When Should You Replace An Old Clay Tile Roof?


While clay tile roofs are beautiful and durable, they'll eventually need to be replaced. Clay tiles last for a long time, but other components of a clay tile roof like the underlayment and the fasteners aren't as strong. To learn how you can know when it's time to replace an old clay tile roof, read on.

The Underlayment Beneath the Clay Tiles Is Deformed or Damaged

When a clay tile roof is installed, the tiles are placed over an underlayment that keeps water out of your attic. Older clay tile roofs were typically installed using a thick layer of roofing felt as an underlayment, while newer ones are often installed over a plastic membrane.

Both types of underlayment will deteriorate over time. They can start shrinking and deforming, creating gaps in the underlayment that allow water into your home. High winds can also damage the underlayment by pulling up on the tiles, causing the fasteners to move around and tear holes in the underlayment. If the underlayment on your clay tile roof is in bad condition and is allowing water into your home, you'll need to replace your roof in order to prevent leaks.

The Clay Tiles Are Spalling Because of Frost Damage

Freezing weather can cause a considerable amount of damage to a clay tile roof. Clay tiles are porous, and they become more porous as they get older. Rain leaches away some of the minerals in the tiles, creating gaps that water can use to seep into the tile.

If the outside temperature drops rapidly after heavy rainfall, water inside the tiles can freeze. The expanding water will cause the surface of the tile to split apart, causing the tile to become spalled. This makes the tile much weaker. Spalled tiles are more likely to break apart if wind-blown debris hit them or if someone walks on them. If your clay tiles are spalled, you'll need to replace your roof to restore its strength.

The Fasteners Used to Attach the Clay Tiles to Your Roof Are Rusting

Some fasteners used to attach clay tiles to your home, like carbon steel nails, will eventually rust because of moisture in the air. The nails will slowly disintegrate as all of the iron in the nail turns into rust. Heavy winds can snap the nail, causing the tile that's attached to it to slide around or fall out. If the fasteners used to attach the tiles to your roof are badly rusted, you'll need to replace your roof to prevent your tiles from falling off during a storm.

If you notice any of the above in your clay tile roof, call a roofing replacement service in your area and have it replaced. If only the underlayment or fasteners need to be replaced, you may be able to reuse the tiles if they're still in good condition. If your tiles have been damaged by frost, you'll need to replace them with new ones. Replacing your clay tile roof will keep your attic dry and help prevent water damage to your home during heavy storms.

For more information on when to seek a roofing replacement, contact a professional near you.

About Me

The Life and Work of Roofers

Your home would not be a home without a roof. A good roof keeps the rain out, provides some insulation against sunlight, and does not easily become damaged when exposed to snow or ice. The roof was put in place by a roofer, who was probably one of the hardest-working people you'll ever meet. Who else can say they stand all day on a pitched surface and perform physical labor? Days as a roofer are long and hot, but we are all thankful for the work these professionals do. On this blog, you can learn more about roofers, their work, and their lives.

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