How To Patch A Roof Leak

How Long Does Tile Roof Underlayment Last?

With properly installed tiles, if you look at the standard underlayment, you will likely see it is still in excellent condition and it should be able to last anywhere from 50 to 100 years, provided your tile is installed properly. It will still be plenty thick, and it should still be flexible, But when it is not installed properly, that's when you end up with the felt paper wearing out.

As we saw in a previous article, How To Repair A Leaking Asphalt Shingle Roof, a poorly installed roof tile will cause problems leading to the eventual need to have a roof repair.  In the first article, we got to the point of carefully removing the tiles to inspect the problems underneath. At this point, we found the plywood was in terrible condition and needed to be replaced. You may well find the same thing on your roof, especially if you've been seeing water leaks on the inside of your home, in the ceiling.  

Once you have your plywood panels that you're going to use to replace the rotten wood, in my example case I got two 2 by 4 foot panels stacked on top of each other right over the opening where I need to replace the rotted wood. I line them up so the edges are right along the rafter line, which you can tell by seeing where the nails from the original material have been hammered through.

So once the replacement panels are in place, aligned with the rafters, all I need to do is take a Sharpie and draw a line around the outside of the new panels and then follow up by cutting right along that line with my saw. So just mark all around the perimeter on the old wood with the Sharpie, and then just cut it out. And then the new panels will fit right in the opening.

Once you cut back and remove the old wood, you'll see the rafter system, 16 inch on center. So three rafter bays is a total of 48 inches wide, which is exactly the width of the panels. And when you line up your panels in the step above, lined up with the nails going into the rafters, you'll see that you end up with a little lip where the new panels can sit down on there and you can nail, stitch nail both sides of the new material, just like you would the original sheeting.

working on a tile roof on a Tucson home

Something to mention - a lot of times the space at the edge of the half inch plywood on the roof is very flexible when you have these smaller panels that you're putting in place. But the reason why it's normally very flexible and unstable is because typically you don't have a roof rafter system that is 16 inches on center. Normally your rafters are about 24 inches on center and there is a lot more space between the rafters to allow for flexibility when you step on it.

When it's naturally very stiff and stable, you probably won't need to put any blocking on the back side of the lateral seams in between the rafters. Oftentimes the panels sit on 24 inch span rafters, it is something worth doing. And so that blocking on the back side, just screw through the panel. You can pull the blocking tight from the back side and then screw through this panel into the blocking as well, and it stabilizes the joints in between the rafters. So you may need to do that if you're replacing panels on your on your rafters or on your roof where the rafters are 24 inches on center from rafter to Rafter, 24 inches.

So as far as nailing pattern goes, probably a good idea for you to check your local codes at your local building and safety division of the entity city, county, wherever you live. But in my area, the perimeter nails any where you have a seam along the rafters, the exterior perimeter of that panel needs to be nailed, six inches on center minimum. All six inches on center every six inches. You get another nail on both sides of the scene.

And then in the middle of the panel, obviously, you can't nail there because there's nothing underneath. So these spots do not require nails that are in between the rafters. But in the middle on the rafter, you want the nails to be every nine inches minimum. So these are about seven or eight inches apart. And on the outside edge they need to be six inches apart. And I've found this to be more than sufficient with half inch sheeting on just about any truss or rafter system that I've ever worked on.

Tile Roof Leak Repair From Start To Finish


We're going to do a tile roof inspection and repair. This customer had a leak in his loft. There's a window about 2-foot over there and about nine feet back that's where it's leaking into the room. So I'm gonna take up any of the tile so it's pretty easy to do. We'll make some safe stacks on the side. Safely stack the tiles aside. We're gonna cut out all the roofing felt paper now and we will find leak either right here by pulling off the felt right about here. It's pretty typical. We're gonna get this side of tiles all up I'll show you after we get everything off safely stacked aside. Then we'll cut out the damaged felt paper check and repair the deck if needed finally I circle the leak find all the problems, find the leak source or make sure we do leak detection make sure it's fixed.

We re-felt the area put it all back together including a warranty. We do a lot of these so we get these things done for you done quick

So we're going to show you the easy step here cutting out the plywood, cutting up the felt paper, excuse me when I'm cutting out the pilot see it's pretty easy I don't know why people go over this but just if you know what you're doing it doesn't take too long. Fold it up recyclable bags into a trash bag cleaned up we've got one more to take out you can see how the leak started. There's his roof leak.

Fold up the bottom first bottom first that way you get dust all over the place. That's how you cut out and fold felt paper. Why the other roofers don't want to do it I have no idea. Doesn't take that long.

All right now you can see got a leak that started right up here, little problem in the felt paper it goes all the way down and then right here is what was falling into his house, right there big, big bump in the decking and it was going right in the house.

Whenever your roofer does a repair you want to make sure that's nice and clean cuts, square rectangle, the shapes are good very very important. You don't want a weird-looking repair because you want to make sure you take it out even that way to know exactly where it was repaired. It's worth it to take the time to do it right.

These ridge boards sometimes they take nails and nail them right the bottom corner so you just cut them off, that way you can get the felt paper all the way up here.

Here's what you should do just to make sure the roofer got the area you should always have him just circle the roof leak so he can show you what it is. Find it and circle the damaged area. It's a real simple. There you go you can see all the water damage is confined in this area on the outside of it nothing but clean plywood which means you have it confined. The leak started right here, fell into his house right there, circled all the way around it. That's how you can tell they actually did the leak detection and found the leak, otherwise if they just cover up an area how do you know if they found the roof leak? You're just never going to know.

So there's a another tip for you make sure your roofer circles the leak

Now that the roof is felted, ...let's see you can do these things really really quick

I got to tell you that there this one right here it was like the easiest one that you can do it's a field leak there's no pipes there's no valley there's no flashing there's no skylight there's no chimney there's no nothing it's clean that's the easiest one that you can possibly do that's like so fast some of these leaks you have to tear up maybe an area just twice as big as this. It can easily take you all day depending on how much water proofing you have to do. The waterproofing on this is real basic so this is a real easy one to show you that you know it can go quick but a really experienced roofing contractor and crew will make a huge difference. Once the repair is done then we go down talk to the homeowner tell them what's up show them what we got.