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How to Repair Pantile Roof from the inside.

(If you have any ideas or comments about this fix. Let me know over on the blog)

This a quick fix for pantiles that have slipped or are crooked.  If you can access the underside of the roof this repair can be done with no need for ladders or crawlers. I’ll also explain how you can replace a broken pantile from inside as well.

Pantile roof repairs before and after

Pantile roof repair before and after

After a particularly heavy downpour we found out some of the problems with our Whitby cottage roof.  Repairs however temporary were required to stop the house getting any damper.  We will be having a full re-roof after discovering some rotten timbers etc. but these repairs would hold for good while if we were keeping the roof.

Pantiles can slip when the nail holding them has rusted through or the lathes have rotted through, high winds can lift the tile so the nibs lose their “hook” over the lathes. If these tiles aren’t put back and aligned ,the roof timbers and lathes lower down will suffer from damp leading to rot and more failures.  The example I’m showing here is the worst case caused by a leak higher up and shows just how much can be done from inside.

The first thing to do is to identify the problem Pantile or tiles.  In the picture above we can see three that have moved quite a bit and are at risk of falling of altogether.

From inside the roofing felt / sarking has to be cut out.  It is best to cut the felt / sarking  a couple of inches from the rafters, this help later to patch the felt.   In this case the felt had been damp for so long it had rotted away.

Unfortunately I’ve not got the “before” photos but I shall explain:
The lathe had rotted away so nothing but fiction was holding the tile in place.  Whilst holding or temporarily wedging the tile I removed the remains of lathe.  A replacement was fitted in and screwed in place with some steel brackets.

replacement lathe from inside

Replacement of a rotted lathe

If the replacement timber doesn’t fit down low enough, due to the lathes at side being in the way, a wider piece can be cut back to take the nib of the pantile at the right height.

replecment lath cut back

Replacment lathe cut back to take the pantile nib

With careful lifting of the tiles above and to sides the slipped tile can be lifted back in to place so the nib rests on the lathe.

It’s not possible to drive in a new nail from inside so we need a different solution to improve the tiles security.  Shown here is a quick and easy clip fashioned from short length copper pipe squashed flat and bent to “U” shape. This clips over the tile and under the lathe.

clip to hold pantile

Clip fashioned from cooper pipe to hold pantile

So that’s how to fix a slipped pantile from inside but how to fix a broken pantile?  For a temporary fix a piece of shed felt or similar can be formed to the tiles shape and slipped under the bottom of tile. The top edge can be tucked under the lathe.  This shows a similar bodge but with the felt over the top of the remaining half a tile. It’ll hold the rain out for a while.

Broken pantile temporary fix

Broken Pantile with a temorary fix using roofing felt.

For a more permanent fix the broken tile will need replacing and a new one fitting (If you can find a matching profile).  Once the old tile is removed it’s possible to squeeze a new tile through the hole.  With careful manipulations this new pantile can be fitted in to place.  A similar clip as used above will hold it in place. The tiles either side will need checking for security and alignment as they will have been disturbed by the process.  (TIP: tie some string to the new tile just in case you lose it whilst manipulating it.  A longer string can also be used to pull a new tile up the roof from outside).

How to fix / patch the Sarking or Mebrane or Felt

To finish of the job the Felt / Sarking will need patching up. This is simple to do using breathable membrane and a staple gun, for longer lasting repairs use batons of timber and nails instead of the staples.  This diagram should show the principle.

patching damaged sarking roofing membrane


I would also like to point out that if you do have problems like these it’s probably time to start saving up for some proper investigations and necessary repairs.  These repairs will keep the rain out for now but you never know the problems another winter and strong winds will cause.


Any Comments will be gratefully recieved here on the blog

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