A roof is not just a covering on your house, it’s a security and safety measure that makes your standing 4 walls into a complete house. Its importance compels people to create them with robust materials that not only give protection to residents against elements like theft, animals, and weather conditions but also add splendor to construction. Though people have several options, the demand for tile roofs is consistently increasing. It’s not because of its appearance but its durability and longevity are also deal makers. Irrespective of the fact that tile roofs are heavy, not easy to handle, and expensive, people still want to invest in them because they will be on their side for hundreds to thousands of years. 

As they are protectors of homes and people, they are always exposed to weather conditions thus storms and shifting foundations become the reason for cracks, broken tiles, and leakages. All of this can prompt a tile roof repair.

Whether you have masonry roofing, concrete tiles, or fiber cement, roof breaking and leaking are common problems that should be handled professionally. Otherwise they will bring disastrous damage to your home and equipment. That is why we have decided to create this article which is all about tile roof repair. Lets get started!

What Are Tile Roofs?

A tile roof is a house roof made of tiles of various earth minerals. They are all of strong materials like fired clay, tinted and molded concrete, standard tiles, and terra cotta. Any material roof can withstand high winds, storms, and even fires. They are resistant to decay and are energy efficient. Moreover, tile roofs are also resistant to insect damage. They are also good to install in areas with heavy rainfall, hail, or snowfall because the material is resistant to water. Moreover, they need less maintenance than other ones and can last for centuries. 

Despite all this, damage occurs due to several reasons, like constant sun exposure, high winds, storms, freezing weather, and debris falling. Moreover, if you accidentally step on the tiles or throw something on them while working, the tiles get damaged and ask for immediate and constant repair then do it. In some cases, as the damage occurs to individual tiles, repairing it is the best way otherwise, you have to replace it with a new tile if necessary. So, it is necessary to learn about tile roof repairs.

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Identifying Tile Roof Problem

Tile roofs are durable and strong and can withstand harsh weather conditions but the chances of damage increase with time. This is why a tile roof repair is sometimes inevitable. So, the best practice is to keep your tile roofs in check. In order to check cracks or other physical damage, you have to check the tile roofs at intervals of 3 months. As debris also causes issues don’t forget to clean out debris from gutters monthly.

If you find that some broken tiles need your attention then repair them yourself or ask a professional to help you. But if the real culprit is worn out underlayment, it can cause leaks, which can further enhance the problem and may affect water damage to the building. Remember that if high level damage occurs, it will cost you even in many dollars. 

Whether you want to repair the roof tile yourself or you are in dire need of professional help, your first step should be identifying the main issue, the exact location of damage and the right repairing method with the overall amount that may be spent on it. So, let’s start with the reasons for damaged tiles that demand immediate repair. some issues include

  • cracks and holes in particular titles 
  • broken tiles
  • accumulation of debris in roof valley 
  • Underlayment defects

How Do Roofing Tiles Break?

The breaking may occur in roofing tiles for many reasons such as

  • Falling things or objects like hailstones, tree branches, or even human footsteps can cause damage.
  • Extreme weather conditions put stress on the tiles like strong winds, snowfall, heavy rain or hail.
  • Poor maintenance speeds up aging and makes tiles brittle which leads to breaking and cracking.
  • Poorly secured tiles to roofs or improper installation by some unprofessional person also cause early breakage of tiles.
  • Remember to buy best material tiles for roofing from a reputable manufacturer, poor material is another cause of tiles breaking. 

Early Detection Of Roof Tile Damage

Early detection of broken tiles is important to prevent tile roof repair and also prevent further damage. Here are some signs that clearly indicate the tile has been broken. 

  • If you clearly see a cracked or broken tile or one which is missing.
  • If you see loose or curling tiles it means they are damaged internally and are no more valuable.
  • Blisters or bubbles on tiles indicate that moisture has damaged them
  • If your roof has some wet or discolored areas it means there is a leakage due to damaged tile.
  • If you see moss or algae growth, there are significant chances that they weaken the tiles and make them prone to more damage.
  • Sagging or bowing is the biggest sign that your roof tiles have undergone structural damage and demand tile roof repair.

How Do Roofing Tiles Leak?

Tile roof repair is necessary but before that you should understand the main reason behind roof leaks. 

  • Once the tile is broken or cracked, the water seeps through it and enters the roof.
  • Damaged flashing also causes leaks, as it doesn’t properly seal the roof around chimneys or skylights thus allowing seeping of water. 
  • Poorly installed tiles also cause water to enter the roof through leftover spaces.
  • Brittle or damaged aged tiles also allow water to enter the roof.
  • Extreme weather conditions crack and break tiles and allow rainwater or melted snow to seep through cracks or damaged areas. 
  • Roof tiles have drainage channels and any blockage in them like due to leaves, twigs, or even bird droppings causes water to back up and start leaking. 

Early Detection Of Roof Tile Leaks

Early detection of tile leaks is also possible and here are some signs which tell that there is a leakage. 

  • If your ceilings or walls have water stains, it shows the roof is leaking at some point.
  • Seeing mold growth or a musty smell in the attic or any area of home indicates water leaking.
  • If you clearly see water dripping or pooling, there is no need for further cleaning.
  • Water leaking around chimneys or skylights also shows that flashing is damaged and water is seeping into roof. 
  • Loose or curled shingles in addition to cracks or holes in roof tiles also indicate water leaking
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Tile Roof Repair Complete Guide for Broken Or Leaking Tile

Tile roof repair needs a professional approach, but if you have proper tools, and know a little bit about roofing then you can repair your roof tiles by following our given guide. 

