Tile roofing perspective from Master Craftsman Martin Leska
A true “European Trained Craftsman”, Martin Leska graduated with honors from a 4-year trade school. He moved to the United States in 1998 from the Czech Republic. His plan was to be a climbing Guide and ski instructor. He did that for a while in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, but his skills and training in building and restoration led him to eventually start Leska Restoration LLC. Martin still has an insatiable appetite for learning more, and lucky for us, he likes to share his knowledge and experience with others.
His first roofing experience really was a 14th century castle. When he was 16 he spent the summer working with his Father. The last revision to the castle had been in the 18th century, meaning the work he was restoring was 200+ years old. “During communist occupation this castle drastically deteriorated” Martin said. “This structure survived mainly because real clay tiles were installed.”
“A very exciting part of this work was to look for small evidence left by previous roofers like hand signed note, lost chisel, hammer etc.” After a summer of work, Martin had the chance to become a part of the history. ‘I specifically remember the pride when each worker was asked to write his name and signature on the actual plaque we hid inside the roof, and my father saying that our grand kids will most likely be next one to found this.”
“Tile roofs are designed to last a lifetime. So why wouldn’t you want a roof on your home or business that will last a lifetime? I know I would.”
His passion for quality installation details reflects his respect for the potential longevity a properly installed tile roof can deliver. “Tile roofs are designed to last a lifetime. So why wouldn’t you want a roof on your home or business that will last a lifetime? I know I would. In my opinion tile roofs are by far the best roofing product you can install on a steep slope roof. I think that even in the 21st century there are many reasons we love tile: it’s man made, extremely energy efficient, comes in a huge range of styles, shapes and colors, is extremely long lasting and is Class A fire rated. I love having the variety to show my clients when selecting a tile roof. It’s excellent from hot climates to even extremely cold or snowy climates.”
Martin’s skill level is equaled by his energy and passion. A mountain climber, downhill skier and mountain biker, everything he does is done with enthusiasm. The commitment to improvement is a constant. “Europeans are onto something by over teaching as it’s proven that we forget 30-50% of what we learn. It takes new training every year and time working in the trade to hopefully earn ‘master craftsman’ after 5 years. My roofs from 2006 don’t look as great as in 2016. They do always exceed TRI minimum standards. I feel that my knowledge and skills especially in flashing applications are the critical pieces and where I see the biggest difference.”
Martin will share and teach some of those skills at our April 7th, Dallas Concrete and Clay Roof Tile Installation Manual Class.