The underlayment is a non-permeable membrane that provides the waterproof barrier.
Tile is designed to last approximately fifty years with very little maintenance, however, tiles can and do crack as they age. There are areas that are sealed with roofing tar, so regular general maintenance is recommended.
Cracked tiles can be repaired by simply gluing the tiles together using 100% silicone caulk or roofing tar. Most tiles can be walked on, as long as you stay on the front edge of the tile. The middle of the tile is not supported and will crack. When walking on the curved S-tiles, always walk on the higher portion of the curve.
The underlayment only has a life expectancy of about thirty years. However, many older roofs used staples to attach the underlayment to the roofs surface. The high temperatures in the desert may cause the edges of the paper to pull loose from the staples and provide a pathway for water to gain access to the structure. Construction practices have been changed to no longer allow for the use of staples. Minor roof repairs will likely need to be completed well before the end of the roofs life expectancy.
If you have an older roof, then having a regular general maintenance program is important. After heavy rains, inspect the interior ceilings for signs of moisture damage or staining. Have any sealed areas with tar repaired every two years, as tar does weather and crack.
Older roofs should have cracked tiles repaired, however, it’s not as important when the roof is newer and the underlayment has not deteriorated. Any exposed underlayment should be repaired immediately, as the underlayment is not rated for direct sunlight. Be proactive and help to prevent damage to the interior of the home and the roofing components by having regular maintenance completed on your roof.
For more on this or other home care subjects, contact Scott at www.scottsauer.com.