Slate Roof Repairs: How To Replace A Cracked Tile

Posted on: 6 May 2015


One of the best parts of slate roofs is that they rarely require maintenance or repair. However, on occasion, you may find that one of your slate roofing tiles has become cracked and must be replaced. If you are currently in this situation, you will be glad to know that performing this roofing repair will often be quite simple and can typically be completed on a DIY basis using the steps outlined below.

What You Will Need

  • Replacement Tile (be sure to closely match the tile to the color of your existing tiles)
  • Crowbars (2)
  • Hammer
  • Plywood (large enough to cover the surrounding tiles)
  • Roofing Nails

Step 1: Isolate The Damaged Tile

Isolating the damaged tile will make it easier to remove this tile and ensure that the surrounding tiles are protected from damage during the repair process. In order to isolate the tile you will be replacing, begin by sliding one of you crowbars under the right side of the tile in the row directly above the damaged tile. Continue sliding the crowbar under the tile until it is lifted off of the damaged tile. Next, use your second crowbar to repeat this process along the right side of the tile located directly to the left of the tile you will be replacing. Finally, lay a piece of plywood over the surrounding tiles in order to protect them from any impact.

Step 2: Remove Broken Tile

The next step in the process will be to remove the broken tile from your roof. If the tile has been secured with roofing nails, you will need to remove these nails before sliding the tile out of place. However, if your slate roof uses a hook system to keep the tiles in place, simply lift up and then out in order to unhook the tile from the tiling system.

It is always best to try and remove the tile in one piece. However, if you are struggling to get the tile out due to multiple cracks, you can use a pry-bar to lift each section of the tile out separately.

Step 3: Install Your New Tile

Finally, you are ready to install your new tile. If your roof makes use of a hook system, this can be done by simply sliding the tile over the bar used to secure that row of tiles and then sliding the tile downwards until it locks in place. If your previous tile was nailed in place, you will need to use new roofing nails to secure the replacement tiles.

Once you have the new tile in place, you can remove the crowbars from the surrounding tiles and your repair will be complete.