In this article we will be looking at the most basic roofing repair, changing a roof tile. You will find information on how we replace nearly every type of broken or missing roof tile and roofing slate found today in the UK. Being able to easily remove roofing tiles is the key to repairing a roof, so we can work on it to repair or modify it. You will read about how our roofers deal with the safe removal of a broken tile, all without creating any further unnecessary damage.
One important factor when replacing any missing or damaged tiles and slates is this, we will always try to get a colour match if possible. Often a good roofing merchant will have a reclamation section where worn, nearly new tiles, or various coloured slates will be available, this will make the final repair extremely hard to detect after light weathering. If this is not an option we will remove tiles from the rear, or the bottom row of your property, where it is hard to see them and they can be swapped for any breakages higher up the roof. The new replacement roof tiles can then be fitted to the bottom row and show no noticeable signs of Roof Repairs.
Tile and slate fixing procedure:
With roofing tiles it is a common practise in large parts of the UK to fix every second or third row of tiles with clout nails, starting at and including the bottom row, every second or third row after that including the top row and they will be nailed with either galvanised steel, aluminium, or copper clout nails. The other rows of unfixed tiles rely on lugs or nibs cast into the tile itself on the underneath of the tile near the top ( head ), this allows the tiles to hang from the horizontal timber roofing batten ( laths ) with the weight of the overlapping tiles above holding it in place. This is not because of laziness or the cost of the nails, the general idea is that if you accidentally break a tile whilst installing the roof, or a third party maintains the roof in later years, so that they or you can gain access to replace any breakages by sliding the non-nailed tiles out of position for ease of access.
Quite often though in areas exposed to high winds, or on council houses, every tile on every row may be nailed.
Generally roof tiles have two fixing options, lugs or lugs and nails. Roofing slates on the other hand will always be nailed as this is their primary and only point of fixing unless it’s a hook fixing, or in very rare occasions, old traditional slate roofs may have wooden pegs.
How do we change a broken roof tile:
Lets start off with probably the most prolific type of roof tile repair found on roofs in the UK, the interlocking roof tile. Most often these are made from concrete and coated with a finish of coloured paint, patterned paint, or textured with a mixture of paint and sand called sand faced. Normally these tiles are single overlap, meaning the tile above overlaps it once, and the sides interlocks with the tile next to it to create a watertight join.
These come in many variations of manufacturer, shape, size and colour, the make and model of which can usually be found on the underneath of the tile when it has been removed. Here are a selection of common roofing tiles for identification, approximate sizes, and anatomy.
The three most common roof tile manufacturers in the UK are Marley, Sandtoft and Redland, clicking these links may help you to identify any tiles that you need help with. Other large roof tile companies include Russell roofing tiles, Forticrete and Dreadnought.
Often a roofing tile from different manufacturers may be a direct replacement, or an as near as dammit option if you are struggling to source a particular tile, or a tile that is no longer produced. If the roof tile has no discernible mark or brand underneath you can take a sample to a good roofing yard and they will find a match for you.
It is always a good idea to make the effort to find a dedicated roofing supplier rather than a general builders yard because their roof tile choices, options and knowledge will be far superior. Quite often they will have a reclamation section too which can be a great resource for matching unusual or old tiles.