Tile roofs may be durable and long-lasting, but they aren't immune to problems. There are several issues that can affect the longevity of your tile roof. Knowing what they are allows you to recognize issues early before they lead to further damages and moisture issues in the home.
1. Broken Tiles
The most obvious type of damage on a tile roof is cracked and chipped tiles. Tiles can become chipped from outside damage, such as from storms or blowing debris. Manufacturing defects, such as improperly cured tiles, can also lead to cracking once they are exposed to temperature fluctuations. Regardless of the reason, broken tiles need to be promptly replaced. Otherwise, moisture can seep under them and cause roof leaks.
2. Loose Fasteners
Sometimes the tiles are in excellent condition, but the fasteners fail. A fastener may simply break or come loose, or they may have been installed incorrectly. Sometimes an insufficient number of fasteners are used. The good news is that this is an easy fix for a roofer. They can simply replace the fasteners and reattach the affected tile before water leaks underneath it.
3. Underlayment Damage
In some cases, the tiles are fine, but the wood underlayment or sheathing has suffered damage. This damage is usually the result of past leaks that have weakened the wood, but in some cases, it may be because the underlayment is not strong enough to support the tiles. When the underlayment is damaged, you may notice water leaks inside your home or there may be sagging portions of your roof. The damage must be repaired promptly.
4. Flashing Failure
Flashing is installed where ever a vent or similar rooftop penetration comes through the tile. Unlike asphalt shingle roofs, which have the flashing installed over the top of the shingles, the flashing should be installed beneath the tiles on the upslope of the roof and beneath the tiles on the downslope. If the flashing isn't installed properly, there is a high likelihood that water will leak around the vent or other penetration.
5. Tile Delamination
Delamination occurs when the tile begins to break apart in sheets, almost as if the top layers of the tile are being peeled away. The cause is improperly made tiles, which contain too many mineral inclusions and then aren't cured properly. Moisture exposure causes the tile to peel apart at the site of the inclusion. The only fix is to have the defective tiles replaced.
Contact a roof repair contractor if you suspect issues with your tile roof.