A broken roof tile can cause all sorts of problems for you and your family – from unwelcome drafts creeping throughout the top floor of your home; insects, pests and other rodents using it as an entry point to the attic; to being a potential falling hazard right outside your property. In other words, a broken roof tile needs fixing fast – and the quickest way to solve the problem is to get up a ladder and repair or replace the tile yourself. But how do you do this safely? And what if you’ve never done it before?
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Replacing Old Roof Tiles
Well, fortunately replacing old broken roof tiles is one of the easier DIY home improvement projects for home starters to attempt – but that doesn’t mean extra care shouldn’t be taken when getting up there to fix the problem. Here are five easy steps that, if followed diligently, should help you replace the broken roof tiles in just a few hours:
- Firstly, make sure you have all the proper equipment you need to replace the old roof tiles successfully. This will include a ladder, two flat pry bars, the replacement tiles (of the same colour and/or material as your original roof tiles) and any nails or under-board if the damage is particularly bad (such as after a storm).
- Secondly, you will need to carry out a full healthy and safety risk assessment before jumping in feet first. This means checking the ladder is sturdy and secure; making sure there is no debris on the roof that is at risk of falling on you while you’re up there; making sure you have another person with you to hold the ladder; dressing in the appropriate clothing – including an eye-mask, strong, durable gloves and light footwear that won’t damage unbroken tiles – for the task and making sure the weather and wind speed isn’t too turbulent the day you plan on doing the repair job.
- Now you’re ready to start fixing the tiles in question. Climb the ladder (making sure your partner is holding it steady) and locate the broken tiles that need replacing. Then insert the two pry bars underneath the tiles to the top right and to the left of the broken one, making sure they are parallel (usually vertically) with the direction the tiles have been laid. Because most roof tiles aren’t nailed down but slotted in via horizontal nubs on the under boarding, this allows you to gently elevate the adjacent tiles and carefully remove the old broken one.
- Now you can slot the brand new tile in its place, taking care to rest it securely on the nubs and under boarding without damaging it or the adjacent tiles that are still elevated.
- Finally, you need to gently remove the pry bars without cracking the adjacent tiles –and you’re done! Be sure not to crack any more tiles as you walk off the roof, and it’s that easy to fix!
Hiring a Professional Roofer
If you’re scared of heights and don’t fancy climbing a ladder, or you simply don’t have the confidence or experience with this kind of DIY work, then you can always hire a professional roofer or building contractor to do the job for you. As stressed above getting a broken roof tile fixed as soon as possible is imperative – so make a few quick calls for quotes in your area before settling on a contractor that can be with you in a matter of days.