How to Replace Concrete Roof Tiles

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What You'll Need
Replacement tile(s)
A-frame ladder
Nail gun
Tape measure
Replacement flashing
Pry bars
Tube of silicone
Safety harness

When concrete roof tiles need to be replaced, many people will call a pricey contractor to fix the problem. Sometimes a professional is necessary, but most of the time, you can follow these few steps to save money by doing it yourself.

Step 1 – Examine the Roof

First, you must examine the roof to determine how many tiles you will need to complete the task. Make note of the number of tiles you will need and purchase them.

Step 2 – Take Safety Precautions

If possible, get someone to hold the ladder securely as you ascend it to reach the concrete roof tiles. Make sure that you are wearing treaded shoes with soles that allow you to move about the roof safely without slipping. However, whenever safely possible, try not to walk on the concrete tiles, as they can crack or break under your weight. For extra safety, try using a roof safety harness.

Step 3 – Lift Top-Adjacent Tiles

You will first need to remove the adjoining tile to the top right of the tile you are going to replace. Using your pry bar, and the claw of your hammer if need be, gently lift the tile. Keep that tile propped up by leaving the pry bar there, or if you have a piece of the other tile that is broken, you can use that piece to keep the adjoining tile propped up.

Now, do the same thing to the adjoining tile to the top left of the broken one.

Removing Tiles With Nails

If nails have been used to attach the tile to the roof felt, lift the tile to see if the nail comes with it. If not, continue to use the claw of a hammer to remove them.

Removing Tiles With Adhesive

If a roofing adhesive has been used to attach the tiles, and the tiles will not lift up with just the crowbar, apply a small amount of solvent to the underside of the tile with a paintbrush to loosen the glue and pry the tile away. Continue in this manner until you have removed all of the necessary tiles.

Step 3 – Replace Subsidiary Materials

Once the concrete roof tiles have been removed, you will be in a position to examine the underlay and flashing to determine whether they also need to be replaced. If so, replace the flashing before proceeding with replacing the tiles. Flashing is necessary around openings such as the chimney or vents, as well as caulking to prevent any water ingress.

Step 4 – Remove Broken Tile Pieces

Pick up any pieces of the existing broken tile. You can gently use the hammer to break off the pieces of remaining broken tile and lift them out.

Step 5 – Seal Any Holes

If the broken tile had once been nailed to the wood batten, make sure you seal the hole under the tile before replacing it.

Step 6 – Lift the Adjoining Left Tile

Now, lift up the adjoining tile to the left of the broken tile and lift it with a crowbar. Keep the pry bar there to hold this tile up.

Step 7 – Replace the Broken Tile

To begin replacing the broken tile, dab a small amount of silicone at the top of the empty space where the new tile will be placed, slightly underneath the underlap of the top-right adjoining tile that is still propped up. Also, dab a small amount of silicone on the top left corner of the new tile. This is not necessary but will ensure the tile doesn’t budge in the future. Then, carefully slip the tile into place. Gently let down the other surrounding tiles by removing the pry bars or broken tile pieces holding them up.

Although you can alternatively use a nail gun to fix the new tile into place, the silicone adhesive method is both quicker and easier. Be sure to descend the roof carefully.