A Beginner’s Guide To Slate Roofs
Slate offers a number of advantages over other roofing materials. For one thing, slate has the ability to resist damage from both fire and water. It is also completely natural. In fact, slate is one of the oldest types of roofing. Apart from their practical advantages, slate-covered roofs are also stunning to look at, featuring a dark, rich color that is unmatched by man-made materials.
Unfortunately, in the United States, these roofs are not as popular as they should be. This is largely due to the fact that roofing contractors don’t clearly outline the benefits of slate roofs when working with their clients. If you have one of these roofs on your home, it can leave you in a bit of a predicament. Trying to find someone who is qualified to work on your roof can be a challenge.
Slate Roof Repair
When you begin looking for someone to repair or restore your roof, you may run into a number of different contractors who encourage you to simply tear it off. After working as a slate roof consultant for a number of years, this article’s author can personally attest to the fact that contractors often tell homeowners to get rid of a slate roof that is still in good condition and could easily be restored. Unfortunately, these contractors usually tell the homeowner that the entire roof has to be replaced, offering no restoration alternatives. In many cases, these roofs could have lasted for many more decades with just a little bit of proper care.
Unfortunately, today’s older homes are continually threatened by roofing contractors who don’t know how to deal with slate roofs. Oftentimes, these contractors will recommend replacing the beautiful slate roofing with asphalt shingles. In a way, they are inadvertently taking advantage of unsuspecting homeowners by recommending that they get rid of a roof that still has many years of use left in it. The best way to avoid this situation is by becoming educated about slate roofs before beginning the search for a contractor.
The Four Elements of Slate
Slate roofs are composed of four basic elements. The first element is the actual slate. Ideally, the stone will be hard and long-lasting. The second element is the roof deck. This should be a minimum of three-quarters of an inch thick and should be composed of board deck rather than laminated wood. The third element is the flashing that joins together the planes of the roof. In most cases, the flashing should be made from stainless steel or copper. However, sometimes older tin flashing can still prove useful if it is properly cared for and if the homeowner replaces it when it finally wears out. The fourth and final element that makes up the roof are the nails. Again, these should be composed of stainless steel or copper. However, hot-dipped galvanized nails made from steel are also a good choice since they will easily last a hundred years or longer with proper maintenance. Combined, these four components are what comprise a typical slate roof in the United States. This type of roofing is incredibly resilient and can last for countless years before needing to be replaced.
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