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Will My Roof Leak With Missing Ridge Tiles?

Manchester Roofers_Blog

It can be scary whenever anything goes wrong with your house. This is certainly the case for the roof, especially if the problem results in a leak.


Missing or damaged ridge tiles can be one of the main causes of leaky roofs. They need to be fixed as soon as possible. If a problem tile is left too long, it can result in further issues, with the worst-case scenario being a water-damaged property or an entire roof needing to be replaced.


But let’s not get carried away. Most missing ridge tiles can be replaced quickly and without the  need to spend too much money. Below are just some of the important things you need to know about ridge tiles and what to do in the event of a roof leak.



What Are Ridge Tiles and How Important Are They?

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Ridge tiles are semi-circular or triangular tiles that sit at the apex of the roof. They’re responsible for keeping water out and will also ensure the next layer of roof tiles are secure.


Basically, ridge tiles are incredibly important. Not only do they create an aesthetically pleasing look, but they also protect timber, loft space and weaker structural roof sections from damage.

What Causes Missing Ridge Tiles?

The main causes of missing ridge tiles are severe weather conditions and mortar erosion. For example, after a particularly heavy storm, ridge tiles have been known to become loose. This can then lead to slipping following bad weather as tiles start to crack or mortar erodes.


More rain will result in smaller cracks growing in size and letting in even more water. This water can then freeze, resulting in fixative cement breaking and crumbling. Also, once one ridge tile starts to become dislodged, this may lead to other connecting tiles subsequently loosening.


Although ridge tiles will last a relatively long period of time, if the timber in the roof battens becomes damp or suffers from a wood-eating insect infestation, it can also affect the tile’s integrity. This is much more common in older houses, where rotting wood can be an issue.

Nails can also rust over time, which may cause a tile to become loose or slip.

How Long Do Ridge Tiles Last?

If ridge tiles are made from concrete, they typically last around fifty years before showing signs of wear and tear. Despite the durability of concrete ridge tiles, if supporting nails, concrete and timber are damaged, then a high wind can still take down a tile no matter the life expectancy.

Will My Roof Leak With Missing Ridge Tiles?

In a nutshell: yes.


Any missing, displaced, or broken ridge tiles may be responsible for a leaky roof.

You might not be able to see a hole or any other visible signs of damage. However, if rain can get in, then you’re in trouble. Not only will water gain entry to your house from the problem tile, but it will also have a negative impact on the tiles surrounding it.

How are Roof Ridge Tiles Fixed?

The majority of ridge tiles are connected to the roof with cement and are mechanically fixed using interlocking plastic rails secured through the ridge board.


Note: Ridge tiles on houses built before 2015 may only be held in place with cement because mechanical fixing was only introduced to building rules in 2015.


If mortar can crack and crumble over time, it does beg the question should ridge tiles be cemented on? To be fair, you’re looking at least half a century of use before any signs of mortar damage will be in evidence. Also, whilst coupled with mechanical fixing techniques, ridge tiles really shouldn’t be coming loose unless in the most severe circumstances.


In the event that the cement holding the ridge roof tile does become unstable, it’s a fairly straightforward job to fix. A professional roofer will quickly be able to re-cement or repoint by simply lifting off the tiles, removing the old mortar, and re-bedding with new cement.

How Can You Repoint Ridge Tiles?

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This process involves removing tiles and damaged mortar and replacing them with new tiles and new cement. Even if no tiles are loose, but the cement is still showing signs of damage, it’s important to repoint the tiles just to be on the safe side.


The job of repointing ridge tiles is relatively easy, although it will require a professional roofer to get the work completed to a high standard. As with all DIY jobs, the right tools and equipment aren’t always readily available to the layperson. From scaffolding and safety harnesses to having the right nails and cement, there’s much more to this job than a ladder, a hammer and some new tiles.


Also, while a professional is repointing ridge tiles, they can use the time to check for any other obvious roofing issues that may be causing a leak. Guttering, metal flashings, soffit and fascia boards, should all be checked whilst the scaffolding has been erected, and the roofer is on the roof.


Roofing costs will also be kept to a minimum if you can get the rest of your roof assessed in one go rather than having to call out a professional again on a separate occasion. Further preventative measures should also be discussed with the roofer before and after completing an initial inspection.


One thing to remember is that if you’re living in an old house where the tiles haven’t been replaced for several years, you might have to accept that this could be a bigger job than just repointing one or two tiles. Removing crumbling concrete and re-fixing ridge tiles that have slipped due to damaged or rotten timber can sometimes result in an entire roof being replaced.

The best advice is always to get your ridge tiles fixed sooner rather than later.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace Ridge Tiles After a Leak?

Replacing ridge tiles after a leak isn’t an expensive project if the work only involves a small number of tiles. Of course, some tiles can be trickier to source due to colour and style (particularly in older houses), resulting in a whole ridge needing to be replaced. But, again, it shouldn’t be too much money to fix once the roofer has assembled the safety access platform and started the job.


A standard roof repair involving replacing ridge tiles will usually cost you between £200 – £300, depending on the ease of access, materials and time spent up on the roof.


For this price, old mortar will be replaced with new and new tiles will be laid to form a seamless finish with existing tiles. It’s usually about a day’s work for a professional tiler and well worth it to put your mind at rest and fix that leak in the roof.

Hiring a Professional to Repair Missing Ridge Tiles

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At Manchester Roofers, we provide a professional roof repair service which prevents a leak or further damage caused by missing ridge tiles. Before repairing the roof, one of our roofing specialists will assess the damage and determine the best possible solution to stop any additional water damage. 

For assistance with roof damage, send a text or call us to schedule an appointment that is convenient for you.


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