How to Repair Spanish Roofing Tiles

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Spanish roofing tiles, most commonly used to complement the Santa Fe style of architecture, are brittle. Although this clay roofing material is made to last a century, Spanish tile can easily break under pressure from falling branches or careless roof walking. To make things more difficult, Spanish tiles are fashioned to interlock with each other, so that if something goes wrong with one tile, its neighboring tiles are put at risk as well. With a little knowledge and care, however, replacing and repairing Spanish tile is relatively easy.

Things You'll Need

  • Replacement Spanish tiles
  • Roofing cement
  • Putty knife
  • Utility knife
  • Mortar (such as Quikrete)
  • Trowel
  • Hammer or roofing nails or roofing nail gun
  • Inspect the roof. If there are just one or two cracked or broken Spanish tiles, your job will be simple. Peek underneath the offending tiles to ascertain whether there is any damage to the roofing membrane. If you see cracks or breaks in many places throughout the roof, it may be simpler to replace the entire roofing system.

  • Patch any breaks in the membrane underneath the tiles. To do this, first slide out the tiles that cover the offending spot on the membrane. Cut away the edges of the broken patch of membrane. Then cover it with a section of new membrane, nail it to the roof, and cover over the entire area with roofing cement. Slip the Spanish tiles back in, and nail or mortar them in place.

  • Patch cracks and small breaks in the tiles with mortar. If there is no shifting in the offending tiles or their neighboring tiles, you can mix up some Quikrete or similar mortaring material and trowel it into the crack. Blend the concrete smoothly with the shape of the tile to conceal evidence there was ever any damage.

  • Replace tiles that have been outright broken. Slide out the broken parts and discard them. Then slip in a new tile that matches the shape and interlock system of the old tiles. If you can, use a concrete tile instead of a ceramic one. Finally, nail or mortar the new tile in place.

Tips & Warnings

  • For added aesthetic appeal, you can dye roofing concrete the color of your roof before applying it. The most common color for Spanish roofing tiles is terra cotta, which is widely available at home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe's. Simply add a few squirts of dye while mixing the cement.
  • When walking on Spanish roofing tiles, try to spread your weight evenly over two tiles at once, and steer clear of tile edges. This will reduce the likelihood of breakage.
  • If damage is widespread, you may need to replace the entire roof.

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