Slate Roofing Guide: Everything You Need To Know
When You Want A Stylish Yet Different Look Than The Rest Of The Neighborhood, Slate Roofing Is How You Can Stand Out And Give Your Home That Luxury Stone Feel.
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As a roofing material, slate has a long history in the United States. After Welsh immigrants opened the first slate quarry in Pennsylvania in 1734, builders started processing slate rock into tiles and installing them on roofs. Many historic buildings and churches that date back to the 18th century still have their original slate roofing. Today, slate roofing is among the most viable options for the modern roof. At Maxx Roof LLC, we offer a wide range of slate roofing solutions that include repairs, maintenance, and new installations.
Whether you want to replace your old shingle roofing or restore your existing slate roof, we can help. Below, we take an in-depth look at slate roofing, its advantages, drawbacks, and costs. To learn more about our slate roofing services from Maxx Roof, contact us today.
What Is Slate Roofing?
Slate is a natural, low-grade stone that forms over time through the metamorphosis of basalt and mudstone. The rock has many properties that make it ideal as a roofing material. For example, slate can easily exfoliate into layers with a flat, smooth surface, and it doesn’t absorb water.
Slate roofing typically consists of tiles attached to a roof deck or underlying substrate on a roof that has a slope. This type of roofing is popular for residential homes, but it is also an aesthetic option for commercial and historic buildings.
Natural slate tiles have a rough texture, adding some authenticity and character to a roof. Slate roofing is available in many different colors. Generally, gray and black tiles have a high carbon content, while colored tiles are rich in minerals such as iron and hematite.
The different slate roofing styles include:
- Standard uniform slate roofing: All roof tiles have a uniform color with a standard width, length, and thickness.
- Patterned slate roofing: Tiles have color variations to create unique patterns, such as geometric shapes.
- Textural slate roofing: Tiles have varying sizes, colors, and shapes to give the entire roof a textured appearance.
- Blended slate roofing: Tiles have the same size and thickness but varying shades to achieve a unique color combination and appearance.
Slate Roofing Installation
Installing a slate roof requires specialized techniques and equipment. At Max Roof, our team has extensive experience with slate roofing installation and replacements. Installing a new slate roof requires the following steps:
- Removing existing roofing materials: During a roof replacement, the first step is to remove the existing roofing materials—for example, tile roofing or metal sheets.
- Assessing the condition of the roof deck: Natural slate can weigh up to 10 pounds per square foot, so slate roofing requires a reinforced roof deck that can carry the weight. After removing the old roof, we inspect the structural integrity of the underlying structure to ensure that it can carry the weight.
- Installing new decking: If necessary, we reinforce the existing decking or install a new roof structure to serve as a nail bed for the slate.
- Placing an underlayment: Slate roof systems don’t need underlayment to be watertight. However, we install underlayment to protect your building during installation.
- Installing the slate tiles: This step involves nailing the slate tiles to the underlying structure using galvanized roofing nails. Depending on the roof style, we may also hang the tiles, overlapping with each other.
- Installing flashing and gutters: During the last step, we place metal flashing in the roof valleys, around chimneys, and over gaps next to other roofing structures. Flashing directs rainwater away from the vulnerable areas on your roof and into your gutters.
What Is The Lifespan Of Slate Roofing?
Natural slate roofing has a lifespan ranging from 80 to 100 years, which is significantly longer than the life expectancy of other long-lasting roofing materials. With the professional roof installation service we offer, your slate roof may last even longer.
Various factors affect the lifespan of a slate roof:
- Heat absorption: Dark-colored tiles have a shorter lifespan
- UV exposure: South-facing roofs have a higher exposure to sunlight and shorter life expectancy
- The angle of the roof slope: Roofs with a high pitch last longer
- Impact damage: Regular foot traffic or contact with tree limbs can shorten your roof’s lifespan
- Installation quality: A professional installation will increase your roof’s longevity
Natural slate roofs generally last longer than composite or metal slate roofs.
