By Dymon Brady

A failed tile deck or walkway is a common occurrence. Tile is very beautiful, but it is not always the best choice to waterproof the outside of your home or building. Up until now, I have not felt comfortable installing a tile roofing deck, knowing that most applications are simply not adequately waterproofed to keep the structure dry and protected from moisture related deterioration. However, Duradek has recently released a new waterproof tile and membrane combination that has successfully proven to be weather-proof while allowing the tile to adhere properly throughout our harsh Utah climate: Tiledek.

This product is so beautiful once installed, that it is easy to forget it is actually a roofing product. Duradek has been waterproofing roofing decks for over 30 years using PVC membranes. The Tiledek roof assembly is comprised of a 1/2″ thick cementitious board called Durock, which is adhered to the plywood and fastened with screws. Tiledek membrane is then fully adhered to the Durock Cement Board and terminated properly at all perimeters. All seams in this membrane are heat welded together to prevent moisture penetration during summer rains or winter freeze – thaw cycles.

The membrane is unique because it has a fleece effacer on the upper surface of the sheet that allows the thinset used in tile installations to properly adhere. The PVC membrane fleece effacer adheres to a thinset mortar, which then securely holds the tile and grout in place. This process has proven so successful that certain assemblies of Tiledek have been deemed heavy enough for commercial use.

Compared to other manufacturers, there is a reason I recommend Tiledek. For example, most tile walking decks use modified bitumen roofing as a waterproofing material. For areas with extreme temperatures, like we experience in Utah, this material has a tendency to soften, which then causes the tile attached to it to crack. Because Tiledek uses PVC membrane, this problem is avoided. Also, Tiledek is heat-welded together, causing seams to be more secure than membrane seams that are chemically adhered.

When installing any walking deck on your roof or home, it is important to treat the task as a roofing project and not as a tile project. It is best to hire a certified roofing contractor that specializes in roof deck and balcony waterproofing. If your tile deck is installed by tile setters, they may miss crucial waterproofing steps that could actually cause your tile to be more likely to crack, as well as causing water damage to your home or building.

Brady Roofing is specially certified to install Duradek products on homes and commercial buildings. We specialize in waterproofing vulnerable areas to protect your roof from leaks. We also have the experience necessary to make any walking deck look and feel beautiful. Contact us today for a free estimate.

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