4 Causes Of Tile Roof Leaks

Tile roofs are prized because they are attractive, low maintenance, and resistant to damage. Damage resistance doesn't mean damage proof, though, and leaks can occur. Knowing the common causes of a tile roof leak can help you quickly diagnose problems and schedule the proper repair. 

1. Broken Tiles

Although roof tiles are extremely durable, they are not completely immune to damage. Blunt force, such as from a falling tree branch or a hail storm, can crack a tile. Water will then seep through the broken tile and leak into your home. The good news is there is no need to replace the entire roof due to a broken tile or two. Roof tiles are easily replaceable. If replaced quickly, before water causes damage to the roof decking, no other repairs are usually needed. 

2. Loose Fasteners

Over time the nails that hold roof tiles in place can work loose and a tile may slip. The cause is often temperature fluctuations that make the anchoring decking boards expand and contract slightly, thus slowly pushing out the fasteners. A loose roofing tile will look slightly out of place and water may begin to leak beneath it depending on the extent of the looseness. Replacing the fastener is the only repair needed. 

3. Flashing Issues

Thin metal flashing sheets seal the seams around chimneys and where two roof planes meet. Although a tile roof can last many decades, metal flashing has a much shorter lifespan. It can become warped or corroded over time, or the tar that seals it in place may fail. When this occurs, the flashing must be replaced or a leak will begin to seep through the roof. Flashing can be repaired or replaced without any need for replacing the rest of the roof. 

4. Sealant Failure

The most devastating type of tile roof leak is a problem that only affects new roofs —  faulty sealant. If the tiles weren't properly fired and sealed during manufacture, they will absorb moisture and allow it to seep through them and into your home. Fortunately, there should be a manufacturer's warranty covering such a problem. This warranty will allow your roofing service to come out and replace the roof with properly sealed tiles at no additional cost to you. This is why it is always important to verify warranty paperwork when having any work done on your roof. 

Contact a residential roofing contractor if you have any other questions.