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A Quick Guide To Roof Tile Maintenance And Repair   

Roof under construction

U. J. Alexander

A roof tile is a significant investment that raises the value of your property. Ideally, it offers more advantages over other types of roofing. For example, roof tile materials are relatively strong, and when properly installed, they can resist various impacts and harsh weather conditions such as high winds and hail stones. Therefore, your roof can remain in good condition for many years.   

Also, roof tile products have excellent thermal properties and can effectively regulate temperatures during summer and winter. Most importantly, roof tiles can be manufactured in a wide range of colors and designs to complement other exterior features of your home and improve its aesthetics.    

However, after installation, your roof tile will require regular maintenance to ensure it remains fully functional over its useful life. Therefore, as a property owner, you’d want to partner with a reputable company like Arrowhead Roofing TX for high-quality repair and maintenance services. The experts will conduct a professional roof inspection and fix all issues, including cracked roof flashings, leaks, wood shake patching, and broken flashing seals. So, as you plan your roof tile maintenance and repair, here are some guidelines for your consideration: 

What Is Tile Roofing 

A tile roofing system comprises overlapping roof tiles carefully secured to a roof deck or a solid substrate on a sloped roof.   

It’s a specialized type of roof installation and requires a well-versed professional contractor to install roof tiles of various designs using different materials. The common types of roof tiles include:  

  • Clay Roof Tiles: They’re one of the oldest roofing materials created centuries ago. Clay roof tiles are made of molded clay, and with the various color options and retention properties, homeowners can complement it with different exterior types.  
  • Composite Roof Tiles: They’re synthetic roofing products made of recycled plastics and other sustainable products. They’re specially designed to resemble natural tiles closely.    
  • Concrete Roof Tiles: Also known as cement roof tiles. They’re made with sand, cement, and water, firmly molded under high pressure and heat.  
  • Metal Roof Tiles: They’re made of specific metals such as copper and aluminum roof tiles. Metal is ideal if your structure may not support heavier tile products.   
  • Slate Roof Tiles: They’re natural roofing products manufactured from a hard rock called metamorphic rock. They offer various color and texture options depending on their mineral content.   

Fortunately, most roof tiles materials like concrete and clay are inherently sustainable, while others, such as metal, can be recycled. Therefore, along with providing excellent aesthetics for your home, they’re also a sustainable choice. 

Roof Tile Maintenance And Repair 

Roof tile maintenance involves periodically checking all vulnerable areas of your roof tile that may be susceptible to problems and fixing any issues before they become big problems. Different factors, such as weather extremes, may affect the structure of your roof tile, impairing its functionality. Learning these aspects makes it easier to spot roof tile problems and repair them early. The following are the typical roof tile problems to understand:   

  • Loose, Broken, Or Missing Roof Tiles: A section of a roof tile may fall off, get loose, or break. These defects can result in leakages and make the entire roof structure vulnerable to further damage.
  • Inefficient Installations: Incorrect roof tile placement, faulty fixings and flashings, inadequate tile lap, and other improper installations may be the source of your consistent roof tile problems. Ideally, roof tile installation is a complex procedure, so it’s vital to check whether everything was done right during installation to avoid further problems.  
  • Debris Growth: Organic growth such as moss, algae, and lichen are more likely to grow on damp or cool roof tile surfaces that don’t get access to adequate sunlight: for instance, areas covered by trees and north-facing roof tiles. These contaminants can cause high moisture retention and weather ingress or tile lifting issues. Ensuring that you’re consistently removing moss from your roof is very important to avoid costly repairs down the line.  

Another roofing fault that may cause detrimental effects to your roof tile includes blocked drainage pipes and inadequate ventilation. Blocked gutters may cause flooding, which dampens the roof space and compromises weather tightness. On the other hand, inadequate ventilation can generate excess humidity causing problems such as condensation on the roof. Additionally, note that lightweight roof tiles may be more susceptible to damage, so you must exercise extra care.    