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Safety Tips and Preparation

  • It’s highly recommended to ask a professional roofer for your tile roof repair if you have zero knowledge regarding it. 
  • If you are going to tile roof repair by yourself you should keep in mind some safety measures. You need good traction shoes like Rubber-soled ones. You should wear leather gloves and safety glasses.  
  • Remember to ask someone to help you in this process, wear a safety harness, to prevent slipping, tie the ladder off and carefully climb on it. Ask your companion to hold the ladder steady for you. 
  • Don’t repair or replace the tile in harsh weather conditions like rain or thunderstorms, or even in extreme cold or hot days. 
  • During tile roof repair, be careful and don’t do anything that causes damage to other tiles of your roof. 
  • In case of replacement, buy the tile that is of same type, quality, and a completely matching tile so it doesn’t look alien among other tiles. Buying one from the same manufacturer is a good solution. Remember, don’t force a new tile of different size and quality, it will damage your roof and other tiles.  
  • While applying cement to tiles’ small cracks or holes use a putty knife.
  • After removing broken tile or loose one from roof, carefully dispose of it to prevent it from damaging any person or animal. 

Tools and Material 

While repairing a tile roof, you need a list of few tools like caulk gun, flat pry bar, hammer, trowel, and wire brush. When it comes to material plastic roof cement is necessary to fill up holes, and sheet metal flashing is for covering the cracks. 

Fast Fix Or Fast Tile Roof Repair

If suddenly you see a crack or hole in your roof and you want to repair it but have no proper tools or the weather is not in your favor, then what is the quick way to avoid bad situations? You can fix tile leak by using a temporary method like with the help of sheet metal flashing, which you can easily get it from any hardware store.

To repair tile hole, you can use 12-by-12-inch galvanized sheet metal flashing piece. Then lift the damaged tile with your one hand and push the metal flashing piece up under that tile. You can secure metal flashing in one place by using flashing cement.

Proper Fixing With Tile Roof Repair

Small Cracks or Holes

If your roof has some tiles which have cracks and holes, they need to be fixed. The right way to fix the issue is to fill the fills and cracks by using plastic roofing cement. 

  • First you have to clean the cracked or damaged tile area. You can use wire brush for it.
  • Take plastic roofing cement and join or seal the cracks with it. Start filling the holes with cement but only put the required amount.
  • You have to smooth the surface for finished look. You can use trowel to level the cement and remove the excessive quantity. 

Cracked or Broken Roof Tile

If your roof tile is completely broken and unable to be repaired, then you have to do a tile roof repair. If there are cracks in tile that are too big to fill up with cement and tile piece becomes loose, again replacement is the only solution. Sometimes the tile also goes missing. You have to immediately install a new tile in place of it, and for all these things, you need to know how to replace a broken tile roof. So, let’s see.

Replacement Of Roof Tiles 

When you are going to do a tile roof repair on cracked or broken tiles, use a flat pry bar so you can carefully lift up the tile or tiles just above the damaged one. Don’t try to lift them so high that it will damage them further. Instead, just lift a little and prop the tiles up with wood blocks to prevent them from falling.

Next, you have to remove the damaged tile, so use flat pry bar to lift it out. If you fail you can hammer to break the tile, but for that, beneath faulty tile, insert a piece of wood before breaking it to protect the tile below it. After this, you can use a flat bar or hammer to first break tile carefully and then remove its pieces.

You have to remove the nails holding the damaged tile by using the flat bar. If it’s impossible to remove them, you can use hammer and flat bar to drive all such nails down into roof sheathing or wood battens. 

Now you have to add roofing cement in the place where the damaged tile resided previously, after that, put the new tile on the cement. Drive nails to keep the tile in place; remember to use good quality cement or adhesive to hold the tile properly. 

Once the new tile is installed properly, now put back all the tiles which are on its surroundings that you have previously held up. 

If you can’t replace the cracked roof immediately due to no equipment then still you can save your roof from water seeping by a temporary repair. You just need piece of waterproof membrane, roofing felt, or flashing strip. Cut it according to the size of crack and stick it over the tile with crack with the help of roof adhesive. Keep in mind that the piece should cover the whole cracked or damaged area.

Tile Roof Leaks

Leaks are difficult to repair as finding the source and then repairing it both need much effort. 

Check the roof visually to find the source of a leak. 

If you can’t see the significant signs then just go to attic during the day, and turn off its light. If there is any hole in the roof the light will come through it and give you a rough idea that there is a hole and you have to repair it. 

Even if this doesn’t help you, with the help of hose, run water onto roof. Water will either appear in the attic in case of cracks or start dripping in case of big holes. 

Once you find the hole, just push thin wire or nail through it from inside roof and go above the roof for tile roof repair.

  • To repair leaks in your roof, you can use a flat pry bar to easily lift up tiles around holes or leaks. 
  • Fill tile’s hole with roofing cement and then replace any other tile that is broken or cracked.
  • If your supporting roof structure has already been damaged by water with the passage of time and is sagging, you have to repair wood sheathing and rafters underneath the roof tiles first. For that you can contact a roofing contractor for assistance.


Tile roof repair is essential when you find out that an individual tile on your roof has been damaged (cracked, broken or leaking) due to any reason. Filling up holes or cracks on tiles to prevent leaking needs professional approach but you can do this on your own by following the precautions and guide we discussed here. So, why wait? Let’s fix your roofing problem now. 

For any repairs, installations, builds, or questions; We recommend you to hire a professional. Find A Pro Near You Here!