McCoy Roofing Contractors

How Long Do Slate Roof Tiles Last?

How long do slate roof tiles last? Check out this guide for everything you need to know about the life expectancy of slate roof tiles.

Close up of a roof's slate roof tiles in good condition after having their maintenance done by McCoy Roofing.

Are you looking to crown your house with the very finest of roof materials? Do you want a roof that will not only look fantastic but withstand everything the elements can throw at it?

If you do, then it’s time to think about investing in a slate roof. A slate roof is the gold standard of roofing! And they’re not just for historic homes, they suit any type of architecture.

What Are Slate Roof Tiles?

In the United States, the most common roofing material by far is asphalt shingles. They have many advantages, including multiple color options and affordability.

The downside? You can only expect them to last around 20 years or so. After that, you’re looking at roof issues and having to reshingle your roof.

Slate tiles, on the other hand, are a totally different beast. Slate is a natural product. It’s a fine-grained, metamorphic rock. And it is considered the Ferrari of roof materials.

Most slate mined throughout the whole world is used for roofing tiles. It’s one of the most popular roof materials in the United Kingdom. The construction methods used in the United States have favored the use of lighter materials.

Benefits of Slate Roof Tiles

Slate is excellent for roofing tiles because it is easy to cut into thin sheets. It absorbs very little water and also performs well in freezing conditions.

Fire Resistant

Do you live in an area where bushfires and wildfires occur? If so, slate could be a great option for you because it is naturally fire-resistant.

This is in sharp contrast with many types of asphalt shingles. Class A shingles can survive about two hours if the building below is burning, but will then catch fire themselves.

Energy Efficient and Environmentally-Friendly

Slate is a natural, dense material. Because of this, it is more effective at keeping your home cool in summer. It provides an effective seal for the roof against hot air and the heat of the sun.

In winter, the seal works the other way and helps to keep warm air in the house. You may find that having a slate roof helps you reduce your heating and cooling bills.

Slate roofs also last longer. This makes them kinder to the environment than roofs that you have to replace regularly.

Adds Value

Slate is a luxurious building material. It adds character to a property. It will make your house stand out from the crowd.

It’s also timeless and won’t go out of fashion. Because of this, you will likely find that your house commands a higher asking price, if you ever choose to sell.

Low Maintenance

With slate, roof repair issues are limited. Occasionally, you may have to replace a broken slate or repair a loose one. This might happen after a particularly strong windstorm or heavy snowfall.

Other than that, slate roofs need almost no maintenance. They are mold-resistant, so are not prone to unsightly stains. You can wash them periodically, but they don’t need any special treatments to keep them looking good.

An annual inspection by a licensed roofing contractor from a reputable residential roofing company is enough to keep it in tip-top condition year after year.

This brings us to the million-dollar question…

How Long Do Slate Roof Tiles Last?

So how long do slate roof tiles really last? With correct installation, a slate roof should last for 75-150 years.

Yes, you read that right! Compare that with asphalt, wood shingle, and metal roofs. Asphalt shingles will give you 20-25 years at best.

Wood shingles can last up to 50 years depending on maintenance and the variety of wood used. Metal roofs last around the same length of time but are trickier to repair.

There is no roofing material that can compete with slate when it comes to durability. What can help keep slate roofs in good condition for as long as possible?

It’s all about the angle. Steeper roofs last longer. That’s because the rainwater and snow drain off more easily.

If you do choose to have a slate roof installed, talk to your roofing contractor about getting the optimal angle.

Can All Houses Support a Slate Roof?

The simple answer is no. Without structural reinforcements, not all houses are suitable for this kind of roof.

That’s because slate is extremely heavy compared to other common roof materials. It’s a natural stone material, which explains its high weight.

Before ruling slate out though, have a structural engineer inspect your house. They can advise you whether the current structure is strong enough. They can also advise whether there are modifications and reinforcements you could make to support one.

What Options Are There for Slate Roofs?

Slate is a beautiful, natural material. It comes in different colors, including black, red, gray, green, and purple. Some tiles are also mottled (a blend of different colors).

This allows you to choose a tile that complements your siding, and the style of your house. It is also quarried in various places across the country, making it an accessible product.

There are several different types of slate tiles available. These can create a range of different effects. These include random width, standard tiles, graduated length roofs, and textural slate roofs.

Choose McCoy Roofing for Your Slate Roof Project!

With proper installation and care, there’s no reason a slate roof shouldn’t last for 150 years. No other roofing material can come close. They also present very few roof repair issues and give your property a presence that can’t be matched.

Not all roofing contractors have the skills and experience to make a success of your slate roof project, but you can trust the team at McCoy Roofing to do so. We have over ten years of expertise in all kinds of roofing projects.

Contact us at 402-616-7304 for a free roofing inspection today and see how we can make your roof goals a reality.