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How to Repair a Tile or Masonry Roof

Expert advice on how to repair tile and masonry roofs, including fixing holes and cracks, and tips for replacing broken roof tiles.

Broken roof tile is pried out so that a new replacement can be slipped in beneath the course above it.Rob Bayer / Shutterstock.com

Broken roof tile is pried out and removed so that a new replacement can be slipped in beneath the course above it.

The most common problem with tile, concrete tile, fiber cement, and other types of masonry roofing is cracking. For anything but an occasional cracked or broken tile, hire a roofer.

Small Cracks or Holes

Small cracks and holes can be repaired by filling the defect with plastic roofing cement.

1Scrub the area with a wire brush.


2Fill the area with plastic roofing cement to seal or join the crack.


Cracked or Broken Roof Tile

If a roof tile is cracked or broken and can be repaired as discussed above, you’ll need to replace the tile.

1Carefully pry up the tile (or tiles) just above the cracked or broken one.


2Break the faulty tile, and remove the pieces. Also pry or force out any nails.


3Spread a small amount of roofing cement along the underside of the replacement, and slide it into place. Adhesive, rather than nails, will hold this tile.

Concrete tile roof repair

If a tile roof leaks, you’ll need to remove the tile over the leak, repair the area with asphalt roofing cement, and replace the tile.

4Press all tiles down gently but snugly.


Tile Roof Leaks

If a tile roof leaks, the problem is almost always with the membrane beneath the tile. In order to repair this, you’ll first have to find the area that is leaking. For information on this, please see How to Find & Fix Roof Leaks. Then you’ll need to take-up the tile around the leak, patch the leak with roofing cement, and replace the tiles.


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About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort developed his expertise more than 30 years ago as Building Editor for both Sunset Books and Home Magazine. He has written more than 30 home improvement books and countless magazine articles. He appeared regularly on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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