Licenced Builder (and My Home Improvements’ MD) Greg Catton is a specialist in tile roof restoration and roof repair. Here he nuts out a few good reasons why crawling across your cracked tile roof, silicone gun in hand can be dangerous for your roof, your whole house… and your marriage!
I’ll admit, silicone fixes lots of things… but roof tiles just isn’t one of them!
But hang on, why would the guy at the hardware store lie to you and tell you roofing silicone will do a great job of fixing your broken roof tiles?
Mate… he’s a salesman, not a roof man!
The short answer to the question about fixing broken roof tiles is NO! Don’t even think about it.
Here’s a bit more info to get your head around so you can see why.
So, you’re out the back enjoying a barby with the family when you happen to glance up and cop an eyeful of a big, fat, nasty looking crack on one of the roof tiles.
There are a couple of options you might take at this point:
1. Pretend you didn’t see it and hope for the best.
2. Grab a ladder, inspect the damage (and see there are LOTS of cracked or broken tiles) and revert back to option 1.
3. Load that silicone gun and bung up those cracked tiles good and proper
4. Give us a call.
(Now let’s imagine you’ve had a few beers by this stage of the barby and you’re not thinking too straight so option 4 is put on the back burner.)
Here’s an idea of what is most likely to unfold over the coming weeks and months following your DIY silicone roof tile fixing spree.
First up, it will look great. You’ve done a fine job. And because roofing silicone is guaranteed for five years, you reckon you’ve just bought yourself a bit of time and added some life to the old tiled roof.
You are a hero!
Then slowly things start to fall apart.
The problem with trying to fix broken roof tiles is that there’s nothing to actually stick the silicone to!
For silicone to do its job, like any adhesive, it needs a strong, clean surface on which to get a grip.
Broken roof tiles are not like this.
When you rub your finger across the exposed surface where the break is, you’ll see concrete. Old concrete. Concrete that has been unprotected and has had years of exposure to the weather. They will be OK in some places, but mostly the broken edges your roof tiles will be brittle and crumbling — and there will be what we professionals in the industry call ‘roof tile dust’ everywhere.
The bottom line is, it won’t offer a sound enough surface for the silicone to grip. And while it will look OK for a short while, it will let go.
Let’s look at what is really going on with those cracked and broken roof tiles
Broken roof tiles are a symptom of a bigger problem. People think roof tiles crack and break because something fell on ‘em, like a tree branch in a storm.
This is rarely the case.
Just like a bottle of milk, your roof has a use-by-date. Problem is, you can push the milk a couple of days over, give it a whiff and if it’s on the nose, you just chuck it out.
Your roof’s use-by-date depends on a bunch of things like age, weather and how well you have (or haven’t) looked after it. And once the factory coating is gone, she’s headed for tile heaven.
Factory coating on roof tiles??
Yep. All tiles have a protective coating. It lasts ages, but not forever. Once it’s gone, water soaks into the tile, every time it rains. Then comes a stinking hot day, followed by a cold one and SNAP! Crackle Pop!!!
Once you’ve got cracked roof tiles mate, you’ll have more each year!
Yep, like kids, they just keep growing. You might see three broken tiles this year and think there’ll be three next year.
But it’s going to be more like ten! They increase in number (and here’s a big word for me)… exponentially!!
And remember, it isn’t just the broken roof tiles that you have to worry about.
You don’t want to leave it go, because if moisture gets in, there’s a real risk of damage to your ceiling, walls, floors and furniture. And to fix THAT problem can mean big bucks!
When it comes down to it, what you really want is…
- No more leaks (or worries)
- A great looking roof
- Happy wife – happy life!
If roof tiles fixed themselves, I’d be out of business and turning my hand to goat farming. But they don’t so, for now the goats are safe and you need to do something about the broken tiles on that roof!
So just come back down the ladder, slowly. Now put the silicone gun down… and get in touch with us!
No matter how simple or complex the problem, we can sort it out — and help make your home great again. As we like to say, if you have an issue with your roof, make it OUR problem!