Slate Roofing Costs
According to price averages, a slate roof can cost quite a bit more than an asphalt roof. However, the life expectancy of a slate roof is significantly longer, and an asphalt roof doesn’t offer the same energy efficiency, durability, and aesthetic appeal. Installing a slate roof also increases your home’s resale value, which means your return on investment should be relatively high.
Factors affecting the price of a new slate roof include:
- Roof size, complexity, and accessibility
- Installation labor and time
- Slate tile type and availability
- Number of roof penetrations
- Roof decking condition and necessary reinforcements
Every roof is unique, and the cost of your new slate roof will differ significantly from that of your neighbor. To get an accurate estimate of how much a slate roof will cost to install on your property, contact us to schedule a roof inspection.
Advantages Of Slate Roofing
Natural slate roofing offers several advantages over other roofing types:
- Longevity: The long lifespan of a slate roof means you will never have to replace your roof again.
- Curb appeal: Natural slate tiles have a unique and authentic appearance, contributing significantly to a building’s aesthetic appeal and personality.
- High return on investment: If you want to sell a house, installing a new slate roof will increase your home’s resale value and make it easier to find a buyer.
- Low maintenance requirements: Slate roofing has a high resistance to moisture and mold growth, and it doesn’t require regular or extensive cleaning. Slate tiles can withstand temperature fluctuations and inclement weather without cracking, so you don’t need regular roof inspections and repairs.
- Safety: Natural slate is among the safest roofing options as it has high fire resistance.
- Environmentally friendly: The long lifespan of slate makes it the most environmentally friendly option. Slate is also recyclable at the end of its functional lifespan.
Disadvantages Of Slate Roofing
Even though slate roofing offers a lot of value, it is not without issues. Some of the drawbacks of slate roofing include:
- Weight: Slate is one of the heaviest roofing materials available, and it needs sturdy roof decking, which increases installation costs.
- Low resistance to impact: Slate tiles can withstand harsh weather, but they can easily break if you walk over them. Airborne or swaying tree limbs can also damage your roof.
- Installation challenges: Slate roofs are more challenging to install than other roof systems. A professional installation is necessary to make sure that your roof structure can carry the heavy weight and that the tiles attach securely to the substrate.
Despite these few disadvantages, we often recommend slate roofing as a cost-effective home upgrade for homes.
How We Repair A Slate Roof
At Maxx Roof, we offer professional slate roof repair services to property owners. Signs you need a slate roof repair include:
- Moisture in your rafters or attic area
- Water damage or mold growth inside your home
- Visible damage to slate roof tiles
- Slate roof tiles lying on the ground
In most cases, a slate roof repair involves replacing missing or damaged tiles. We can also replace old flashing or gutter systems to prevent damage from standing rainwater.
When repairing a slate roof, the first step is to determine and address the cause of the damage. For example, if a rotting deck doesn’t support the tiles, we’ll repair the deck before replacing the materials.
In some cases, a roofing issue may be due to aging. If your roof is at the end of its lifespan and you have to schedule regular repairs, a roof replacement may be more cost-effective over the long run.
As part of our repair service, we’ll select replacement tiles that match the exact color and size of the rest of your roof, ensuring a uniform look.
Popular Slate Roofing Manufacturers
The quality and durability of slate tiles may vary, depending on their type and composition. At Maxx Roof, we source our slate tiles from reputable and popular slate manufacturers, giving you peace of mind that your tiles are of the highest quality.
At Maxx Roof, we aim to provide you with the best value while saving you unnecessary costs. Before starting an installation or repair project, we’ll assess your roof structure to find the best solution for your needs and budget.
Get Your Slate Roof Done By Our Certified Installers
With our slate roof installation service, you can increase your property’s curb appeal, resale value, and energy efficiency. You’ll also minimize roof repair and maintenance costs along with your risk of water damage. To schedule a professional slate roof installation or repair service, contact Maxx Roof LLC at 720-743-4492 for an estimate.