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Maintaining Your Clay Tile Roof To Get The Maximum Life From It

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Your house could get nearly a century of protection from your new clay tile roof. A little routine maintenance will keep it looking nice and free of water leaks. An annual inspection by one of the roofing contractors in your area will uncover any minor problems that could become major repair projects. Here are some of the other ways you can make sure your clay tile roof has a long life.

1. Don't let dirt and debris collect on the roof.

Not only does a dirty clay roof detract from the appearance, leaves, sticks and limbs allow water to collect on the roof. This keeps the clay tiles damp, making them vulnerable to algae growth. Once algae begins to grow, the plants send tiny roots down into the tiles, causing them to crack and break apart.

To clean the roof and remove any trace of algae:

  1. In a household tank sprayer, mix equal amounts of water and chlorine.
  2. Spray the roof, soaking each tile thoroughly.
  3. Using a soft brush, scrub each tile carefully.
  4. Rinse the roof off with fresh water from a garden hose or power washer set at the lowest setting.
  5. Start at the top of the roof and work down to avoid streaks.

2. Repair cracked tiles before they break completely.

Fix cracked tiles as soon as you spot them. Debris can get into cracks and make the tile break completely, which then requires replacing the tile. To repair a cracked tile:

  1. Scrub the tile carefully, getting all dust and debris out of the crack.
  2. With a tube of silicone sealer, force the sealer into the crack until it is full.
  3. Wipe any excess sealer off of the surface of the tile.
  4. If you don't leave any sealer on the surface, you'll likely not see the repair from the ground.

3. Replace broken clay tiles promptly.

Should a tile break completely, it must be replaced carefully so as not to damage the surrounding tiles. It must be replaced quickly before water can get under the roof. If you're uncomfortable with this repair, have professional roofing contractors in your area handle it for you.

  1. Remove any loose pieces of tile.
  2. Using a hammer or pry bar, carefully break up the tile in small pieces that can be easily removed.
  3. Reach under the overhanging tile and remove the nails that held the broken tile onto the roof.
  4. Slip the new tile under the overlapping tile to make sure it will fit.
  5. Coat the upper surface of the new tile that will go under the overhanging tile with roof sealer.
  6. Place a bead of sealer on the edges of the tile that will rest on the lower tiles.
  7. Place the new tile under the overlapping tile and adjust it so it is aligned with the tiles next to it.
  8. Wipe any roof sealer off of the exposed surface of the new tile.
  9. If repaired carefully, you won't be able to see the repair from the ground.