Your guide to DIY roof repointing

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Published in January 2023
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Your guide to DIY roof repointing

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Published in January 2023
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DIY roof repointing guide

Need to know how to repoint a roof? Roof repointing can be as simple as repairing and resealing a handful of broken or cracked tiles, or as complex as a complete ridge tile replacement. So can, or should you, DIY?

In this article, we explore:

  • What is roof repointing?
  • Signs your roof pointing needs repair
  • Benefits of roof repointing or rebedding
  • Roof repointing safety
  • How to repoint roof tiles yourself
  • The cost of roof repointing, and more.
Want to find roof contractors in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth or Adelaide?

roof repointing cost

What is roof repointing?

Roof repointing is the process of repairing and replacing deteriorated or damaged pointing in a roof. Pointing is the material that fills the joints between bricks or other building materials.

Repointing roof tiles is typically done to prevent water from penetrating the roof and causing damage to the structure. The process involves removing the old pointing and replacing it with new, durable material, and can be done on both flat and pitched roofs.

What is ridge capping?

Ridge capping or repointing ridge tiles is the process of covering and protecting the ridge line of a roof, which is the peak or highest point where two sloping roof planes meet. This process is typically done with a row of tiles or shingles that are specially designed to fit snugly over the ridge line and keep water from penetrating the roof.

Ridge cap tiles are often different in shape or design than the tiles or shingles used on the rest of the roof. This is to allow them to fit securely over the ridge and add a finished look to the roof.

The ridge (or capping tiles) are the upside-down V-shaped tiles that run along the spine of your roof. Traditionally, these tiles were supported by a bed of mortar, and then a layer of pointing (usually a sand and cement mix) was applied to the edges of the tiles to securely fix them to the surrounding tiles. Nowadays, there are many rebedding and repointing products available, and all come with far improved flexibility and durability compared to the traditional mix.

What is pointing & bedding?

Pointing and bedding refer to the process of finishing the joints between bricks or other masonry units in a building structure, typically in a roof.

Bedding refers to the process of laying the bricks or other masonry units in a structure and filling the spaces between them with a material called bedding mortar. This material is used to hold the units in place, provide a level surface and create a seal to prevent water from penetrating the structure.

Pointing roof tiles refers to the process of filling the joints between the bricks or other masonry units with a material called pointing mortar after the bedding has been set. Mortar is used to finish the joints and make them smooth, flush and weather resistant. Pointing can be done in different styles, like flush pointing and recessed pointing, which can change the aesthetic look of the structure.

Together, pointing and bedding are crucial for keeping a roof or other masonry structure watertight, and to prevent leaks, cracks, and deterioration.

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what is roof repointing

Signs your roof pointing needs repairs

There are several signs that indicate your roof needs repointing. Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  • Cracked or missing pointing
  • Leaking or dampness
  • Loose or missing tiles or shingles
  • Moss or algae growth
  • Age of the roof: If it’s older than 20-25 years old, roof tile pointing may be necessary, even if you don’t see any obvious signs of damage.

It’s always a good idea to have a professional roofing contractor inspect your roof regularly to check for any signs of wear and tear on your roof pointing, and to provide an estimate for necessary repairs.

Want to find roof contractors in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth or Adelaide?

What are the benefits of roof repointing or rebedding?

There are several benefits to repointing or rebedding a roof. Repointing and rebedding help to seal the roof and prevent water from penetrating the structure, which can cause damage to the roof, walls, and other parts of the building. It can also help to extend the life of a roof by preventing damage caused by water, wind, and other elements.

Repointing and rebedding will usually improve the appearance of your roof by making the joints between the tiles or shingles smooth and flush and can increase the value of your home.

Additionally, a well-maintained roof can help to keep a building more energy efficient by preventing drafts and leaks, which can lead to higher heating and cooling costs, and it will keep your roof and property more safe by preventing loose tiles from falling.

Overall, repointing and rebedding are essential for maintaining the integrity and durability of your roof.

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Roof repointing safety

The most important issue when repointing your roof is safety. If your roof is steep, or sharply pitched, call in the professionals. Similarly, if you have a two-storey home, it’s recommended to call a qualified expert for advice.

Over a certain height, even experienced tradesmen are required to wear a safety harness. If you are confident working on your roof, make sure to let someone know you’re up there and how long you will be.

