Slate is a beautiful, highly durable material that can create a long-lasting roof for your home. However, slate is a material that also needs quite a bit of care and maintenance in order to work its best. Putting beautiful slate shingles on your roof makes a statement, but if you aren’t prepared to learn about all the ways to keep your roof well-preserved and strong, you could end up with a costly mess on your hands. First of all, installing slate shingles isn’t a job you can take on yourself. For that, you’ll have to search through some of the best roofers Atlanta has to offer and find a contractor or company that has experience working with the unique material. After you’ve installed your slate roof, you’ll need to learn about maintenance and tips for longevity. But don’t worry: It’s not as time-intensive as it sounds. Like any home roof, you’ll need to put a lot of work into your slate shingles in order to guarantee great performance. If you’re ready to give your home a new slate roof, here are some things you need to know.
Installation is Key
With any roof, you don’t want to waste time hiring a contractor or company that will do a sloppy job. When your roof is installed poorly or too quickly, you risk your own safety and end up having to invest in expensive repairs down the line. That’s why it’s so important to thoroughly vet your contractors and check their references. You can even ask previous clients if you can come and take a look at their work. When it comes to installing slate, it’s even more important that your roofers do a great job. If done right, your slate roof installation can last over a hundred years with minimal maintenance. However, when it comes to average roofers, many contractors simply don’t know the ins and outs of dealing with slate. Slate is a distinct material in roofing. It’s extremely heavy and also extremely fragile. If the roofers you hire don’t have experience with installing slate shingles, you could risk a poor installation job and end up having to do it all over again after the first winter. To avoid this, look for roofers who either specialize in slate, or have installed a number of slate roofs beforehand. Always ask for references, and always double-check with clients.
Slate Can Be Fragile
Slate is extremely durable and heavier than most roofing materials. Since slate is a rock material that’s mined and combined with other minerals to create a certain look, you’re going to have vastly different-looking tiles across your roof that make a very specific pattern. This means that if you break a slate tile, which is easy to do if you get a repairman who doesn’t know what he’s doing, you’re going to have a hard time finding a tile that matches. This isn’t a huge deal if you’re not concerned with the aesthetics of your roof. However, slate is cut in “lots,” and the cost per square (or per 100 square feet,) ranges anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000 after installation. With such a high cost, you want to be extra sensitive about letting anyone walk around on your roof, even for a general repair. With slate, you can’t put your pull pressure on the tile without risking a break. If you need to do rooftop repairs, hire someone who knows their way around a slate roof.
Check Structure First
Because slate is an extremely heavy material weighing around 1,500 pounds per every hundred square feet, it can only be structurally supported by certain houses. If your home was made a certain way or has dealt with a certain amount of damage, or even if you don’t have the right roof shape, a slate roof could be an impossibility for you. A contractor should be able to evaluate your property to see if it can take the weight. However, there are a few factors you can check yourself beforehand to find out if a slate roof is in the cards for you.
Slate Can Only Be Installed On a Steep-Sloped Roof
One of the ways you can tell just by looking at your home whether or not you can install slate roofing is by checking the slope of your roof itself. Because of the weight of slate shingles, only steep-sloped roofs are able to handle the overall pressure of the installation. Luckily, most homes in milder climates have steep-sloped roofs. If you have an older home with an irregular-shaped roof, such as a flat or pitched roof, you’ll need to consider alternate roofing materials.
It’s Eco-Friendly and Recyclable
Slate is considered one of the most environmentally-friendly materials for roofing simply because of its long lifespan. If installed correctly, slate roofs tend to last anywhere from 50 to 100 years. They’re also able to be recycled after they’ve run their course. Because they’re energy efficient and rarely need to be replaced or repaired, they can add considerable value to a home after installation. According to a 2016 report, slate roofs can give homeowners an up to 90% ROI, making them a solid investment. Many slate roofs can even go for 75 years without any kind of repair work if homeowners have done the proper maintenance.
It’s Naturally Weatherproof
Slate is a strong stone material that’s naturally resistant to most of the regular issues roofs face. Because of slate’s unique composition, it’s resistant to mold and mildew growth, making maintenance incredibly easy for a homeowner. You don’t need to rent a power washer to clean a slate roof, and you don’t need to worry about water seeping in through the cracks. Slate provides a weatherproof shield that protects your home from the elements. It’s also incredibly fire-resistant and can protect your home from contamination, smoke damage, and leaping wildfires. For homes in harsh climates that need more weather protection, you can order your slate shingles to be cut thick to create an extra barrier against water and fire.