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Your California Guide to Clay Tile Roof Inspection

In California, tile roofs are extremely common since they offer homeowners so many benefits. While they provide coverage for a long time, you still need to know the clay tile roof inspection and installation process.

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No matter what your roof looks like, you’ll need to do regular inspections to ensure that it’s working as it should.

When you have clay tiles on your roof, you’ll need to do certain things to ensure that it’s working as it should. Here’s your guide to clay tile roof inspection and installation process.


What Are the Different Types of Clay Roof Tiles?

It’s important that you know what kind of clay roof you have, as this will affect your inspection.

For example, there are clay roof tiles that are totally functional, and designed to keep the elements out of your roof. There are also cosmetic clay roofs, which are laid over a waterproof membrane to achieve the same effect.

Which one do you have?

You’ll also need to know how hard the clay tiles are.

  • Higher quality tiles are fired in a kiln and so are tougher.
  • A lower quality tile is softer, and so more prone to damage.

This will affect how often you need to replace tiles.


Your Clay Tile Roof Inspection Checklist

Before you even get started, you need to know how to inspect your roof. With many roof types, you can get up and walk around on them if you’re careful.

You cannot do this with a clay roof tile though. This is because clay tiles are more susceptible to breakage if you walk on them.

The last thing you want to do is cause yourself more work, so don’t walk on those tiles. Instead, use a ladder and binoculars if needed. This will both protect the tiles, and keep you safe as you won’t be going onto the roof.


1. Look for Broken And Damaged Tiles

The first thing you’ll want to look for on your roof is any broken tiles. There are a lot of things that can cause damage to the tiles, including:

  • Hail
  • Storms
  • Even hot sun

If you see any that are damaged, now is the time to replace them. When they’re damaged, they’re not watertight, and so you’ll have leaking issues if you leave it for much longer.

You’ll also want to take a look for missing tiles, too. It’s easy for tiles to become loose if they’re pulled up by wind, or knocked loose.

Again you’ll need to replace them quickly to ensure that there’s no damage to your roof. It’s a good idea to keep a spare box of your roof tiles when you have it relaid, as that way you’ll have the right tiles to hand when you need them.


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2. Check for White Stains On Clay Tiles

During a clay tile roof inspection, you’ll want to take note of the color of your tiles.

Look for staining on your roof tiles, as they’re a good indication that something is wrong with the tile. Look for white staining on any of the tiles.

This is an indication that the tiles are absorbing water, rather than letting it run off. If there’s excessive staining, that’s a sign that the tiles will need to be replaced.

Remember, softer clay tiles are more susceptible to absorbing water and staining.

While you’re looking for stains, you may see some dark stains on the tiles too. This is usually algae formation. If it’s only in small quantities, then it usually isn’t a problem.

You can wash this off if you want to, but be careful when using a power washer, as you don’t want to use enough power to break the tiles.


3. How to Find Hidden Structural Damage

When you look at your roof, are several tiles falling off, or coming loose? There may be hidden structural damage that you need to address.

The best way to do this is to go into your attic, and take a look at the structure under there. A good sign that something is wrong is when you can see light coming through the roof when you’re in the attic.

If you see any structural issues, it’s best to call a roofing repair company as soon as you can. This will get the problem solved as soon as possible, to stop it getting worse.


4. Look for Water Damage

As mentioned earlier, if your clay tiles start absorbing too much water, then they’ll get damaged. This is one of the most important aspects of a tile roof inspection.

If the water is left long enough, then you’ll see structural damage to your roof. It’s best to check for water damage regularly, to ensure that you’re dealing with it quickly.

Something you need to do is check your gutters for debris.

  • When they’re clear, your gutters will direct water away from your roof.
  • When they’re clogged though, the water can’t go anywhere, so it backs up onto your roof.

This leads to that water damage, which causes mold, mildew and rot in the wooden structures of your roof.

Clear out any debris you find in your gutters, and consider installing a gutter guard, such as a brush, to catch any more debris that falls into them in the future. This will go a long way towards keeping the gutters clear and stopping that water damage in its tracks.


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What To Do When You Find Damage

So you’ve inspected your roof and you’ve found some damage that needs to be taken care of.

What do you do?

If it’s a fairly minor issue, such as a missing tile, then you may well be able to handle it yourself. If you’ve found more extensive damage though, then you’re going to need to call an expert to handle it for you.

Likewise, if you are inspecting your roof and are not sure what you’re seeing, a roofer can perform the inspection for you.

When it comes to your roof, you don’t want to take any half measures. If you’re ever unsure of what to do, or see a problem needs solving, call a roofer right away. You don’t know how long you’ll have before that problem becomes more serious.

Now you know the steps to a proper clay tile roof inspection, and how to solve any problems that you come across in the process. Be careful with your clay roof tiles, and call in a professional if you find anything that needs repair.