashings & Weather Blocking

Upgrades to a flexible flashing will reduce your installation labor and provide an increased sealing and overall weather blocking performance. These self-adhering products are flexible and can eliminate the need for the use of lead-based products for profiled tile shapes. These flexible products are being used for the sealing of the ridge areas to help increase the ventilation of the roof system. For eave areas, we have vented eave closures and design technics that allow the intake of air into the ASV areas. Combined with the ridge venting materials, they allow the full path of air movement from the eave to the ridge. These components can be easily incorporated into your maintenance work or reroof projects as an upgrade that increases the overall roof performance.


Roof Vents

By increasing the ventilation performance per vent, we can reduce the number of vents needed to meet the codes for a balanced roof system. For concrete and clay roofing tiles, there have been new expanded product designs that make roof ventilation more aesthetic and blend into the tile systems. There are now deck vent options, tile integration, and rooftop-mounted products for the roofing professional to consider. During maintenance inspections, the condition and performance of the roof vents, in addition to any roof penetrations, should be evaluated. This is a great time to discuss upgraded components for improved life, aesthetics, and better performance as a roof assembly.