Drip, drip, drip. The dreaded monotonic leaking of water from a damaged roof can drive anyone nuts. Then comes the sinking realisation of I will have to fix this. While it always best to leave tasks like this to a professional, this is the reality if you don’t have the spare cash. Don’t despair. Using this handy guide and a few key tools, you will be able to safely replace that broken roof tile in no time. DIY has never been easier.
Obtain a Replacement Tile
First things first. You need to have a suitable replacement tile. Suitable does not mean a completely different type of tile that will stick out like a sore thumb and annoy you to no end. If you are unsure of what types of tile you need, take a sample or photo to a hardware store or roofing specialist and get their help.
Up and Over
Now that you have your replacement tile, it’s time for the really hard part: getting on the roof. Leaving behind any fear of heights, concentrate on setting up a safe workplace. You will need to consider ladder safety, anchor points and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) such as a harness, lanyard and rope line. If you are working at heights regularly, you can also reach out to professional companies such as Safe @ Heights , who provide specialist training programs in height safety. There are far too many horror stories concerning people falling from ladders; sometimes life is just too unpredictable to take a risk.
Carefully make your way to the part of the roof that is affected, using delicate steps and good balance. Having been in use for 20 years or so, some tiles can be understandably well-worn and the last thing you want to do is turn one damaged tile into 10! Have you reached the damaged tile? If so, turn your attention to the tiles that overlap and surround it. Using a small piece of timber or a pry bar, prop up the tile above first and then do the tile to the side.
Next, very gently slide out the broken tile and place it in a secure area. You may need to use a hammer or wire cutter if the tile has been nailed or attached to the boards below. Treat your tile like a newborn baby, making sure that you do not apply too much pressure while doing this.
Then insert the new tile in the open slot, ensuring that it fits snugly. This could involve nailing or fixing the tile in some way, but most underlying boards will have a raised section that the tiles can hook onto. You can now also remove the props for the other tiles and everything should fall into place comfortably.
Voila! There you have a newly replaced roof tile and a non-leaky, effective roof that does what it is supposed to. If you have difficulties with heights or are unsure of the process, it is always best to hire the help of a professional. Also remember that preparation and safety equipment can save your life, so don’t be lazy or reckless.