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Question DetailsAsked on 9/3/2016

Have a beautiful tile roof - now with leaks. Is it possible to change out the underlayment and replace the tile?

Have always had roof chemically cleaned, treated and painted.. I now have an elastomeric coating and while the roof looks gorgeous - it leaks. Shame to throw away tiles - any way to reuse them?

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1 Answer


Elastomeric coatings on shingle and tile roofs are generally a problem - because they block off the ability for the water to drain out on the top of tiles underlaying the leak point, so it backs up and goes to the water barrier, which should not be counted on for frequent water shedding.

Generally yes, you can reclaim most of the tile (some will inevitably break - especially if nailed-down rather than gravity Glued-down ones (rare but they are out there) sometimes come up well (generally bringing up the water barrier underlayment with them), sometimes break up especially if glued to each other.

Because you will have some breakage, you need to consider whether you can get matching or complimentary tiles, whether you want to intermix them (new ones will look different even if same color, especially since you have been painting the old ones) or put them in one area maybe on the back of the roof.

Some roofers may refuse to reuse coated tiles - because it will look pretty funny if the reveal is not identical on the reinstallation (can have untreated sections sticking out), and also getting a total-roof appearance match will undoubtedly require yet another coating over the finished roof. I would suspect a goodly number of the best installers will refuse to reuse elastomeric coated tiles just on general principles, as well.

On the chemical treating and painting - one primary reason people get tiles (other than thermal and ultraviolet considerations in desert regions) is to AVOID any work on them - other than algae/moss treatment as needed. Roof tiles (except the rare porcelain and glass ones) are like brick - they do better without any coating on them - because it traps any moisture which gets into them (and it will at places) so they stay moist much longer and start breaking down faster. The chemical treatments commonly degrade the water barrier underlayment too, destroying its backup value.

Links to a couple of similar previous questions with answers here FYI -

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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