I have some roof deck damage on a small shed. It's a standard plywood deck
with asphalt shingles, and I'd have repaired it the same way by now if acc
ess weren't a bit tricky.
But it got me thinking.
When we lived in Europe courtesy of the Army all the roofs were clay tiles.
They didn't have a roof deck covered by moisture barrier covered by shing
les; the tiles were wired to the battens or rafters (I'm not sure of termin
ology) and they could be worked on from underneath. A mechanic would unwir
e a section and step through from the attic to fix an antenna, etc., then w
ire it back. They never leaked. They did sometimes blow off in a big stor
m, or get cracked if something hit them.
Not that I would put a tile roof on a shed.
But you could almost simulate a tile roof just by splitting some plastic pi
pe, maybe in the 4 to 6 inch diameter range, and overlapping. Roof tiles a
re about 20 inches long normally, but there'd be no reason you couldn't use
standard ten foot pipe lengths. Alternate face up and face down, and ther
e should be nowhere for water to get in.
On Monday, April 21, 2014 8:42:30 AM UTC-4, TimR wrote:
ccess weren't a bit tricky.
ngles; the tiles were wired to the battens or rafters (I'm not sure of term
inology) and they could be worked on from underneath. A mechanic would unw
ire a section and step through from the attic to fix an antenna, etc., then
wire it back. They never leaked. They did sometimes blow off in a big st
orm, or get cracked if something hit them.
are about 20 inches long normally, but there'd be no reason you couldn't u
se standard ten foot pipe lengths. Alternate face up and face down, and th
ere should be nowhere for water to get in.
and if you used black pipe, you could get solar heat by blowing air through
the inverted pipes and trickle water through the U channels.
I like it
On Monday, April 21, 2014 10:07:21 AM UTC-4, Robert Macy wrote:
Good point, I'd want to be sure it was UV stable. I've had PVC pipe sit outside and get so brittle you could crumble it. Isn't black pipe protected by the carbon?
It seems like rain water should shoot right off smooth plastic pipe, rather than the slow roll off the rough surface of a shingle.
On Monday, April 21, 2014 10:56:09 AM UTC-4, TimR wrote:
My first thought was the UV thing too. But a bit of googling and it looks
like the effects of UV are to make the pipe somewhat more brittle and
to discolor it. In the case of plumbing, it looks like it doesn't affect
the ability to handle pressure at all. For a roof, even if it gets more
brittle, it probably won't make much difference, unless it gets some
major hail, etc.
Ordinary white PVC pipe isn't designed for exposure to sunlight. I think
the UV will break down the plastic, potentially cracking or otherwise
I don't know about black ABS pipe, but would assume it's not engineered for
sun exposure either.
However, grey PVC electrical conduit is designed for outdoor use with UV
protection built-in. That would be my choice if I was going to use it for
Plastic pipe will also expand and contract with temperature, so shorter
length tiles would be better in that respect.
You would need to work out a way to secure the tiles so you don't have
leaks around the fasteners.
Overlapping shorter tiles would be problematic as the inside of the upper
pipe is smaller than the outside diameter of the lower pipe. Clay tiles
have a bit of taper to them so each row can overlap the previous row.
Use rigid non-metalic conduit and you should be fine. That is the gray
PVC and it is UV protected. It still has to be installed over a
I am looking at a similar thing for the roof over my outdoor fireplace
(concrete). The problem is regular roof tile is too big to actually
create the effect I want (not enough tiles on the roof)
I am thinking about splitting 4" terra cotta drain tile with a diamond
For sheds or outbuildings. The concern I'd have to this is the fire
code. Would either of these provide the necessary protection or would
you run the risk of a code violation and maybe having your insurance no
"Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive,
but what they conceal is vital."
From what I've seen for plastic pipe prices over the past few years I
wonder if it would save any money over using 'regulation' roofing. I've
seen a friend roof his small (maybe 6X8) shed using what were essentially
scrap and mistake bits of standing seam metal from from a roofer; as cheap
as my friend is I'm sure that he didn't pay much more than a case of beer
for the privilege of hauling it away from the worksite.
On Monday, April 21, 2014 12:23:14 PM UTC-4, BenignBodger wrote:
Well, until you mentioned it I hadn't priced plastic pipe.
Yeah, it's going to cost at least double what a good quality conventional roof would.
Oh, well, I guess I was right about the wacko part.
It would look cool though.
On Mon, 21 Apr 2014 08:11:21 -0700 (PDT), trader_4
There is a lot of plumbing outside around here (water doesn't usually
freeze). The regular white PVC seems to be OK after 20-30 years,
unless you hit it pretty hard with something.
I still make it a practice to not have my piping exposed to sun or
weather but I am in the minority.
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