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How To Get One Hundred Years From Your Terracotta Roof

by Ryan Wright

Your new terracotta roof could protect your home for the next century. There are a few maintenance tasks that you can do to help prolong the life of your new roof. Here are a few of the ways that you can make sure to get the maximum life from your terracotta roof.

1. Clean debris off of the roof that may trap water.

Leaves, sticks and branches can form a barrier to water flowing off of the roof. When water sits on the roof, the tiles become vulnerable to algae growing. These plants send tiny roots down into the clay, which can crack and break tiles. Not only does this detract from how the roof looks, it can create a leak where the tiles have cracked. Sweep or hose off your roof when you notice debris collecting on it. Should you spot signs of algae when cleaning the roof, remove it quickly with the following:

  1. Mix equal amounts of chlorine and water in a sprayer.
  2. Soak the affected tiles thoroughly
  3. Scrub the tiles with a soft brush or broom.
  4. Rinse the tiles off with your garden hose or a power washer at its lowest setting.

2. Repair any cracked tiles.

A cracked tile can let water under the roof and into your house. The crack can also expand and break the tile, requiring you to replace it completely. As soon as you spot a cracked tile, patch it as follows:

  1. Brush the tile carefully to remove any dirt.
  2. Clean the crack out carefully so there are no loose pieces of clay.
  3. Use a tube of clear silicon sealer to fill the crack.
  4. Wipe any excess sealer that may have gotten on the surface of the tile.

3. Replace broken tiles immediately.

A broken tile may already be letting water get under the roof. Broken tiles cannot be repaired; they must be replaced. You need to be careful when replacing a broken tile so you don't crack adjoining tiles. If you're uncomfortable with this task, have a professional roofer replace the tile for you.

  1. Remove any loose pieces of tile from the roof.
  2. Break up the tile into small pieces that can be removed easily.
  3. Remove the nails from under the overhanging tile that held the broken tile to the roof.
  4. Push the new tile under the overhanging tile to make sure it will fit.
  5. Spread roof sealer over the top of the new tile where it will rest under the overhanging tile.
  6. Place a bead of sealer on the edges of the new tile where it will rest on the tile it overlaps.
  7. Push the new tile under the overhanging tile and move it until it is aligned with the rest of the row of tiles.
  8. Push the new tile down on the lower tile to get a good seal.
  9. Wipe any excess sealer from the surface of the new tile and the tile on which it sits.
  10. If you're careful with the roof sealer, you won't notice the repair from the ground.

For more information, contact Roofs by Rodger or a similar company.