Many new homes built today have concrete tile roofs installed, and a large number of roof replacements on older homes are now being upgraded to tile roofing material. Unfortunately, the majority of these tile roofs have installation defects, many have major defects requiring the removal of large sections of the roof and reinstalling the materials.
City and Municipal Building Inspectors do not inspect tile roof installations; in fact most do not even carry a ladder on the job site. Regrettably, most Home Inspectors also do not inspect tile roofs and defer them, or they may attempt to inspect them from the ground with binoculars or from a ladder, this is risky at best and some defects cannot be observed without the inspector actually walking on the roof.
Defects we commonly find are improper head lap (overlap) of tiles, hip/ridge and headwalls not weather blocked, missing anti-ponding strips or anti-ponding flashing at eave edge, improperly secured materials, improperly installed or missing flashings and poor general workmanship. Cracked and or damaged tiles will almost always be found and these should be replaced as per the manufacturer's recommendation with new material and not patched or repaired.
Our inspector's have been trained and certified by the Tile Roofing Institute to recognize defects and to insure that the installation standards have been followed. Simply put, when it comes to inspecting tile roofs "we know what to look for".
Most often the reason for a low priced inspection fee is that the Inspector will not inspect your roof. Home Inspection industry standards state that the inspector is not required to: Walk on the roof surface if in the opinion of the inspector, there is a possibility of damage to the surface or a hazard to the inspector. Most inspectors use this as a reason not to inspect the roof. CBC inspectors have been trained on how to walk on tile roofs without damaging the materials.
Before choosing an inspection company, ask if they will mount the roof and inspect the installation. While our insurance carrier will not allow our inspectors to use a ladder taller than 13 feet, we find that most roofs can be accessed/viewed from first story or balcony access points when present. We do not charge extra for this service, it is part of our standard Home Inspection.