Slate Roofing – The Gold Standard
Slate is the gold standard of roofing materials. Why? Slate roofing is both historic and expensive costing for five times as much as an asphalt roof. It offers unparalleled beauty and can last between 75 to 150 years. The natural characteristics of slate coordinate well with any architectural styles and is available in gray, green, purple, black, red, and mottled tiles with several colors mixed. In terms of colors and patterns, slate is highly versatile. And, it is found in various places across the United States, making it locally accessible and economical for construction.
When it comes to slate roofing, installation is based on how rainwater will flow down and off the roof. How steep your roof is will determine the effectiveness and service life of a slate roof. Slate shingles will last longer on sleeper slopes, will allow rainwater to more effectively flow off the slate, and will be more visible to show off their beauty. On average, roofs with a slope between 12:12 and 18:12 are ideal for slate roofs but 8:12 is preferred. These levels of steepness provide best runoff for rainwater and snow, preventing water from gathering beneath the slate.
New to slate roofing?
First, get a structural engineer to inspect your roof to determine if it can hold the hefty weight of a slate roof. Then, hire a licensed roofing contractor to give you an estimate. As with all roofing types, slate roofing estimates fluctuate on a project-by-project basis. Some variables include size of house and roof pitch. Choose your colors and enjoy the beauty of a natural slate roof.
Need a repair or a replacement?
Have a licensed roofing contractor inspect your roof for damage and broken pieces. Watch out for contractors who are quick to replace the entire roof. It is possible to repair broken slate if done properly by sliding out and replacing the damaged slate.
Stay on Top of Inspections
Have a licensed roofing contractor inspect your roof annually to maintain peak condition and extend longevity.
So, why slate?
1) It’s Natural
Slate is created by the alteration of shale or mudstone by low-grade regional metamorphism or compression. The foliation is caused by intense compression. It comes in various colors naturally and properly installed slate doesn’t need to be cleaned, painted, or sealed. Since it is not synthesized, it’s also good for the environment. It’s Unique. Slate is naturally acquired in various thickness, sizes, and colors adding a unique feel to any building. It can be naturally adapted to any color you prefer. You can even install slate in a pattern to your customization’s.
2) It Increases Value
Slate adds resale value to any structure because it’s natural and no processes are needed to improve its quality.
3) It’s Quality
Properly installed slate roofing that is inspected on a regular basis can last up to 150 years. Whether you want to pass your home down through your family or resell it, slate will maintain quality.
4) It’s Hazard Resistant
Slate roofing is naturally fire-resistant providing safety from wildfires, residential fires, and fireworks. It is also made of a heavy metamorphic rock which is heavy and ideal for severe weather and extreme winds. Slate is also mold resistant and will not break due to frost and freezing weather.
6 Types of Slate
1) Tiles Standard Slate
Standard Slate is the most common type of slate tile measuring 1/4”-3/8” of one standard length and width. It has square cut butts to allow for uniformly spaced horizontal courses with alternating vertical joints.
2) Patterned Slate Roofs
Patterned Slate roofs allows for designs or banding to be created in the roofing layout using slates of different colors or shapes. Examples include names, dates, floral and geometric patterns, dates, or words. This is most commonly done with standard slate roofs due to layout flexibility.
3) Random Width Slate Roofs
Random Width Slate roofs are installed much like Standard Slate roofs using slate measuring one length and thickness and various widths. Slates are installed in courses to provide adequate joint offset without joint alignment. Multicolored (Blended) Slate Roofs – Slate roofs that blend a variety of color are called Multicolored or Blended Slate. They are primarily installed using random width installation with 2 to 4 colors of slate.
4) Graduated Length Slate Roofs
Graduated Length Slate refers to the installation of varying lengths and widths of slate. The slate is organized in graduated order from longest and widest to shortest and narrowest and installed where the longest and widest slate were installed at the eaves and the shortest and narrowest at the top for water control.
5) Textural Slate Roofs
Textural Slate roofs are characterized by rougher surface textures and thicknesses providing an authentic look. The effect is further amplified by leaving slate of various thicknesses adjacent to each other. Textural slate roofs can be made using single size, random width, graduated length, uniform length, or multi-color slate pieces.
6) Hang-down (Staggered Butt) Slate Roofs
Hang-down or Staggered Butt slate roofs are randomly installed with the heads placed in-line and the random lengths hanging past the butts of the other slate. This creates a hang-down effect.
While slate roofs are a huge initial investment, they will also last 5 times as long as alternative roofing options. When installed properly, slate roofs are visually stunning and last more than a lifetime. When hiring an installer, be sure that they are experienced in slate roofing to avoid any unwelcome issues now or in the future.