Tile roofs are prized by homeowners for their fire and moisture resistance, long lifespan and low maintenance, as well as appearance.

Many people expect a tile roof to last a lifetime and are surprised when they find they have a roof leak.  The tile, itself, is either concrete or clay and should last a lifetime, however, what keeps the water from entering your home is the felt beneath the tile.  The felt is an asphalt-based product and as the felt material ages it becomes breakable.  When the felt expands and contracts with the heat and cold, it will ultimately crack.

The tile will shed most of the water; however, some water can trickle down to the felt and this is when you might notice a leak.  In most cases, you can locate the leak at a pipe penetration, termination (chimney, skylight, roof to wall intersection) or from slipped or broken tiles.

Using the analogy of a car’s tire, a  patch may work,  but a new tire will come with a warranty.

If you were to run over a nail with a brand-new tire, a patch will do.  It would be silly to purchase a brand-new tire.  However, if the tire no longer has any tread and that happens, a patch will only get you by for a short time, but it is probably not the best use of your time and money.  You should probably start thinking about replacing your tires.

Roofing tiles can also be damaged by roofers walking carelessly on an unprotected roof while making repairs, or by overhanging tree branches, tree limbs, heavy weather, and age.   Harsh weather conditions such as hail can damage individual tiles.

Clay Tile Durability

Tile is a long-lasting roofing material that in ideal conditions can last 75 years or longer. However, clay tiles are brittle, so they’re easily chipped or broken. This type of roof is particularly susceptible to cracking and chipping and can be damaged by walking on the tiles or by impact from falling objects, such as hailstones and tree limbs. Inspect your clay tile roof after strong winds and hail storms so you can quickly repair the damage and prevent more serious problems, such as missing tiles and leaks.

Knowing When to Replace Tiles

Clay roof tiles that are cracked through to the bottom or that are missing large pieces must be replaced. If the damage is extensive and involves several tiles, this is usually a job for a professional tile roof contractor. Here are a few of the main sources of roof leaks:

  • Missing, cracked or loose shingles, tiles or seams
  • Damaged or deteriorated flashing, seals and caulking
  • Improper attic ventilation, which can cause moisture through a buildup of condensation
  • Improper installation of valleys, flashing, shingles, collars, etc.
  • Ice Dams, which prevent proper runoff and force water to back up beneath shingles
  • Ponding water
  • Exposed nail heads
  • Skylight flashings
  • Wind driven rain
  • Built-up debris, which can trap moisture and accelerate deterioration


Let Us Help You

Does your home have a tile roof that needs to be replaced or repaired? Hazlett Roofing & Renovation has over 100+ years of experience specializing in Tile Roofing & Repair. Contact us today at (216) 246-8004 or (330) 773-1018.