Many years ago, roof tiles was something that was unheard of. Most roofs were covered with those 3 x 8 zinc roofs. Later. there was a some advancements and asbestos roofs replaced many of the zincs used. Even till today, there are still many houses which uses these asbestos roofs due to it’s lower cost and durability. These roofs though long lasting, presents a problem when it cracks and starts to leak each time it rains. There is no way for repairs unless the whole piece is totally replaced.
Presently the most popular materials used as roofing are the roof tiles. These roof tile are strong, attractive and easily installed and replaced. A fully grown up man can walk freely on top of these tiles and it would not be a problem. The disadvantage is the cost of compared with the asbestos roofing and the extra work involved when installing the tiles.
Roofs covered with these cement roof tiles seldom leaks if it has been done by an experienced worker. The most common reason that these roof leaks is the flashing. Flashing are the areas where two different portion of the roof meets. In between these portions are galvanised zinc sheets that are placed under the tiles to act as a gutter. It is also the area where all the rainwater will flow through before hitting the ground.
Flashing that are too shallow and not placed firmly beneath the tiles will cause the water to overflow and leak into the house. Another main reason is the flashing gets clogged up with dry leaves that has fallen over the roofs, especially if you have big trees around your compound.
A lessor probability, but also quite a common cause is one or two pieces of the tiles have broke. These happens sometimes.
It is safe to climb up on these roofs if you are up to it. I would not advise it if you have an asbestos roof, for one wrong step might send you right through the roof. Something that I personally have experienced twice due to my own carelessness. I was fortunate I did not break any bones.
For the cement roof tiles, they are quite safe. If you are brave enough, you can climb up and clear the clogged leaves or replace the broken tiles. Replacing the tiles is just a matter of pulling out the old one and pushing back a new piece. It might be daunting to those who have never done this before so for those who have weak knees or a weak heart, it is better to get someone who are in this line of work to handle it for you.