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How to Repair Tile Roof?

Learning to fix a tile roof can help you save time and money. People like tile roofs for their strong build and good looks. However, even these roofs can get damaged by bad weather or simply from aging. This article will show you step-by-step instructions on how to fix your tile roof, from finding problems to replacing broken tiles.

First, we will talk about the common problems with tile roofs and what materials you need to fix them. Then, we will show you how to find cracks and holes in your tiles before teaching you how to replace broken tiles the right way. We will also look at how to fix leaks under tiles that might be causing water damage inside your house.

Staying safe is very important when you work on a roof. So, we will advise on what safety gear to wear and how to use a ladder safely while doing repairs.

Related: How to Install Roof Tiles?  |  How to Walk on Tile Roof Safely?

Table of Contents

What You Should Know Before Tile Roof Repairs

Common Problems with Tile Roofs

  • Broken Tiles: Tiles might get cracked or chipped because of things like bad weather and regular aging. If you don’t fix these broken tiles quickly, they could cause leaks in your roof.
  • Wearing Out of Fiber Cement: The fiber cement in some tile roofs can wear out over time. This can lead to water damage inside your house.
  • Problems with Masonry: Parts of the roof made of masonry, like the cement between the tiles, can also leak if they start to break down.

Materials Needed for Fixing Tile Roofs

  • Tiles: You need new tiles that look the same as the ones on your roof to replace the damaged ones.
  • Tools for Roofers: You will need special tools to safely take off old materials from the roof without harming the surrounding areas. Tools like pry bars are common.
  • Caulk Gun & Plastic Roofing Cement: This glue is vital for closing any gaps around new tiles and stopping future leaks.

Related: Caulking Gun Buying Guide – Acme Tools

  • Roofing Nails: Special nails for roofing are essential to keep tiles in place and make sure the repair lasts long.

Check the Whole Roof, Not Just the Leak Spot

When you think there’s a leak from your roof, make sure to find out exactly where it’s coming from. Fixing the area around the leak may not be enough. It’s a good idea to examine the whole roof, especially where it meets walls or chimneys.

Check Underneath the Tiles

Fixing tiles might stop roof leaks, but sometimes the problem is deeper. If the leak doesn’t stop after you replace a tile, your roofing felt might be the problem. Even if it looks okay, old roofing felt might not work well anymore. Keep this in mind if replacing tiles doesn’t fix the leak.

Finding Cracks and Holes

A usual problem with tile roofs is getting small cracks or holes. You can fix these with plastic roofing cement. This part talks about how to spot these issues correctly before fixing them.


Clean the Damaged Spot Well

First, look closely at each tile on your roof to find damage like chips, cracks, or missing parts. Clean the tiles with a soft brush and soapy water to see the damage better. A clean surface helps you see how much your tiles are damaged.

Fix the Crack or Hole Right

If your tile roof has small cracks or holes, start by removing any loose bits inside them with a wire brush. Then, fill these spots with roofing cement using a putty knife or caulking gun. Make sure you fill the whole gap to keep out moisture and stop leaks from getting worse because of bad repairs.

Use Fiber Cement

For bigger cracks or holes, fiber cement is a good choice. This material is stronger than plastic roofing cement and handles bad weather better.

By doing these things, you can find and fix small cracks or holes in your tile roof, helping it last longer and stopping water damage. Next, you should replace any broken tiles to make your roof as good as new.


To fix small cracks or holes in a tile roof, first find and clean the damaged spots. Then, use plastic roofing cement or fiber cement to fill and seal these areas properly. This way, you can keep your tile roof in good shape and avoid water damage.

Replace Broken Tiles

When tiles on a roof break due to wear or storms, you need to change these broken tiles. This section shows you how to take off damaged tiles and put new ones in their place, making sure they fit right and stay secure on your roof.


Take Off Damaged Tiles Carefully

First, find the broken tiles on your roof. Wear safety gear like gloves, shoes that don’t slip, and a harness if needed. Use a ladder to reach the broken tiles. Carefully lift the edges of the tiles next to the broken one with a pry bar or roofing tool, trying not to harm the other tiles. Remove the broken tile carefully by sliding it out sideways so you don’t push on the tiles nearby.

