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What type of roof is this?


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We don't have many roofs like this one in my area. Is this French tile? Are there any special sealing techniques that need to be done? How are these normally fastened?

Sorry, but it was the only pic I have on file of this type of roof.

Did a home yesterday (didn't have my camera) with this type of roof. Thin tile looking material with cap tile. From the attic, I could see the decking rotted or water stained at every hip plus daylight coming through in several areas including the ridge. These tile appeared to be "nailed" on with thin copper wire nails. All the "nails" were bent over slightly. The "nails" had no heads, which is why they were bent over I'm assuming. Any information on this type of roofing would be appreciated.

Donald

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It looks like an old tin roof. The nails with no heads sound like hand made nails. If it is a tin roof it can last upwards of 100 years or longer if it has been taken care of. The majority of the ones I have seen have not been taken care of. They need to be painted. They are nailed to the the roof decking (spaced slats), no felt and most of the time you will find the copper wire as you mentioned.

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Donald,

Tough to tell from that pic, but they look like the asbestos cement shingles I see around here. Normally, if you can get a close look, you'll notice the face of the shingle is not smooth, but abraded and fibrous. Because they aren't smooth, the hold dirt, moss, and algae pretty well.

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Jims right, tough to tell from that pic. I'm guessing, but I think they're cement asbestos. I've seen that pattern, & I've seen them held on w/wire, not nails. Kind of the right color for old asbestos shingles.

They look like white fibers in a grey mortar matrix. Kinda fuzzy if they're old. From the looks of this one, it's toast.

The usual ACM warnings & disclaimers apply; some dumpster companies won't take them, etc...

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Thanks everyone,

I think Jim and Kurt have it. Although the one I looked at was old, I didn't notice any white fibers. It was like Jim stated, the edges held moss, dirt and other debris pretty well.

These are thin, perhaps 1/4 inch thick or less. I didn't notice any that were cracked or broken, just some daylight coming through at the hip rafters and main ridge.

The reason I thought they may be French tile is I found an illustration that matches the pattern to the one I seen in the Illustrated Home. However, they just didn't "feel" like clay or concrete. I didn't think about asbestos, but thinking back they do resemble the feel and type of asbestos siding (just thinner).

Donald

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Hi,

They could be asphalt. We still have a lot of roofs here that were shingled with interlocking diamond-shaped asphalt shingles and have the appearance of a French tile roof. They have been readily available around here for more than a quarter of a century, but the matting is extremely thick and durable and most I inspect are still holding up really well in spite of their age with little loss of granular covering, lifting, curling or cracking. I can't tell if those are the same product from the photo either.

Nice Italianate, why not post pictures of the whole cotton-pickin house for us old house buffs?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Sorry Mike,

That particular picture was not of a home I inspected, it was a neighbors house sitting off the road. I had to use zoom to get it. I have always been curious about that type of roof and took the picture some time ago to find out what type it was. I just forgot to ask until yesterday when I came across one I was inspecting.

I'm positive these shingles yesterday were not asphalt. Very stiff and brittle, like asbestos siding shakes, only thinner.

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Donald,

It is definitely an asbestos shingle roof laid in the French Method. Hips & ridges should be covered with a "ridge roll". Many are not.

This material was formed by rolling into sheets and stamping out the shape of the shingle. Dry pigments were rolled onto the surface of the shingles to imitate natural slate colors. They're all grayish white now from surface erosion and fading.

I have the specs for architects from the Asbestos Shingle, Slate and Sheathing Co. of Ambler PA that manufactured this material. Johns Manville also sold this stuff but it all still came from the same manufacturer.

Check this out: http://inspecthistoric.org/asbestosshingle.htm

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Thanks Bill,

That's the stuff alright!

Two additional questions:

The pictures showed copper clips to hold the ridge roll on. Is there any type of sealing that was typically done? The one I looked at Saturday leaked at every hip and I could see daylight (probably indirect but not sure) at the main ridge beam and 2 of the hips.

How did they get the copper wire nails secured. I know they had holes drilled in the shingles, but how would hey get them secured to the decking? It doesn't look like they'd be stiff enough to be driven.

Donald

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Those are asbestos cement shingles. Wired on. The underlayment is rotted away by now, which is why it's leaking. It's at least 50 years old.

Tell your client to plan on additional disposal costs when it's replaced. Around here it adds about a grand to the cost of replacing a roof.

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Donald:

The ones I've seen have had brackets with hooks instead of nails. The brackets have a flat surface for nailing to the decking and two nail like hooks sticking out with the ends bent up to hold the shingle through predrilled holes. Almost every asbestos cement shingle roof I see has been damaged by homeowners and other people unfamiliar with the roof walking on the tiles or from fallen tree limbs. As brittle and easily cracked as these tiles are, I'm surprised we don't hear of more people falling off these roofs.

btw....All that I have seen have been installed on steeply pitched roofs. If the hips and valleys aren't damaged, they seem to hold up pretty well, despite the moss growth.

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