On this aerial roof survey, we found cracked roof tiles directly above a roof where leaks occurred.
The owner of the residence told us that there was a spot on the ceiling that looked like water damage but it wasn’t too excessive – small enough to ignore. Once we had the drone in the air we was able to manoeuvre to the area of the roof in question. It was quite visible to me that there was water damage beneath the tiles as there was a concentrated area of moss growing from the edge of the roof where water had resided.
The display on the drone controller is good but not so good as to see fine cracks in roof tiles, and some cracks in tiles and ridge tiles aren’t fully visible until we are transferring and processing the aerial photos from the drone memory card and onto the laptop.
Cracked roof tiles need to be repaired or replaced on a like-for-like basis to maintain the weatherproofing and appearance.
A crack in a roof tile is generally easy enough for us to spot with a drone as it is quite visible – these issues can be ignored but eventually the integrity will fail and the remaining pieces of the roofing tile will fall and that overlapping of the tiles will no longer protect from the roof from weather penetration.
A short term solution where you do not have access to a fresh tile, you can repair and fill the cracked roof tile with roofing cement or silicone caulking. This solution however is temporary and must be replaced as soon as possible.
Most roofs nowadays are constructed from interlocking tiles and these are usually made from concrete. The sides of the tiles interlock creating a watertight joint. Concrete tiles are hardwearing which is why they are very popular. Sudden changes in temperature however have been known to damage concrete tiles and over time as the concrete degrades, minor splits can occur which can grow into larger cracks. A cracked roof tile is not a watertight one so it’s always best practice to replace the broken tile with a new one.