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Aggrieved, abused, the roof undergoes year-round thermal shocks, precipitation and windy episodes. To keep it in good condition, some items need to be cleaned, reinforced or replaced.

Maintenance of a roof tile channel

Necessary material

  • Mortar based on lime
  • Mastic adhesive for tiles
  • Hooks for channel tiles (if necessary)
  • Aluminum strip-bitumen for roofing (hot gluing)

Difficulty: 2/4
Cost: about 50 € (except rental of security equipment)
Time: 1 to 2 days (depending on the state)
Equipment: old putty knife, mason's tools (trough, trowel, bucket...), cutter, soldering lamp, sprayer (for antifoaming agent), ladder or scaffolding, fall arrest harness, roofer's ladder...

Tiles and slates are designed to last. Yet, they remain fragile materials, in the sense that they can crack, crack, or even come off. Especially since they are held by hooks that, unless they are stainless, eventually oxidize and break too. Amplified phenomena at altitude where temperature differences between day and night are significant, even brutal.

A roof needs regular maintenance

In the land, as along the coast, the wind often causes damage. Of course, these characteristics have been known for a long time and impose special implementation requirements (mentioned in the Unified Technical Document which describes precisely the conditions of implementation for the good execution of the works).
But no matter the region, monitoring the condition of a roof remains crucial. If only to rid it of clumps of moss, lichens and other plant deposits that accumulate, especially in the presence of tall trees.

Self-adhesive bitumen strip

By its truncated conical channel shape, a channel tile hangs by sliding in or on the tile that precedes it, according to its laying direction: concave face upwards for the tiles of the bottom, called "current" or convex face for tiles called "covered". Even when these tiles are held together by hooks, it is easy to remove one to replace it.
At the ridge and the sewer, and possibly on the lateral banks, these tiles are in principle sealed with a mortar based on natural lime. Detached or broken, they are therefore to be re-attached in the same way. It is then necessary to check if the old mortar remains sufficiently adherent to be able to seal directly over again. Otherwise, it will remove the pieces that crumble.
On the other hand, if it is only a matter of sticking a fragment of tile, a polyurethane adhesive mastic is enough. Not very aesthetic (even red color!) But practical, the self-adhesive bitumen strip cold is ideal for warding off in a hurry...

Safety when working at height

Working at height involves some precautions: mobile scaffolding, harness, lifeline...
In the absence of a roof window, access is often only possible by a ladder. If the floor is level but loose, arrange the studs on one or two thick planks.
If upgrading is necessary, use large, solid shims (for example, bastaing sections). Take care not to damage the gutter if you take support on it.
Even if the roof is not very high or sloping, bring a rope, not too long nylon. Attach it on one side to your fall arrest harnesson the other, to the frame (via a roof window), to a roof hook or to a chimney stack (solid).
Finally, on roofs over 30°, it becomes difficult to evolve without risking losing the balance. It is then necessary to bring a ladder of roofer which has for interest to distribute its weight and to reduce the damage which can be caused to the tiles or the slates.

Roof inspection

Remove the clumps of foam

  • Cover the gutter before beginning to remove piles of moss, leaves and other plant debris accumulated between the tiles.

Inspect the tiles

  • Use an old putty knife, preferably narrow blade (25-30 mm) or trowel.
  • Inspect tiles, row by row, to remove broken or unsealed items

Remove broken tiles

  • Remove any broken or loose tiles and check the strength of the mortar.
  • If it is cracked or hollow, remove the fragments with a trowel.

DIY tip

Deposit a mortar pad at the top of the tile

  • Also inspect the sewer tiles. If one of them has peeled off, lift it up and remove any debris that may be under it.
  • Place a mortar pad at the top of the tile and a little mortar on both sides of the cover tile.
  • Replace it and remove the excess material.

Repair the tile with bastard mortar

  • Prepare a bit of bastard mortar and apply all over the underside of the tile.
  • Load the median axis further so that the mortar spreads well on both sides.

Reinstall the repaired tile

  • To pick up this piece of tile, load it well.
  • Trowel the mortar that is flowing around the repair.
  • Eliminate unsightly oversizes.

Tile crack repair

Lay a piece of aluminum bitumen strip on the tile channel

  • On top of a cracked tile, cut out a piece of alu-bitumen strip to cover the damage well.
  • If necessary, cut the piece laterally to facilitate its shaping.

Repair of the tile channel

  • Check that the support is free of any debris or foam.
  • Brush it if needed.
  • Heat the surface with a soldering lamp to help tackling bitumen.

Heat the band

  • Heat the back of the room a little: first the upper part because it is she who must adhere first.
  • Do not overemphasize, otherwise the bitumen may eventually burn.

Heat the band

  • With the upper edge glued, fold the rest upwards to heat the next area as a transverse band a few cm wide.
  • Apply, heat.

Marouflage the room

  • Marble the piece from the center, by hand or with the handle of a tool.
  • Everything is good to adhere the bitumen on the whole surface.
  • But never heat up its upper part.

Repairing a tile channel

  • This repair does not prevent further intervention later (change of broken tiles, porous...) to avoid any problem of infiltration.

Changing the hooks on the roof

Hook repair

  • Lift the canopy tile corresponding to the broken hook.
  • Arrange a new hook at the top of the downstream tile.

Installing the hook on the tile

  • Raise the downstream tile to attach the hook at the bottom of the upstream one.

Video Instruction: How To Clean Roof Tiles - DIY At Bunnings