While certainly breathtaking and undeniably long-lasting, many homeowners shy away from using slate as a roofing material because of its high cost. But if you are looking to install a roof that will stick around even longer than you will, it should be a material to consider. Here is some more information to get you started.
Slate roofs are significantly more expensive than other roofing materials, costing as much as $900 per square (100 feet) compared to say, $60 per square for an asphalt shingle roof. Get a couple price quotes from licensed installers for a better idea of the cost.
Slate is an extremely durable roofing option and should be expected to last for at least 100 years. It can be taken apart and put together, and thus always repaired.
The most important thing to note when it comes to the maintenance of a slate roof is it’s best to avoid walking on the roof if possible. If you or a repairman must walk on the roof, soft soled shoes should always be worn, and the pressure should be applied to the middle of the slate.
Routinely check the roof for water stains, hairline cracks, and to see if there is a powder that can indicate that the stone is deteriorating. Check the flashing and gutters if you notice leaks, and try to remove all debris from the roof before winter sets in. Contact a contractor for all serious repairs.
The answer is simple; it is still good if the exposed surface is smooth, free of pervasive “delamination,” flaking or other signs of deterioration. The word delamination refers to layers of slate separating from each other.
There are a few important points to know about slate roofs. First, it is a myth that slate roofs require felt underlayment. Felt is only employed as a protection against rain during the installation of a roof. It is fine, even if the felt is completely worn to a powder under the slate. The slate roof still will not leak. If a roofer tells you to replace a roof because the felt is worn out, that advice is incorrect.
Slate as a roofing material peaked in popularity in the late 1800s. The move away from steep roof slopes and the availability of less expensive roofing products have caused the slate roof industry to shrink greatly in size.
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