Common Tile Roofing Problems for Homeowners

by | Dec 20, 2023 | tile roof companies

Tile is a well-liked roofing material known for its enduring appeal and durability. It utilizes earth minerals and is more eco-friendly than many other types of roofing. With proper maintenance, tile roofs can last several decades. A tile roof company in Walnut Creek can help you keep your tile roof in tip-top shape all year round. Like all other types of roofing, tile roofing can develop problems over time. The sooner you address tile roofing problems, the better. Unaddressed problems could affect the aesthetics and performance of your roofing system or may lead to more serious issues. A tile roofing problem could also affect the energy efficiency of tile roofing or (in a worst-case scenario) reduce its lifespan. Here are some common tile roofing problems every homeowner should be aware of.

Cracked, Chipped or Broken Tiles

Extreme weather conditions and heavy foot traffic could cause roof tiles to crack. Some other common causes of cracking include wear and tear and poor installation. Cracked or damaged tile roofs pose a significant risk, potentially permitting water infiltration into the underlying structure. Water can cause serious structural damage and lead to mold. Mold and mildew are unsightly and have the potential to cause various health problems. Also, water leaking around electrical appliances and outlets can start an electrical fire. Rather than waiting for problems to escalate, it’s advisable to have a tile roof company in Walnut Creek inspect your roof and replace any cracked, broken, or chipped tiles, particularly those with chips measuring three inches or larger

Slipping Tiles

During a severe wind event, roof tiles can become dislodged and slip out of place. Corroded nails and deteriorated wood can also cause tiles to slip out of their position. Dislodged tiles can fall on your property causing property damage. They can also lead to mold growth and expose the timber structures of your home to the elements. If only a few tiles have slipped out of place, simply reposition, and secure them with new fixings. However, tiles in a large section of your roof have slipped out of place, there could be a serious underlying problem. Have a professional inspect and maintain your tile roofing as soon as possible.

Leaking Roof

Though exceptionally durable, tile roofs could develop leaks over time. Some common causes of tile roofing leaks include age-related deterioration, broken tiles, faulty flashing and clogged gutters. If you’re experiencing leaks beneath your tile roof, it could be due to multiple cracked tiles or a compromised underlayment. A leaking roof creates the perfect condition for mold growth in your home and can cause damage to your fascia boards, rafters, ceiling joists, and wall framing. Water leaking from your roof can create fall hazards at home. To prevent the problem from getting worse, replace the damaged tiles as soon as possible. If your underlayment has become damaged, repair, or replace it.

Eroded Mortar

Roof tile mortar is a mixture of sand, cement, and additives. Tile roof companies in Walnut Creek use mortar to secure roof ridge tiles and other roof structures. Mortar used in bedding tiles can erode over time and needs frequent repair. If your mortar has deteriorated and is beyond repair, re-bed the tiles with fresh mortar.

Moss and Algae Growth

If your roof is shaded by a tree or a structure, it won’t receive ample sunlight and moisture could accumulate on the surface, leading to moss and/or algae growth. If you do not move swiftly to address the problem, your roof could turn into an unsightly mess. To prevent structural damage, clean your roof to eliminate both moss and algae.

The Right way to Clean a Roof

Mix water and bleach in a bucket. Pour the homemade solution into a garden sprayer and spray it down. The solution kills mold and algae without causing any damage to shingles or other roofing components. If you plan to clean your roof with a pressure washer, be careful to use a low pressure setting as a high-pressure setting could cause damage to your roof. Wait for 15-20 minutes before scrubbing the affected area with a brush. Once you get rid of unsightly moss, rinse your roof with clean water. Roof cleaning can be a time-consuming and tedious task. If you have too much on your plate or want to make time for the things that matter, hire a tile roof company in Walnut Creek to clean your roof. To prevent moss and algae growth, cut back any overhanging branches, remove leaves using a leaf blower periodically, keep your gutters clear, and redirect any drain spouts that cause rainwater to travel over your roof.

