Tile Roof Leak Repair Basics

Assessing a Leak on a Tile Roof

In this article we'll be looking at the first stages of fixing a roofing leak on an s-tile roof.

It's not uncommon to find that one or more tiles are out of place. They can slide down and expose the felt paper underneath, and will basically lead to the paper or underlayment to become deteriorated.

The felt paper inside runs down underneath the tile, down slope and is really wreaking havoc down the slope of the roof to the exterior wall, above the header to the slider down below. So with a common situation like this, we'll walk through a step by step process explaining how to do a leak repair on a tile roof.

So the first thing I do is I come one row up from where the leak begins. And I come over a couple of tiles and I'm going to pull on all the tiles surrounding the one in questions and loosen them up a little bit. So I get the nail that's holding these in place a little bit loose. Then I get my flat bar underneath a bit and then pull that nail out and then slide these tile out.

lifting roof tiles with a pry bar

After that, I will continue to take the tile out alongside the leak, and then the tile out down below the leak, and stack the tile off to the side to come back to later. Then it's time to assess how bad the felt paper is, and replace the felt paper underneath every place where it's bad. You'll tuck the felt up underneath the good felt up above the leak and put the tile back in.

Once you've loosened all these tile around the leak area, go in and pull the nails out and start pulling the tile out of the area and coming down to roof slope. And again, stack those tile off to the side.

Once you have separated this tile with a flat bar, get a hammer under it. Just take your hammer, slide it under and turn the handle to hold a space to hold that tile up. And then you can use your flat bar to get underneath the tile to find any nails.

At that point you're going to get a flat bar underneath that nail head and pull off the nail. And that begins the process of of pulling the nails out of the surrounding area tiles.

You'll want to do the same process with all the tile coming across up above the leak so you have a good working area. You'll then be able to properly assess how bad of a leak you're dealing with.

When the tile is removed, you can cut out the felt paper and see how big and how bad the damaged area is. If the plywood is really damaged, you'll just want to replace that section. Knowing that it's 16 inches on center from rafter to rafter, you might work with a couple of 4 foot wide plywood panels as replacements where you'll block the seams in the middle and nail them off on the rafters.

But when you have to cut a good bit of wood out, you'll want to cut the felt out far enough to get to those rafters so you can pull the nails and get the old wood out and put the new wood in.

As for the kind of felt used to replace the old, damaged stuff, I recommend 30 pound ASTM rated felt paper. This is more than sufficient to do a repair for the underlayment underneath the tile roof. Now, 15 pound ASTM is typical for composition shingles, whereas 30 pound ASTM is typical and sufficient for tile, whether it be for original installation or repairs.

A lot of a lot of contractors will try to sell the homeowner a premium rated felt paper, which is not necessary. And I have learned over the years that the primary reason why they do that, why they try to up sell the underlayment, is because they don't have confidence in their guys to install the tile properly.

When you're seeing bad leaks on a tile roof, it could well be that somebody neglected to nail down the tile properly. It could be that it was broken at one time during the installation and somebody replaced it. But when they replaced it, they obviously can't nail it because the nail hole is hidden up underneath. In a situation like that, the tiles are supposed to get glued in place.

This is the typical lack of quality control you see in a lot of roofing contractors. And this is how a bad installation, bad labor, can result in an eventual roof leak. And this is why they may have tried to up sell the underlayment, not because the standard underlayment is not sufficient - it is if the job is done properly.

With properly installed tiles, even after two decades of wear and tear, if you look at the standard underlayment, you will likely see it is still in perfect condition where there is nothing wrong. It will still be plenty thick, it'll be flexible, and it should be able to last anywhere from 50 to 100 years, provided your tile is installed properly. But when it is not installed properly, that's when you end up with the felt paper wearing out.

And that's what other contractors are trying to prevent from happening. Instead of making their guys do the installation correctly, instead of sending a supervisor out on the job to make sure they do it right, they just up-sell the homeowner on the underlayment. So enough about that. It's just one of my pet peeves. I despise that fact. And I wish that more contractors that would take more pride in their work and make sure that the customer doesn't have to pay for things like this in the future, and not have to pay for premium underlayment because they really don't need it, provided things are done correctly.

