Top quality roof tiles are hard wearing, often remaining protective for many years. It is unusual, therefore, to have widespread problems with your roof unless the original installation was carried out incorrectly or the tiles that were used were of a substandard quality. Spending a little more money on finding a professional and proficient roofer and on good quality tiles will prove to be cost saving in the long run.
Despite the fact that widespread problems with tile roofs are rare, there are occasions when one or more individual tiles require attention and the two most common reasons for this are the cracking or breaking of a tile or tiles and the accumulation of debris. In order to avoid these problems becoming worse, attention should be paid to the state of the roof and the necessary remedial action taken.
Cleaning Your Roof Tiles
One of the biggest reasons for the accumulation of debris on the roof tiles is the proximity of a tree or trees.These will produce moisture, which can lead to moss growing on the tiles. It is essential, therefore, to keep all overhanging trees cut back so far as is possible, to prevent moss and/or algae from accumulating. If moss and algae do develop they will make the tiles heavier, not least as the hold moisture and can attract other debris. One possible way of preventing the accumulation of moss is to install a copper wire net to the roof’s ridge line. If water runs over the copper it will have the effect of reducing the amount of any moss that grows beneath it.
If moss, algae and other debris are allowed to accumulate in the gaps between the roof tiles, water may be allowed to back up beneath the tiles and when this happens it can be tricky to identify the source of a roof leak because the water that backs up can follow the run of the boards to which the tiles are attached, appearing in an entirely different area in the property’s interior. The most likely area of the roof where this type of debris accumulates are the valleys and these should be kept clean. An annual pressure wash is the most effective way of doing this.
Mending/Replacing Damaged Tiles
Damage to tiles is frequently caused by adverse weather such as strong winds or large hailstones, incorrect installation or as a result of being stepped on. It is therefore important, whenever working on the roof to use boards and planks. Walking directly on a tile risks damaging it – not a good idea for our Devon builders and roofers!
Another reason for problems with the tiles is the failure to use the correct nails when fitting them. Copper or stainless steel nails are likely to keep the tiles in place longest, whilst cheap, galvanised nails are the most likely to cause problems.
Some tiles can be repaired with silicon sealant or adhesive.When working on older roofs it can sometimes be difficult, if you need to replace a tile or tiles, finding tiles that match. One option is to swap the tiles around so that those that do not match are fixed to a less visible section of the roof.
Keeping the tiles on your roof n good order is the only way to ensure that the tiles do not cause your roof to leak. Working on a tile roof requires a lot of care because, although tile are durable and weatherproof, they can also be brittle. A professional roofer will ensure that, in cleaning or repairing your roof tiles, he does not do cause more damage than he actually prevents!