Repointing takes time and energy, so stay well hydrated and wear clothing to protect you from the sun. Avoid applying pointing on a really hot day, not only because you’ll soon feel the effects of the sun, but it will also dry out the compound too quickly.

Never go up on your roof when it is wet or windy, or if your roof tiles are slippery. Always make sure your ladder is safely secured to the roof. Tie it off to a truss or batten for added safety. It is also a good idea to rope off a section of ground under where you will be working. This is to protect people below from falling materials.

Want to find roof contractors in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth or Adelaide?

What materials do you need to DIY repoint roof tiles?

If you’re planning to repoint your roof tiles yourself, you will need the following materials:

  • Accelerant spray
  • Sealant
  • Flexible pointing compound
  • Pointing trowel
  • Hammer and chisel
  • Stiff brush
  • Roof tiles
  • Safety equipment (safety harness, safety glasses, work gloves, non-slip shoes, etc)

It’s important to note that DIY repointing a roof can be dangerous and if you are not experienced, it may be best to hire a professional to do the job.

In the next section of this guide, we explore how to repoint a tile roof.

repoint roof tiles

How to repoint a roof

Are you wondering how to repoint a roof? Like all DIY, roof repointing starts with preparation. A thorough clean of your roof is the best place to start. Work carefully to avoid stepping on wet or damp tiles that might be slippery.

Using an antifungal is a good idea for terracotta tiles and can be washed off using a high-pressure water cleaner. The water pressure will also help clear out any potential cement sediment and bring attention to loose tiles.

1. Replace broken or loose tiles

Find replacements for broken or loose tiles, and position them on the roof. Chances are that if one tile is loose and needs replacing, there will be others. This is why it’s worthwhile to do a thorough job, rather than repointing the odd tile here or there.

2. Check your ridge tiles

Loose or broken tiles will need to be repointed. Use a screwdriver to check for loose cement mortar and remove as much of it as possible. If your tiles are full-glazed terracotta, it’s best to call a roof specialist for advice, as it may be tricky to get the sealant to stick to the glaze.

3. Application

Next, start applying the flexible pointing compound at the edge of the roofline and work your way up to the top. Apply as much of the sealant as you need to be able to smooth it down with a trowel, ensuring a seamless finish. Let it dry and then have another inspection to make sure you have successfully sealed all gaps. If rain is on the forecast, you can apply an accelerant spray to help it dry quicker and reduce the likelihood of the product washing out in heavy rain.

Roof repointing is vital to the longevity of your roof and it’s a job that needs to be done right. For the inexperienced, it can turn into a lengthy, tricky project. It’s a good idea to get a quote from a roofing specialist before you start, with most offering an obligation-free quote. Leaving the job to the pros might be safer, less time consuming and less inconvenient for you in the long run.

Want to find roof contractors in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth or Adelaide?

How much does roof repointing cost?

The cost of roof repointing can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the size of the roof, the materials used, and the location of the property.

On average, the cost of repointing a roof can range from $55 to $65 per square metre. A total project cost for a full roof restoration will usually be between $4,500 and $11,000 or more.

This is a rough estimate and the actual roof pointing cost can be affected by many factors. This includes the type of roof, the condition of the existing pointing, the cost of labor, and the location of the property. Also, if the repointing is needed due to a leaking roof or other damage, the cost of repairs may be significantly higher.

It’s always a good idea to get a few quotes from different contractors to compare prices. Your contractor should be licensed, insured and experienced.

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How to get help with roof repairs

If you need help with roof repairs, hire a professional roofing contractor for the job. Find a reputable tradesman who is licensed, insured, and has good reviews. Ask for references and check them before hiring. With Yellow Pages, you can compare multiple free quotes and read our online reviews to find a trusted professional.

When requesting a quote, be sure to provide as much detail as possible about your project, such as:

  • The size and type of roof,
  • Extent of the repointing required, and
  • Any other relevant information.

Most contractors will need to inspect your roof first in order to provide an accurate quote. Schedule a time for them to come out and take a look. Make sure to ask any questions you may have when they’re there.

Want to find roof contractors in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth or Adelaide?

*All costs and prices quoted were sourced at the time this cost guide was written and should only be used as an estimate.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you repoint roof tiles?

To repoint roof tiles, you simply remove the old, damaged mortar and replace it with new mortar. We recommend hiring a professional to repoint roof tiles unless you're experienced with the process.

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Get free quotes from a roof restoration & repairs professional near you.
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