Broken Roof Tile Repair Methods

Tile roofs are becoming more popular, in part due to their attractive appearance and even more so because of their durability. Although durable, they aren't impervious to damage. It is possible for a tile to become cracked or loose. The following can help you determine the best course of action if you have a damaged tile on your roof.

Can the tile be repaired?

Clay tiles don't always require replacement. A small hole or crack can be repaired if you act quickly. Wait too long, though, and moisture will work its way into the crack and destroy the tile.

To fix a crack or small hole, begin by removing any dirt on the tile with a small wire brush. Then, fill in the crack or hole with roofing cement. This is a special epoxy that is made to expand and contract with temperature changes so it doesn't pull away from the tile. It is available in several colors so you can usually find a pretty close match to your tiles.

Is the damage beyond repair?

Major cracks or a fully broken tile cannot be replaced. Instead, you will need to remove the old tile and replace it with new. Fortunately, the process isn't too difficult, as the following steps indicate:

  1. Lift the bottom edge of the tile directly above the broken one. Be careful, as you don't want to break it, too. Slide a rag beneath it to hold it up and to protect the edge.

  2. Tap the broken tile with a ball peen hammer to break it up into smaller pieces. You can then slide these pieces out from beneath the above tile.

  3. Feel under the tile for any remaining nails, which may have helped hold the tile in place. Remove these.

  4. Spread roofing cement along the top edge on the underside of the replacement tile. Slide the tile in place beneath the tile above it. For the amateur, adhesive is easier to use than to attempt nailing the new tile into place.

You can then press down on the above tile to help tamp the replacement in place. It will take several hours for the cement to cure, so it is best to perform a replacement when the weather is dry.

Care is needed when working on a tile roof, as you don't want to cause more damage. If you need help, contact a roof repair contractor. They can perform these small repairs for you, thus ensuring your roof is undamaged.