Tile Roof


How To Increase The Life of Your Tile Roof

A house roof needs to endure harsh elements and therefore needs to be kept in optimal condition. One superior roofing material which stands out is tile roofing. Along with thermal properties which reduce temperatures in the home and a wide range of available colors, tile roofs can last up to 100 years if taken care of. 

But because most of the country's climate is conducive to growing algae, mildew, and moss, even the best tile roof installation is susceptible to this organic growth. The number of trees, rivers, lakes, and sun exposure are all environmental factors that can aggravate the problem.

Since we have no control over these sorts of variables, all we can do is eliminate the problem before it spreads, or worse destroys our beautiful tile roof. Consider the following points on how to increase the longevity of a tile roof by keeping it clean and in prime condition for the next 100 years.

Routine Roof Inspections

Though tile roofing can last almost forever, they still need a good inspection from time to time. Tiles with chips or cracks in should be replaced before any bad leaks, mildew, or mold can set in. These problems can spread over time and will cost more to repair. A regular inspection of your tile roof will allow you to intercept a problem and extend your tile roofs service.

Keeping The Gutters Clean

Gutters that are clogged up and full of debris will slow down water flow. This will eventually cause damage to roof shingles, the deck board, soffit, fascia, and gutter line. Roof gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year, during spring and fall, if you want to keep your roof in top condition.


Removal of Roof Debris

Organic matter and debris can quickly collect on the roof, especially if there are overhanging tree branches. These tall trees and overhanging branches should be trimmed back. Check local law on cutting branches that hang over the roof, whether it's on your property or a neighbor's. Organic matter on the roof and in roof valleys will cause moss and algae to grow faster. These organisms retain moisture, multiply, and raise shingles causing leaks and ultimately the destruction of your roof.

What Are Ice Damns?

These develop during winter when the snow and ice begin to melt. The ice builds up within the roof's eaves due to slow melting snow. The water runoff will reach another cold area where it refreezes, creating more weight and a bigger dam. Water can then seep in behind the shingles, damaging roof components, wood, plaster, and the interior of the home. 

Beware of Animals and Insects

Keep an eye out for any activity or damage caused by insects, rodents, and birds. Rodents can easily find their way into the attic, it doesn't really matter whether you live closer to the country or in the city. An insect infestation could possibly attract a whole ecosystem of wildlife along with it. Look for signs of animal droppings and freshly made burrow holes.

Why You Should Never Use a Pressure Washer On a Tile Roof

We highly recommend that you refrain from using a pressure washer on dirty roof tiles. As much as you want to attack that mold and mildew with a pressure washer, and as satisfying as it may seem, you will undoubtedly end up doing more damage than good.

Pressure washers are violent, they remove sealing layers, strip roof tiles of their pigment, erode and chip the surface, and create leaks by wetting areas that natural run-off can't reach.

The most effective and safest way of cleaning your tile roofing is by hand with a wire brush and trowel. If you are hiring a roof cleaner, it's recommended you find a professional who practices manufacturer-approved cleaning techniques. This will ensure a longer lifespan for your most beloved roof tiles.

What Tools Are Needed For Tile Roof Cleaning?

Here's what is needed to begin your tile roof maintenance plan: 

Ladder: To get up onto the roof, and make sure its sturdy.

Plywood: To help distribute your weight on the roof.

Cleaning Chemicals: This will speed up the cleaning process. Professionals recommend using sodium hydroxide, it's environmentally friendly too.

Primers, Sealers, Paint: cleaning can strip tiles of their protective coating. Simply recoat and paint to protect the tiles from mold and dirt build-up.

New Tiles: Having spare or new tiles on hand to replace any cracked or chipped tiles you find is a good idea. But, don't be the cause of more broken tiles, though.

Hiring a professional roof cleaning service is always recommended, they have all the necessary tools available on hand and a wealth of knowledge should any unexpected situations arise. Wet and moldy roof tiles can be extremely slippery. Basically, there is a high chance of falling off, or through, a roof. 

Extend Tile Roof Life With This Cleaning Process

After scrubbing and washing off all of the roof debris, the tiles should be allowed to dry and then follow these 3 steps.

Roof Tile Buffing

Washing roof tiles can produce a white chalky runoff known as efflorescence. Compounds in the tiles react with water which makes the surface of the tiles look dull. Tiles can be buffed with clean rags to remove this layer and bring the shine back.


Roof tiles can be coated with a clear alkyd primer to protect the surface and put the shine back in the tile. It helps reflect the sun's rays off the house and fills any pores in the tile sealing it and increasing water run-off.


Your best option here would be to use heavy-duty acrylic paint. It's durable, waterproof, and will greatly improve the curb appeal of your home. Many acrylic roof paints are also mildew resistant. The easiest way to apply roof paint is with a paint spray gun otherwise paint brushes and rollers will do the job.

More On Sealing Roof Tiles

Making use of a clear acrylic sealant can greatly improve the life of tile roofing. It will help restore color as well as increase longevity and resilience to the elements. It's important to remember, if going the DIY tile roof cleaning route, tread carefully. Roof tiling is fragile and can easily crack under a person's weight. Distribute your weight over an area by using a plywood board with foam underneath. Avoid walking over custom-cut tiles as they can be a real headache to replace. 

Investing In a Professional Roof Contractor

Owning a home is a big investment, don't cut corners when it comes to maintenance. Hiring a professional to assist with tile roof cleaning and maintaining your roof would be a wise decision. One of the easiest ways you can get a free roofing quote from a local pro is by simply providing your home zip code in the space available on this page. There are no obligations to purchase or sign contracts.


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