How to Repair Roof Tile

Let’s give you some tips on how to repair roof tiles. Roofing materials come in different types.  The most common is shingles, but you can also have a roof made from tiles.  These tiles are constructed from minerals like tinted or molded concrete, fired clay, and terra cotta.  They are very durable and often survive storms, high winds, and fire.  They are insect resistant, low maintenance, and energy efficient.

Cause of Damage

However strong, there is always the chance of damage from falling debris, the cycle of freeze and thaw, and accidents.  When it does occur, it is usually confined to individual tiles, which can frequently be repaired rather than replaced, but it will depend on the extent and type of damage.  Most tile damage issues center around breaks, holes and cracks, underlayment issues, and debris build up in the roof valley. 

Frequency of Checks

If you give your roof a check about every three months or as the seasons change, you can spot any damage before it goes too far.  Delaying will generally mean more damage and a costlier repair.  It will also prevent any damage to the interior of the building or house. Whenever you work on any type of roof, extreme caution and safety measures are critical.  

If the damage is not bad, you can often make the repair with roofing felt pieces or a flashing stick.  Small holes and cracks can be filled with plastic roofing cement.  First clean the area and tile with a wire brush to be sure the cement will bond properly.  Be sure the area is completely dry for at least 24 hours.  Fill the hole with plastic roofing cement or silicone caulk.  Set the pieces together for a tight join.  Use a trowel to smooth away any excess cement or caulk and allow it to harden thoroughly. Leaks are usually the result of the membrane beneath the tile.  Once you are sure of the leak area, carefully lift the tile with a pry bar and fill the hole with roofing cement.  Replace the tile.

If a tile is missing or broken, or the cracks are too large, you will need to replace the entire tile.  If so, you need to use the exact type of tile for the replacement.  Using other types of tile will only result in further damage to the roof.  Pry up the tile or tiles that need replacement, being careful to avoid damage to the surrounding tiles.  If the tile won’t move, use a wood piece to shield the tile below it and use a hammer to carefully break the damaged tile and remove it piece by piece.  Remove any nails with a flat bar.  Use a small amount of roofing cement to hold the new tile in place.  The adhesive will hold the new tile without the need of nails.  Gently press on the new tile to be sure it stays in place and is in good alignment.

As you can surmise, working with tiles is rather delicate.  If you are not fully comfortable with the process, contact a professional roofing company to take care of the matter.

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