Make It Last: Clay Tile and Slate Roofing

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MAKE IT LAST: Achieving Maximum Durability on Traditional Clay Tile & Slate Roofing Projects

Tuesday, 05.19.2015

Clay Tile and Slate Roofing

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Robert W. Raleigh, III, President, Renaissance Roofing, Inc. and
Niklas W. Vigener, P.E., Senior Principal, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger


Traditional clay tile roofs combine both modern and time-proven materials with traditional craftsmanship to produce a durable, aesthetically pleasing, and architecturally distinct steep-slope roofing system.  However, designing and constructing clay tile roofs present both technical and aesthetic challenges to the performance of even the most durable materials. An incorrect tile color or finish can negatively alter the appearance of a building. In addition, material failure, leakage, or wind uplift can damage a poorly-designed or poorly-constructed roofing system.  Like clay tile roofs, slate roofs can be extremely durable and visually pleasing, but they present similar challenges during design and construction.

Achieving maximum durability is key to a successful roofing project and requires careful material selection, meticulous detailing, and construction by knowledgeable and diligent craftsmen. This presentation explores the specific design considerations crucial to clay tile and slate roofing systems. It also looks at methods for identifying issues early in the project design phase, to help ensure better-informed decisions, make more accurate calculations, and achieve a durable and effective roofing system. Through case studies and detailing concepts, this presentation offers practical advice to help designers and builders design, specify, and construct durable clay tile and slate roofs.

After attending this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize common indicators of hidden deterioration within a historical slate or clay tile roofing system.
  • Understand specific conditions causing deterioration and how they can affect project success.
  • Learn how to select durable materials for traditional clay tile roofs.
  • Understand roof detailing and construction principles that maximize roof service life.
  • Understand logistical considerations of roof investigation, design, material procurement, and construction of for both new construction and rehabilitation work.



SGH Chicago
135 South LaSalle Street, 43rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603

Take elevator to 43rd Floor and conference center staff will direct you.

Click for directions and parking information.



4:00 PM – 4:30 PM  Registration & Networking
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM  Presentation & Questions
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM  Cocktail Reception


Attendance is free. Space is limited to the first 60 guests to register. We will serve complimentary refreshments and hors d’oeuvres.  


Renaissance Roofing, Inc. is a nationally recognized historic roof and sheet metal restoration company with projects in over 20 states, including churches, courthouses, colleges, universities, and numerous residential homes.  For more information, please visit or contact us at PH) 800-699-5695.


Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. (SGH) is a national engineering firm that designs, investigates, and rehabilitates structures, building enclosures, and materials.  Our award-winning work encompasses building, energy, civil/infrastructure, and science/defense projects in the United States, Canada, and more than thirty additional countries.  For more information, please visit

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