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Concrete tile roof is not only a cost-effective roofing solution but also a very durable and sophisticated roofing system. Moreover, its maintenance is minimal and is generally limited to gutters, venting and protrusion flashing. There are very simple things to look out for—moss and dirt build-up are amongst the most common. However, while concrete tiles are designed to be long lasting, their maintenance is of utmost importance to avoid major problems such as leaking roofs. Even more so, their upkeep also helps preserving the coloring of the tiles themselves which is a very important factor since concrete tile roofing is decoratively appealing.

Cleaning of Concrete Tile Roof

Depending on climate conditions and weathering factors, concrete tile roofs generally vary in durability from 30 to 70 years. Its most common issue is moss and lichen growth. Both are attracted by moisture and thus should be removed, not only for protecting the tiles themselves but also for aesthetic reasons. Any overhanging trees should be cut and the roof should be washed with water and bleach solution which is available from hardware stores (do not add the bleaching solution if you collect rain water for drinking purposes).

The easiest way to do this is by using pressure water (avoid water blasters—they might force water beneath the tiles causing greater damage than the moss itself). Water should be directed from the highest peak of the roof from a distance of 3 to 4 feet of the area you are washing and in the direction of the roof's drainage system. Use safety harnesses and goggles for your own personal protection. Generally pressure washers have the concrete-rating nozzle, which is the best pressure you would like to use, however even the 3,000 PSI-Rated nozzles are good. Wash the roof evenly at least twice.

Walker Contracting Services Incorporated
Walker Contracting Services Incorporated

Dislodged, Damaged or Missing Tiles

Although concrete tiles are long lasting, even if properly installed they may get dislodged. Climate, weathering and erosion can cause tiles to break, but this can also be caused by simple walking on top of them. It is important to keep a watchful eye and step very carefully on the tiles. It is essential to replace any missing or damaged tiles to avoid the problem from spreading.

If a tile is damaged you may need to use a crowbar. Slide the crowbar beneath the tile to the left side of the one which needs replacement and carefully apply downward pressure to force the tile upwards till it no longer rests on the damaged tile. Repeat the same process for the one on top. The new tile should be easily installed. Nowadays tiles may be snapped directly into place but if this isn't the case use nails to nail it down. You may consider using roof adhesive but nails are more secure.

These are two of the easiest ways to keep your concrete tile roof in good order. The major problems are moss growth and damaged or dislodged tiles which have easy solutions to them. Concrete tile roof maintenance is a task easy to handle which only requires a watchful eye from the homeowner and some on-going repairs and cleaning.

In certain parts of America, particularly in the Southwest, the predominant building siding is stucco: a plaster-like material that is traditionally made of lime and sand and water (today stucco usually also incorporates Portland cement).

Whilst most often associated with Pueblo, Mission and Spanish Colonial styles houses; stucco is also a popular choice for Mediterranean style houses and contemporary architecture that especially prizes a smooth stucco finish for creating clean silhouettes. In this exterior home siding guide we take a closer look at stucco finishes to help you find the right stucco texture and look for your home.

When you get talking with a stucco contractor it'll be important to differentiate between the type of stucco and the style of stucco! The type of stucco refers to the application system that is being used. In traditional stucco siding you can have either a one-coat system or a three-coat (or hard coat) system; and there is also the EIFS system - a synthetic product which looks a lot like traditional stucco!

However, when we talk of styles of stucco, what we really mean is the texture or finish of the final layer. Here are the most common stucco texture finishes that are available on most types of stucco and EIFS siding.

Walker Contracting Services Incorporated
Walker Contracting Services Incorporated

Dash is a highly textured, gritty stucco finish that looks rather as if fine gravel has been added into the stucco plaster mix. Some contractors actually do incorporate gravel into the plaster and this is known as Roughcast. But most of the Dash stucco finishes you'll see today are simply made by spraying the stucco (with a hopper gun) or splattering it (by hand) onto the final coat; the Dash can be either fine, medium or heavy in texture depending on how much is applied.

Pebbledash is where actual aggregate material (small pebbles, gravel, flint chips, seashells or even crushed glass) is thrown onto the final wet stucco plaster coat, completely covering the surface. This is a particularly popular style of stucco finish in the United Kingdom and parts of Northern Europe.

Stucco lace finish is an extremely popular one as it's great for hiding imperfections and suits most building designs. It looks rather like a delicate lace pattern, created by applying a final layer of stucco in random directions using a skip-trowel; the final surface is then "knocked down" or flattened slightly creating the lace-like pattern. Again, depending on the trowel application you can get fine or heavy lace finishes.

Smooth aka Scraped

This finish is the smoothest finish you'll see in stucco, where the final layer of stucco is scraped flat with a metal tool. A growing trend with smooth finishes is to create a customized mottled color effect, adding a level of uniqueness to your home.

Walker Contracting Services Incorporated
Walker Contracting Services Incorporated

Santa Barbara

This traditional style of stucco finish is similar to a smooth finish, but uses a specially formulated stucco mix which gives a semi-smooth, irregular texture similar to early California adobe style buildings.

With this uncommon stucco finish, special round sand is mixed into a synthetic stucco mix and then finished with a trowel resulting in little groove indentations, rather like the space where a worm might have been!

As you might guess from the name, Sand stucco finishes look like some sand has been added to the stucco mix. This is because some sand has indeed been added! The texture is then finished using a stucco float to create a uniform spread of the texture. Different gauges of sand are used to create different Sand textures, from fine to medium to heavy. The heavier Sand finishes can look a lot like finer Dash finishes.

This finish is the smoothest finish you'll see in stucco, where the final layer of stucco is scraped flat with a metal tool. A growing trend with smooth finishes is to create a customized mottled color effect, adding a level of uniqueness to your home.

This traditional style of stucco finish is similar to a smooth finish, but uses a specially formulated stucco mix which gives a semi-smooth, irregular texture similar to early California adobe style buildings.