Home > Korinthian Matters > Collapse


Over the past week, David Pettegrew and I have been able to observe the various processes which caused a series of rural houses to collapse.  One key issue is with their tile roofs. 


A number of houses seem to have had their roofs systematically stripped of tile.


In some cases, the tiles slide off the roof as parts of the roof gives way over time.  As the tiles slide off the roof, they frequently form halos around the house…



In other instances, the tile roof stays more or less in tact, but the walls of the house begin to splay.


In some cases, the home owner tried to buttress the wall with another wall, but this did not seem to work entirely in this case.


When the walls collapsed, the tile roof caved in on the interior of the house.



If the interior of the house doesn’t get squashed by the collapsing roof, then the various interior partition walls (which were often just plaster and mud) collapse as well.



Categories: Korinthian Matters
  1. Kostis Kourelis
    June 26, 2009 at 9:04 am

    There’s some great comperanda from American vernacular architecture about the communal cycle of roofs. Roofs are a part of the house that has to be repaired at the end of every winter. The repair is done communally and doesn’t require a visiting specialist. Robert Blair St. George has argued that you can use roofs to gauge the degree of communal cohesion, self-sufficiency, etc. Roof tiles are inherently interesting because they are by design recycled every year. With abandonment, of course, one sees a different stratification (roof tiles and wood at the bottom of the trench, followed by stone and mortar with a distinctive catenary curve forming around the walls.) GOOD STUFF. I can’t wait to see your documentation.

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