Worker places new black tiles

How To Maintain A Roof Tile 

Below are some tips for roof tile maintenance and repair: 

1. Plan A Roof Tile Inspection

While roof tiles are exceptionally durable, you should occasionally plan a roof tile health check to identify possible defects. A thorough inspection involves the following:  

  • Inspecting the roof tiles for cracks and breaks probably caused by wind damage and other impacts  
  • Examining the roof valleys for blockages and any form of deterioration  
  • Inspecting drainage pipes and gutters for moss, algae, or lichen growth that can prevent the free flow of water to outlets  
  • Checking for gaps in the roof space to determine if there are loose or missing tiles  
  • Visually inspecting side-bedding mortar for possible cracks
  • Checking if tree branches nearby are in contact with the roof tiles  

While inspecting, you should carefully walk on the roof tiles to avoid damage. Ideally, roof tiles are fragile items and may not entirely absorb pressure from body weight. Mainly, the edges of the tile are highly delicate and can easily break. Therefore, for ease of access, you can set up plywood walkways.   

2. Make Repairs 

It’s vital to fix all issues identified during the inspection as soon as possible before they become more substantial and cause significant damage down the line. That may include:  

  • Replacing cracked, chipped, or broken roof tiles  
  • Refixing damaged metal flashings and fixings  
  • Replacing old or deteriorated roofing underlayment to provide a more secure secondary layer of protection  
  • Relaying all tiles with the proper nails to prevent shedding of undamaged tiles. Copper or stainless steel nails are preferred for roof tile installation over cheap galvanized nails.    

Notably, it’s best to hire a roofing expert to diagnose all potential roof tile problems and handle the repairs to a high standard.   

3. Wash Your Roof 

When debris and other dirt build up on your roof tile, it affects its visual appeal and results in hidden damages, such as cracked tiles. Therefore, as part of maintenance, you should clean your roof tiles regularly. You can scrape off dirt manually using a wire brush and a trowel. However, manual washing may not remove some debris, such as algae stains from roof tiles, gutters, and drainage pipes. Therefore, you can use a pressure washer to remove such residues.   

Notably, you should use low or medium settings since pressure washing can erode some roof tile materials, such as concrete. Also, to minimize debris accumulation and ensure efficient water drainage, you should cut all extended tree branches that overhang the roof surface. Alternatively, you can hire a professional roof cleaner to do the job right. The good thing is that cleaning services use their tools and supplies for cleaning, so you won’t have to purchase them.   

Refurbish Your Roof Tile 

After cleaning your roof tiles, you can take the following additional steps to refurbish the surface:  

  • Painting: It provides an attractive finish to your roof tile surface. Besides, polymers such as acrylic paint provide an additional waterproof coating that prevents moisture penetration and possible breakage of tiles.    
  • Priming: You can coat your roof tiles using primers like alkyd. It gives the roof surface a protective sheen reflecting sunlight and maintaining cool temperatures. Also, they fill porous spaces on roof tile materials such as concrete and thus can repel water more effectively.   
  • Buffing: Roof tiles may produce a chalk-like residue on the surfaces called efflorescence. It’s caused by natural chemical reactions forming salty coatings. And while it may not affect the structural performance of your roof tiles, it dulls the surface making the roof less attractive. Therefore, you’d want to buff your roof tiles using a clean rag to maintain the exterior aesthetics.   

So, consider the above practices to protect and rejuvenate your roof tiles. 

Routine Roof Tile Maintenance 

Depending on your type of roof tile and whether commercial or residential, maintenance and repair can be annual, biannual, or quarterly. Ideally, roofing experts recommend roof tile maintenance and repair twice a year. In the autumn, to prepare for the winter and in spring to inspect if there were damages during winter. Even so, it’s much safer to check your roof more frequently to determine faults earlier, provide prompt care, and ensure your roof tiles last much longer. Even if your roof tiles don’t have any visible defects, it’s good practice to have them inspected for potential hidden problems.   

Importance Of Roof Tile Maintenance And Repair 

Roof tile maintenance and repair offers numerous advantages, as outlined below:
  • Regularly performing maintenance and repair on your roof tiles is essential for ensuring the safety and well-being of your roof.
  • It’s crucial to prevent physical damage to your residential or commercial property—for example, harm caused by natural elements such as rain, wind, and hail.  
  • It prolongs the length of time your roof tile lasts.  
  • It enables you to spot issues earlier, fix them before they escalate, and cost you more for repairs.  
  • It vastly improves your home’s curb appeal and adds value to the property.  

In light of that, you’d want to plan regular maintenance and repair to keep your roof tile in top condition.   

Conclusion 

Regular roof tile maintenance and repair ensures your roof remains functional for many years. By identifying problems earlier, you’ll have cheaper repairs, saving you money in the long run. Therefore, the above are guidelines for roof tile maintenance and repair. Also, you’d want to work with a professional roofer with the experience to spot and fix all potential roofing problems.