How To Re-Lay An Old Tile Roof


Today we're doing another tile reset, tile re-lay, reusing the same tiles... what else shall I call it anyway I remove all the existing felt and well this is a truck home it was built in the 1940s 50s and he had only one layer of felt and the owner has been repairing it through the years and he got to the point where he had a bunch of leaks and he didn't want to repair no more so now he wants to reset his style the style looks dirty and everything but still in a good condition so you can reuse it this is a standard type roof tile, it's called life tile what I'm doing here these guys they they put like a little two by two in the front of the the front of the fascia why he has no fascia where he has curved walls eventually the guy he's gonna cut him off like this cut him and then he's gonna cut the core balls but it - this piece of metal and then he's gonna put in your fascia I don't know how he's gonna do it but he's gonna do it anyway my job is to relay the time to reset the tile to rain install the tiles in the same same exact place as you seen before I before I remove them I put a marked on them see it this one belongs to that side that's the number one this is number two number three number four number five and so on okay otherwise when you if you don't do that and those cut belonged to this side of the hippie okay so I've removed the hip board I've removed the the felt I remove all the nails I left the clean plywood and now I'm over to start over a clean new plywood replace um started to replace some starter boards on top of that area and replace on damaged plywood on the top I'm gonna restore I'm gonna install new new roof vents I'm planning to take some tile down so I can make something I can make some make some space for there for the installers I'm gonna prep it and I'm gonna bring some installers to help me like in two days today I'm waiting for the inspector to come and inspect my roof that's why I'm only putting half of it oh by the way right here there's a gap okay there's a gap of about one inch this is a ballistic underlayment okay peels and seals so there's a gap right here about an inch so the usual amount they burst up on top of this thing but in case you somewhere around managed to run underneath there the tire I mean they only need the felt and it's gonna run hard right here under the edge but this guy look ugly so that's why I used the one layer of Salford your membrane along there along the edge of the roof on top of the edge metal so this sofa there is gonna sealed is gonna seal between the the brush stop and and the first stop in the in the HTML okay I'm gonna I'll take another beer later and hopefully I can guide you through the steps when do your own tile this is the way you can do it this thing right here is gonna seal the edge metal when the critical part which is the drip edge okay they gotta tuck it underneath their top and the existing tapping looks good it's just dirty I was going to replace it for a new one but it's no reason to this is a 24 gauge the one that I have is 26 so this is a lot thicker the only problem is the guy they used one a year of Terrapin felt a lot of people are obsessed obsessed with 40-pound mm-hmm yeah like it but the problem is it's too slippery has a lot of sand it's too slippery so and so you have a lot of sand on it you create a lot of buckles on it doesn't have any grip I've seen some guys they do like tile roof they install a 40-pound and they use that and when the charge told the tile you know they're sleeping down so they rip the paper they didn't put enough nails they create a lot of buckles and it looks ugly so to meet the rebound does the work two layers no problem but if you wanna use 40-pound it's up to you it's your problem I will use it on you if if I require by inspection but I don't really like it because to to send it was slippery over love the full roll on top of the after all openness thick ceiling over there when I start with same here and now I'm gonna overlap another full role on top of the top of the half a role of this a little example that how to do it make sure you always have double then you're okay see this one overlaps and the half of the row in the bottom one this one - this one - this always lay it underneath the existing okay so always make sure you have two layers always you start we have you over love the food world and you overlap on top of the food roll half way and then half of the way the other one it goes up like that okay no so if you're using the existing metal right here on the wall to prevent any water to go inside there you're gonna have to put roofs in man underneath and then put some nails to hold it down okay that's the way we do it okay and this little lip they left over here is to divert the water away from the wall okay see I experienced the roofs always leaks on the walls to the most critical places where you go in the world connection so every time that you know water leak you can have it on the wall or underneath the metals but it runs underneath so this thing is gonna prevent you're gonna seal any water penetration in there okay then later I'll show you how to keep it tight this is how you keep the the metal down put some ad nails and then fold them or let's say you plant close to this edge right here much are the one hand okay I'm sorry if I cuz I'm holding the camera with the other one place the nail can't keep the metal down okay and it's gonna prevent any water too good that way so when water runs against the wall it's gonna actually right there notice how he filled up the top eight underneath with the roof cement and I'm gonna put the and he's told I'm gonna install the nails to hold it down in place right here I'm missing the the bottom part of there the bottom part of the flashy I'm gonna put our mother flashing underneath underneath this thing or maybe I'm gonna put a stick on the flashing and then on top I'm gonna put the aluminum flashing that goes here usually we install in tile you're supposed to put a base flashing and also the aluminum flashing on top so this is what I'm gonna do here okay one more time this is the idea CS taraweeh half of the peel and stick so I have to use drop for that thirty pound fell but then overload my full roll on top of the peeling stick you know I love another full roll on top of the half of the football you see I'm taking half hour so I always got two layers all the way to know no matter what always