Underlayment Deterioration

Roofing underlayment is a waterproof or water-resistant material. It is directly placed on roof decks to keep roofs dry and protected from the elements. Roof underlayment creates a moisture-barrier to prevent moisture damage. It protects shingles from water damage and can help roofs achieve a Class A fire rating. If your roofing underlayment was installed incorrectly, it could deteriorate rapidly. Some other common causes of underlayment deterioration include low-quality materials, excess UV and moisture exposure, and fluctuating temperatures.

Types of underlayment

There are three types of roofing underlayment – asphalt-saturated felt, synthetic underlayment, and rubberized asphalt underlayment.

➢ Asphalt saturated felt- Also known as tar paper and felt paper, asphalt saturated felt is a mixture of bitumen, polyester, and natural plant fibers. The base layer of asphalt saturated felt is drenched with asphalt to improve its water resistance. ➢ Synthetic underlayment- Many tile roof companies in Walnut Creek prefer synthetic underlayment due to its flexibility, mold resistance, and durability. The base mat of synthetic underlayment is saturated in asphalt. Manufacturers add fiberglass to synthetic underlayment’s to improve their stability and tear resistance. Top-of-the-line products include scrim or coarse woven material for improved slip resistance. ➢ Rubberized asphalt underlayment- Has a higher concentration of rubber and asphalt polymers. Many tile roof companies in Walnut Creek install this type of underlayment in valleys and protrusions.

Underlayment failure could lead to roof leaks and mold and affect the structural integrity of your roof. If your underlayment is damaged, your roofing contractor may replace a part of it or the entire underlayment.


Efflorescence can cause whitish powder to develop on the surface of tiles over time. Though efflorescence does not cause any structural damage, it could affect the aesthetic appeal of your roof. Your roofing contractor may use an acid-based remover to remove efflorescence.

Holes in Roof

Loose or missing tiles can create holes in your roof allowing water to enter the system. If left unaddressed, holes can weaken your roof to the point where it can collapse. If there are a few holes in your roof, fill them with plastic roofing cement and silicone caulk. If, however, there are several wide holes in your roof, your roofing contractor may recommend a complete roof replacement.

Tile Roofing Maintenance Tips

Why wait for roofing issues to arise and then tackle them, when you can proactively prevent them through routine roofing maintenance? Periodic maintenance addresses current problems in a timely manner and prevents potential issues to maintain your roofing system’s structural integrity and increase its lifespan. Well-maintained roofs are reliable and need less frequent repairs than poorly maintained ones.

Follow these tips to maintain your tile roof:


Inspect Your Roof

Visually inspect your tile roof at regular intervals (ideally twice a year). Look for cracked, broken, or missing tiles. Conduct an inspection immediately after a severe weather event. If your roof has missing tiles or some tiles have become damaged, have a professional carry out repairs as soon as possible or serious damage could occur to your tile roofing system.

Keep Your Roof Clean

Debris can retain moisture and lead to mold or mildew growth, which can damage your tiles over time. Regularly remove debris such as leaves, pine leaves and twigs, and dirt from your roof. Clean your gutters periodically to keep them from clogging and cut back any overhanging branches.

Schedule Professional Roofing Maintenance

Have a tile roof company in Walnut Creek inspect your tile roof annually. Professional inspection can reveal underlying issues. A professional has received extensive training and is equipped to identify problems that amateurs often miss. In a roofing maintenance session, your contractor examines various roof components for any signs of damage, makes necessary repairs or replacements for damaged parts, and performs roof cleaning.

Avoid Walking on Tiles

If you walk on your tile roof, you may step on the tiles incorrectly, damaging them. If roof access is necessary, use a walkway or hire professionals who know how to distribute their weight evenly to minimize damage. Roof Tile Custom Specialists, Inc. is a renowned tile roof company in Walnut Creek. Whether you want to have a new roof installed, your existing roof serviced, or some roofing materials replaced, we have got you covered. To learn more, call 925-634-8700.