Maintenance Tip of the Month – Sliding or Missing Tiles – Causes & Fixes

Sliding or missing tiles can be unsightly, but there is a more important reason to get them fixed promptly.  Sliding or missing tiles expose your roof’s underlayment to the harsh UV rays of the sun which cause damage.  What is the underlayment you ask?  The underlayment is the waterproof layer of material underneath the tiles.  The underlayment is what actually keeps your roof waterproof.  The roofing material you see (tiles, shingles, or metal) protects the underlayment and gives your home aesthetic appeal.

Sliding or Missing Tiles
Damaged by the sun, this underlayment failed and caused a roof leak

In the picture above, you can see this tile slid due to a crack where a screw fastener was installed.  You can see where the tile cracked right at the hole.  Tiles frequently crack at this area.  Either the screws are over tightened and crack the tile, or the stress from installation causes a hairline crack that will split the tile overtime.  Stress from walking on the tiles can also crack them at the point of attachment.  The company that installed this roof only used one fastener, so the tile slid down the roof when the tile cracked.

The underlayment was exposed to the sun.  You can see the damage to the underlayment caused by the sun.  The damaged underlayment caused a roof leak in the home.

Underlayments can begin to deteriorate in as little as 60 days due to sun exposure.  If this tile would have been caught early and inspected for water penetration, an expensive repair and damage inside the home could have been avoided.

Sometimes it is hard to see sliding tiles from the ground.  We recommend at least an annual inspection by a roofing professional.  Limit walking on your roof or having others walk on your roof.  Professional roofers know how to walk on your roof to prevent damage and can spot potential problems early.

At Kirkey Roofing, we recommend a tile system that is attached with a foam adhesive, not screws.  Sarasota, FL is a tropical climate with heavy rains and tropical storm potential.  A few benefits of a foam system are:

  1. The foam adhesive provides high wind resistance, up to a category 5 storm
  2. The roof surface is sealed, no penetrations from nails or screws
  3. the foam adhesive provides additional support to the tile, making walking on the surface safer for you and the tile

If you would like more information regarding this issue or other maintenance issues, please contact me at or call 941-474-2113.

For additional information and benefits of the foam adhesive tile system, please visit our design center at 535 Paul Morris Dr., Englewood, FL or contact us at (941) 474-2113.


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