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Efflorescence: What you Need to Know

Every now and then a home owner (while admiring their beautiful new tile roof) will notice the appearance of a white, chalky substance on the surface of a tile or an overall softening of color. While this can be alarming to a home owner who just installed a new roof, we assure you it’s no reason for concern. What you are seeing is called Efflorescence, a surface condition caused by the chemical nature of cement. As with any concrete product, efflorescence is a possible occurrence with your new roof, but we’re here to tell you some GREAT news….Efflorescence is only temporary!

What is efflorescence, you ask? Efflorescence is a natural process when water (such as rain, moisture, dew or even a sprinkler) mixes with the free lime contained in cement. This combination produces a series of chemical reactions which release calcium hydroxide, creating a crystalline salt deposit on the surface of the tile. This salt deposit can give the appearance of an overall softening of color or even a white chalky substance in concentrated patches. Unfortunately, this is an unavoidable process that occurs in all concrete products where cement and other raw materials are used.

efflorescence tile

So what can you do about it? In a nutshell, just wait! We are unable to predict how long efflorescence may last. The best thing you can do is to let this natural occurrence run its course. Rainwater mixed with carbon dioxide will wash away the salt deposits, and the natural color of the tile will reappear unharmed. Rest assured that efflorescence in no way affects the integrity of your roof tile.

If you would like to read further about this temporary surface condition, there is a great resource here.

 

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Ordering Samples for Custom Tile

At Entegra, we offer both stocked and custom products. Samples of our stock tiles are widely available; you can pick these up at one of our design centers, distributor locations, through a Sales Rep or even delivered to your home by ordering samples from our website.

Samples of a custom product, however, are a different story. A custom product is –you guessed it–custom. That particular product is made specifically for one individual job. When the custom tile is produced, we try to keep a piece or two as a sample to have on hand for future reference, but often times we can not provide a ready-made sample for custom orders. Samples become outdated over the decades; sometimes they are loaned out, but never returned; raw material suppliers change, tweaking formulas and thus final products. Further, we just don’t have enough space to store samples of every product we’ve ever created.

Plantation - Cedar Tan, Desert Tan, Light Brown & Sandstone, White Antique Slate Like

Plantation – Cedar Tan, Desert Tan, Light Brown & Sandstone, White Antique Slate Like

Over the years, we’ve noticed that customers considering custom tile typically fall into two camps:

  1. Those going for a particular look, who are not concerned with precision
  2. Those looking for an particular color that will either make or break their project

Clients who fall into the first camp have usually seen a stocked product that is close to what they want, but they might desire the end product to be a little darker, lighter or with a different antique applied. They are excited to see what is produced and know the tile will look fabulous at any shade within the approximate spectrum. Though we still recommend a custom sample be produced, we understand why some customers forgo the time delay and cost.

Other clients need a very close match for their custom tile. Maybe they are trying to replicate a neighbor’s house, a magazine photo or even simply the image they have in their mind. For these clients, it is IMPERATIVE that a sample is created before placing the final order. Because there is no return policy for custom tile orders, we cannot recommend ordering a sample highly enough. When a customer signs the “release for production” waiver, they are the proud new owner of their custom tile.

Rustic Shake Charcoal Blend

Rustic Shake Charcoal Blend

As always, keep in mind that concrete roof tiles are produced using raw materials. Entegra makes every effort to minimize the variations of these natural ingredients, but no manufacturer can completely eliminate them. A sample is a great way to ensure your final product is produced as close to your chosen color as possible, but it should be stated that even exact formulas produce varying results. In our opinion, that is the beauty of our products – if you require rigid results, you’ll need to paint your roof!

Rustic Shake Chestnut Blend

Rustic Shake Chestnut Blend

To order a custom sample, contact your Sales Rep. To make a custom sample, production of our standard tile must be stopped. The equipment is then thoroughly cleaned and machinery is outfitted with necessary attachments. Just like you can’t make a ‘batch’ of one cookie, likewise you can’t make a batch of one piece of tile. Due to the time, labor and materials required for making a sample, there is a small fee for custom samples, so that we know that you are serious about moving forward with your order.

Because of the nature of the beast regarding variations and producing samples, most roof tile manufacturers don’t even offer the option of custom tile. At Entegra, we understand that the roofing product is a distinguishing design element for any project, and sometimes an extra special product is required. We would be honored if you allowed us to create it for you. Just do us a favor – order a sample first!

 

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New Video of Our Facility

Here at Entegra we welcome visitors to our state of the art manufacturing facility. We would love for you to give us a shout and set up a time to come see it in person. We feel it is important for our customers to see how tile is made. But in the mean time check our new video out as Omar walks us through the production process. Don’t forget if you have any questions please feel free to leave us your question or comment in the comment section or you can contact us directly. Enjoy the video!