Slate is one of the most aesthetically pleasing and durable of all roofing materials. Slate is often referred to as a “lifetime roofing system” as it requires relatively little maintenance and can last 60 to 125 years, or longer depending on the type of slate employed, roof configuration, and the geographical location of the property. Some slate roofs have been known to last over 200 years.
As true of all building materials, there are pros and cons to installing a slate roofing system. Slate has many advantages, including:
- Aesthetic appeal. Slate gives a home a natural/earth-tone beauty that enhances the architectural style of the home. Slate is available is a variety textures and colors to compliment the style of your home.
- Longevity. When properly maintained, a slate roof can last of an average of 60-125 years.
- Durability and low maintenance. The high density of slate makes it virtually waterproof. Slate is non-combustible and can protect a house in the event of a fire.
- Mold resistant. Slate roofs are not affected by mold and fungus.
- Home value. A slate roof will increase the resale value of your home.
- Environmentally friendly. Slate is minimally processed and relatively environmentally benign. Slate tile can often be re-used and/or re-purposed.
Slate roofs also have disadvantages, including:
- Fragile. Overall, slate roof systems are very durable, however, the individual tiles are fragile and can easily break or chip when stepped on. Replacing a broken tile is complicated and should be done by a trained professional.
- Weight load. A slate roof is very heavy, 800-1,500 lbs. per square (100 square feet). A home with a slate roof requires sufficient structural support and may need reinforcements.
- Complicated installation. Slate roofing systems have a complicated installation process. An incorrect installation will compromise the integrity of the roof and will decrease the life span of the roof.
- Investment. Installing a slate roof is an investment in your home, and will require a larger financial commitment than other roofing alternatives.
Slate roofs are low maintenance, but not maintenance free. Given the relatively high initial cost of installing a new slate roof, it pays to inspect its overall condition annually and after severe storms. The inspections will:
- Uncover damage that may have occurred over the winter.
- Check for cracked or broken tiles.
- Check for compromised flashing which can lead to leaks and water damage.
- Test for properly functioning gutters and downspouts.
Contact Joey Wildasin Slate Roofing if you are considering installing a slate roof, need an inspection, or maintenance/repair.