Slate and Storm Damage: How to Protect Your Roof Until the Repair Service Arrives

Beautiful and historic slate roofs can provide a hardy defense from the elements, but even these durable tiles may be subject to weathering and damage. Ice dams and storm debris pose the greatest risk, and this may be exacerbated if there are any issues with the original installation. Whether you're dealing with normal tile wear, cracking, slipping, or the loss of one or more tiles, it's important to reaffirm your roof's integrity while you wait on a professional repair. Here are a few ways you can shore up your roof temporarily until help arrives.

Improvise With Metal Flashing

For small cracks, holes, and new gaps that have appeared recently, this is probably the easiest and quickest roof tile repair you can try. You'll just need a simple piece of metal flashing, preferably either copper or aluminum. You can slide it underneath the tiles to prevent further weather damage. The weight and friction of the tile itself will likely hold the flashing in place until you can get the issue fixed.

Glue Broken Tiles Back Together

For tiles that have broken into pieces, a useful temporary fix is to glue them back together. This solution can also be used to fill in severe cracks and hold a tile together a little longer. First, make sure the tile is completely clean. Regular soap and water work fine for this. Scrub gently with a toothbrush or cloth and pat dry. Once the tile is dry, apply a liberal amount of urethane glue to the pieces or the crack and hold everything in place. The bond will be set within just a few seconds, and you'll have bought your roof more time.

Apply Cement In Emergencies Only

Roofing cement can be applied for a very temporary fix in the event of more severe tile damage. Note that while this will help to save your roof, it may make the professional roof tile repair process take longer, as the cement will have to be carefully removed before fixing the original issue. It's best to use the minimum amount of roofing cement possible. This method is recommended as a last resort in emergencies but should be avoided if you have other options available.

While these quick fixes can help protect your historic slate roof from further damage, it's wise to consider working with a roof tile repair service. Issues with slate tiles may run deeper than the surface, and only an expert can ensure your roof is in perfect condition. Hopefully, these small stopgap measures will prevent major roofing problems, but for the good of your beautiful home, you should have it inspected immediately if any damage is spotted.