Put in New Tiles Accurately

  1. Check new tiles for any small cracks or chips before putting them in.
  1. When ready, slide the new tile under the overlapping ones until it’s level with the other materials, like the fiber cement underneath. Make sure it’s in the right spot by lining up the top edges.
  1. Secure it by using plastic roofing cement or masonry nails, depending on whether you have concrete or clay tiles.

After putting in the new tile, double-check your work to make sure there are no gaps where water could get in and cause leaks later.

Get Help from Roofing Experts

You can try to fix and replace damaged tiles yourself, but asking professional roofers for help can save you time and ensure a good job. They know a lot about tile roofs and can check the damage and fix it in the best way for your house, making sure everything is safe.

Replacing broken tiles is key to keeping your roof safe and secure. You also need to check for leaks under the tiles to fix any problems there.


To fix a tile roof, first, take off broken tiles safely and carefully. Then, put in new tiles, checking for any problems and making sure they’re in the right place. This helps prevent leaks in the future. Asking professional roofers for help can save time and make sure the job is done well and safely.

Fix Leaks Under Tiles

Leaks under individual tiles might happen because of bad membrane layers under the tiles, not just visible cracks. This part explains how to find such leaks by checking both inside and outside your house for signs of water, like stains, color changes, or pooled water. When you find the source, it’s essential to fix the real problem, usually a bad membrane layer under the tiles.


Search for Hidden Leaks Inside Your House

To find hidden leaks in your tile roof:

  1. Start by checking your attic.
  1. Look for water damage or mold on insulation and wood.
  1. Focus on areas near things like vents and chimneys where water could get in.
  1. Check the ceilings and walls in your house for wet spots or color changes that might mean your roof is leaking.

Fix Leaks from Bad Protective Membranes

  • Check for Damaged Membranes:
    1. Carefully examine the area around where you think the leak is to see if the protective membranes under the tiles are damaged.
    1. Look for any tears or holes in these layers that might let water into your roof.
    1. If you find any, fix them right away to stop more damage over time.
  • Avoid Future Leaks: To prevent leaks like this in the future, think about using high-quality underlayment materials. Also, make sure you use the right ways to put them in when you build or replace your roof. By doing this, you can lower the chance of leaks under the tiles later and make your roof last longer.


To fix a tile roof, check inside and outside your house for signs of leaks from bad membrane layers. If you find problems with the protective membranes, get help. Also, using suitable underlayment materials can help prevent future leaks.

Safety Steps for Fixing Tile Roofs

Fixing tile roofs requires careful safety steps. We’ll discuss the need for protective clothing and strong equipment. It’s also important to be cautious about how much weight you put on the roof as you move. This helps avoid more damage or getting hurt.

Wear the Right Gear for Roof Work

For your safety, wear the proper safety gear while fixing a tile roof. This should include a hard helmet, gloves, slip-resistant shoes, and eye protection. If you are working high up or on steep roofs, think about using a harness to help prevent falls.


Use Ladders Safely and Move Carefully on the Roof

  • Choose a ladder that is long enough: Pick a ladder that goes three feet above the roof edge. Check that it’s in good shape, without missing or broken parts.
  • Where to put your ladder: Set up your ladder on flat ground and away from things like power lines. Make sure it’s stable by securing its bottom before you go up.
  • Keep three points of contact: When you go up or down the ladder, keep your hands free. Use a tool belt for carrying tools. This helps you keep a steady grip and reduces the chance of slipping or making a wrong step.
  • Don’t step on broken tiles:
    1. Avoid stepping on tiles that are already cracked. Walk near these areas instead.
    1. Spread your weight over several strong spots to avoid causing more damage by stepping on weak tiles.


For tile roof repairs, remember to wear safety gear, use strong equipment, and be careful about where you put your weight. Choose and use ladders the right way, including making sure they are long enough and stable, keeping a good grip when moving up or down, and not stepping on damaged tiles.

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