Concrete tile installation

I recently inspected a house in Stockton, CA. The house was approximately 20 -25 years old and had the original concrete tile roofing in place. When I inspected the attic I noticed that the concrete tiles had been installed on skip sheathing with no underlayment used…just like a wood shingle roof would be installed. Is this OK?

Alan Glabe

A waterproof primary water barrier is, typically, installed first under concrete/clay tiles.


When you say underlayment… I assume you mean felt paper or similar. I’ve stepped thru the concrete tiles when there is skip sheathing under it, hope you didn’t.

Anyway, if I looked at a concrete tile roof with no felt or building paper under it, I would certainly recommend in my report to have a roofing contractor evaluate.

You can find a handful of resources out there.

Basically, a concrete tile sheds water, but the underlayment provides the actual moisture barrier. As a matter of fact, I let my clients know that I can not see the underlayment/moisture barrier (most are not skip sheathed) while performing a roof inspection.

If this not what you meant, the address I gave you should provide some info

Alan, I started my inspection business in the bay area and I found several homes built in the mid 1970’s that had tile roofs over skip sheathing and no felt paper. I always made the client aware that it was typical for this age of home and that the roofs should be inspected annually.

As Mark said all is ok. During that time tile roofs were installed with no underlayment. There are pockets of homes around here like that. Tell them to have it inspected on a regular basis.


Thanks guys…much appreciated.

I dunno if I’d say it was OK… It’s one thing to say “It was considered acceptable at the time it was constructed, but is no longer compliant by today’s standards”

Giving advice on something that in a lot of regards is substandard and regarding it as OK is not something I really agree with. Weren’t shake roofs OK at one time or another as well?

I wouldn’t have “blessed” it :slight_smile: