Five Causes Of A Leaking Spanish Tile Roof

Spanish tile roofs are attractive and durable, featuring a long life that makes them the preferred option for many homeowners. These roofs aren't immune to leaks, though.

1. Broken Tiles

The most likely cause of a roof leak is broken or cracked tiles. Cracks in older tiles are usually a result of either thermal or force damage. For example, if a small crack forms in an older tile, moisture can seep in and cause the tile to crack if temperatures drop below freezing. Force damage is usually the result of storms that send branches and debris onto the roof. When new tiles break, the cause is most often a  manufacturing defect. In either case, replacing the broken tile solves the leak.

2. Loose Tiles

Tiles can become loose at any time if the fasteners fail, but the problem is most likely to surface after a storm or windy weather. Loose tiles are usually easy to spot since the shingle won't be aligned properly with its neighbors. Often, the shingle doesn't even need to be replaced. Your roofer can simply put in a new fastener and reattach the shingle. As long as you catch the problem early, there won't be long-lasting damage from the leak.

3. Spalling

Spalling is when the surface of the shingle begins to crumble. It's a combination of age or a manufacturing defect and freezing temperatures. Sealing the Spanish tile can help prevent spalling damage. Once spalling begins, the shingle can degrade quickly and leaks may occur. The only solution once spalling begins is to replace the damaged tiles. The remaining tiles can then be sealed so spalling doesn't affect them.

4. Membrane Failure

Beneath the tiles is the underlayment, which typically consists of plywood decking and roofing paper. In moist climates, a waterproof membrane should also be installed, particularly along the drip edge of the roof. If any part of the underlayment or moisture membrane fails, moisture and condensation that forms on the underside of the Spanish tiles can leak into the home. Sometimes the issue is that the tiles long outlast the underlayment materials. A full inspection and repair of the underlayment may be necessary.

5. Damaged Flashing

The flashing is installed around chimneys, vent pipes, and skylights. There may also be flashing in the valleys of the roof. Flashing has a much shorter lifespan compared to the Spanish tiles. It can corrode, rust, or become bent over time. Further, the caulk that holds it in place can weather and crack. Replacement of damaged flashing will solve the leak.

Contact a Spanish tile roof repair service for more help.