Slate has been used as a roofing material for centuries. It is cut from metamorphic rock. This makes slate durable and waterproof. In times past, slate was used only in areas where it was naturally found in abundance. Now, slate roofing material can be shipped to all corners of the earth. Slate is available in many naturally occurring colors and can be cut to the size and shape needed for a particular roof. However, as Austin roofing professionals know, there are both advantages and disadvantages that come from installing a slate roof.
Slate’s aesthetic beauty is the first thing that attracts people to this roofing material. It provides a unique 3D feel to any architectural style of building. A slate roof adds value to a home. This value comes in part from slate’s longevity. If a slate roof is properly installed, maintained, and inspected, it can last from between 100 to 150 years.
It is becoming more common to see slate roofs in areas that are prone to wildfires. This is because slate is naturally fire-resistant. It will not catch ablaze if it is exposed to airborne sparks from nearby fires or fireworks. Slate is also weather resistant.
What are the most common tools used with slate roof installation? The most common tools are a slate hammer, a slate cutter, and a slate ripper. A slate hammer has a pointed end that is useful for punching holes in the slate when necessary. A slate cutter quickly and accurately trims the edges of slate tiles. A slate ripper is used when removing nails and tiles.
This natural stone has a hard surface that is not easily damaged by hail or sleet. Because of its heavyweight, high winds and heavy rains do not affect it. Slate will not experience blistering or buckling when exposed to the sun.
Slate is environmentally friendly and is a natural resource that comes from the earth. When a slate roof reaches the end of its life, it can be put back into the ground without any negative effects on the environment.
Some of the negative aspects of slate roofing include that it can only be installed by a professional who has experience with slate roofs. Installing a slate roof is never a do-it-yourself project. Since slate tiles are unique, it is difficult to find a replacement tile that will match the batch of tiles that were used during the initial installation.
Slate may weigh between 8 to 15 pounds per square foot. Many homes do not have the weight requirements to support a slate roof and will need to be reinforced. It is recommended that homeowners looking to install a slate roof first have the structural integrity of their home evaluated by an engineer before having the roof installed.
Slate requires no maintenance. It will never need to be sealed, cleaned, or painted, making it a good option for homeowners.