Slate tiles are a durable building material. They can last for centuries and withstand some of the harshest weather mother nature can dish out, but they are also susceptible to damage. Your roof as a whole can last for longer than you own your home, but individual tiles can break down and cause problems. Rather than allow damaged tiles to leak water into your home and destroy it, you need to repair damaged tiles as quickly as possible. You can do this on your own with a nail and flashing bib rather than with a strap hook.
Reasons Why You Should not Use a Strap Hook
Some people will tell you to nail a metal strap on your roof and then slide your replacement tile into place. You can then bend the bottom edge of the strap up so that it hooks the bottom edge of the tile and holds it in place. You should avoid this method of repairing a slate roof because the edge of the strap can stick up and ruin the look of your roof. Furthermore, any snow that slides along your roof can hook on the edge of the strap and straighten it, which will then allow your tile to slide off of your roof. In other words, using a metal strap to replace a damaged tile is not a permanent repair.
How to Use a Nail and Bib
Use these steps to replace a missing tile the right way:
1. Use a masonry hammer to chip an opening in the seam where the tiles from the row above the missing tile come together so you have room to drive a nail in the crack. Make sure the hole is just big enough to allow the nail to pass through.
2. Slide your new tile up until the bottom edge is even with other tiles in the same row.
3. Drive the nail and use a punch to sink the nail until it is flush with the surface of the replacement tile.
4. Your metal bib should be a rectangle about five inches by seven inches. Slightly bend this bib so that friction between the bib and your slate will hold it in place once you have put it in position.
5. Use the flat end of a slate ripper to push the metal bib up under the tiles from the row above your replacement tile until the bottom edge can no longer be seen. Make sure the bib covers the nail head that holds the replacement tile in place.
Replacing a slate tile is not a difficult task, but it can still be difficult for someone who is not used to working on slate. If you doubt your abilities to perform the repair, call a professional roofer, such as Durable Roofing Company, who has experience in working with slate.