make sure you have two layers okay when you get to the top you're gonna have to cut one half one full roll in half and then just tuck it underneath alright so that's the main idea guys okay please don't take don't cut corners so you know that now I'm gonna keep on rolling these things after here you just kick it okay then right here use your hammer your hammer to reach to the end okay so that way you don't fall off the roof let you stretch it and see it thank you stretch no Nelly even there that Valley flash another object was custom-made but it doesn't work anymore you see how the hard water managed to go underneath and it's all where over here so I don't think I recommend bellies with metal see how the water sticks underneath you need a waterproofing membrane you see the water caused damage it ran behind the the metal and then damage to the felt that's why the guy he had a water leak and put a never stopped it somebody came and did a repair and put this ugly metal on top of this thinking that the water was coming here but he was thinking from that area so I'm gonna do it differently okay for this areas I think it's better to put like like a build up a system like a touchdown arm up hold up or even peeling stick Oh for their midlife it's gonna go underneath and then a couple I was gonna get the granulator captured [Applause] to go together that's gonna work they're having a metal that's gonna rest over a year so is better to put something let's modify her before you mount the the next sheet on top make sure they fit some version my peritoneum is a purple nurple [Applause] yeah that's gonna prevent any water scientific the loves to be come apart and then you fill this one and put some nails on it moving in a slip ring and now you're gonna fold this poor out like in law watches take it out after you have it in place and then you're gonna fill it up and then you're gonna fold it back in place put it back in place like this you gotta go slowly with your hand rub it you should 6 make sure you have no fats will make any cuts on this folder here chopping a long court a kiloton must you know make a car over there and you're gonna patch it with mastic roof select no era chopping in the parents opinion dough chopping you see okay mastic underneath I just kind of do a wrap again it's called wrapping I'm gonna wrap around these then right here make another cap like this okay that's gonna do it - I think Oh patron right and then I'm gonna finish this the style pen to wrap around here and then I'm gonna I'm going to overlap the caps it on top of there on top of the helping make sure that your tell pen overlaps at least four inches on top of it bottom part and then right here I'm gonna do the same thing I wrap cat so I'm gonna cut it wrap it around put some primer and then mount the the cashier on top that's a simple and they use some muscle primer to bond it up the metal and cap what a massacre and then this thing is gonna rope around there's a core underneath the eye they kept with their cement and then I put another a course on top of in the corner just to make sure there's no what is gonna get in there here right here underneath you're gonna get up on a live ahead and put some nail all the way to the top I'll make sure that this thing is not gonna come down [Applause] and this is yourself for there underlayment you peel it and you over love it on top of the torch okay a lot of people think oh I'm gonna put 240 pounds so in case if water runs underneath the valley he's gonna end up on that and the the pillar stick and now you see there's one layer that goes on top of the top of the torch he was on the wall and overlaps on the torch and this yeah and now I put on another layer right here to overlap this so everything underneath the felt it's waterproof the felt is just to lay the tiles on the field but this is the most important the most critical parts see this ballistic underneath the the valleys so don't get fooled by people telling you oh I'm gonna put two layers of 40-pound put you later 30 pound selling well why are you gonna use in the valleys I mean how are you gonna have a waterproof night my my my critical parts you know my most areas where it's it's gonna leak that's what you well that's where you can have the problems in our problems on the field both have a broken tile but always you and how your problems valleys around fireplaces stuff like this so make sure they know how to waterproof it you see it like that just how I do this detail this is this fish is in like a foot high angle so put it out there just in the water this way and then I make this this band right here on mate she's gonna send the water this way and they're gonna sit on top of that open Rachel [Music] [Music] [Applause] [Music] okay this is a completed job I install the same tiles I used to replace it underlayment with two layers of felt 30-pound felt what I did different I use rebalance two layers of felt so further and limit under my under the the valleys walls flashings fireplaces and also added some new for hanging vents the hanging vents they come in different shapes for s tile 4 flat tile for low profile s tile and like this and they look like tile when you look from far away instead of having those ugly ones dormers like the house of cross you see they reset the tile then literally they reset the time where they use the same tile I mean the same the same donors I don't know it's I didn't like him so I put me you one two three four five six seven I put seven dormers eight dormers up here a o'hagan vent I'm sorry you're hanging event and then I installed two in the back to two in the bottom because before somebody did the addition on the bottom but he didn't install anyone so I installed that one over there and then I saw another one on the other side so so roofer you have to look where the house needs to be ventilated okay and this is the novella cat and this is the the old tile but it's being reset so that's why you see some tiles are dirtier than other ones is because they're not in the same same exact position so this guy my guys they want to live with like an open belly and right here I know if I show you the video but I remove the the metal flinch that I had over there and then I installed a new sofa there to place out for their roofing membrane painted the flashing is like a darker color because the tile is also I cannot paint in red otherwise it's not gonna match okay so left a piece of metal up here anyway