Replacing Single Roof Tile

Filed Under: DIY Outdoor, Do it yourself, Home repair    by: ITC

Because the tile you want to replace will be hooked over the batten, you need some means of lifting the adjacent tiles sufficiently to be able to lift the broken one from the batten. The best method is with wooden wedges which you can cut from lengths of 2 x lin batten, about 6in long. You will need two of these and more if the tiles are of the interlocking type.

Push the wedges beneath the tiles of the course above the broken one so there is a big enough gap for the nibs (lugs along the top edge edge of the tile) to clear the batten. Lift the tile up and remove it. If you can not get hold of it because the end has broken off, slide the blade of a bricklayer’s trowel underneath the remaining portion and use this to lift it clear.

If it is nailed in place, try wiggling it from side to side, which may pull the nails free. If not, you will have to cut through the nails with a slate ripper, a pair of pincers or a hacksaw blade.

If the tile is of the interlocking type, you will have to wedge up one of its neighbors to free it.

Fit the replacement tile by lifting it into place with the trowel blade, hooking the nibs over the batten — without nailing; the tiles above will hold it fast.

Remove the wedges carefully to lower the surrounding tiles, making sure any interlocking ridges are properly engaged and that all tiles are sitting flat.

To remove a broken slate you will need a tool called a slate ripper. This has a thin, barbed blade for cutting through the two fixing nails, which are hidden by the slates above. Slide the ripper up under the broken slate, feeling for the nails. Hook the blade over one and tug downwards sharply to slice through it. Repeat for the second nail and slide the slate out.

If you have to cut the slate to size, scribe the size on its face and set it over the edge of a wooden batten; cut along the line with the heel of a trowel.

The new slate cannot be nailed in place because of the slates above. Instead, it is retained by a lead strip measuring 9 x lin. Nail this to the batten (visible below the two exposed slates) with a galvanized nail.

Carefully lift the slates above and slide the new one into place so that the beveled edge along the bottom is uppermost. Bend up the end of the lead strip to retain it then make a second bend for extra strength.

Slates at the gable end of a roof will need a horizontal clip to stop them from sliding off the edge.

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