Monthly Archives: April 2020

Are slate roofs good?

slate roof installed

Natural, durable roofing

A slate roof is as old as time itself… so it seems. There are two main types of slate roof: hard and soft. They make a hard slate roof from stone that doesn’t absorb water, is moisture resistant, therefore doesn’t become warped. A hard slate roof can have a life expectancy of up to 200 years. The soft slate roof, however, being the weaker of the two, has a life expectancy of up to 125 years. Both hard slate roof and soft slate roofs are fire and weather resistant.

When it comes to slate roof vs composite roof and which is better, both have pros and cons. The composite, aka asphalt, is the most common of the two because they are less expensive, easy to install and come in many colors.

The composite asphalt shingles are lightweight, therefore, will fit any roofing structure, whereas slate roof shingles are heavier and need a more supportive structure. The downsides to composite asphalt shingles, they are not as weather-resistant, high winds can rip them off, and they are prone to algae, fungus, and mold, with a lifespan of 20 to 30 years maximum.

Is slate a stone? 

A slate roof is mined from is a rock that is fine-grained, foliated, and homogeneous metamorphic rock originated from a shale-type sedimentary rock that has been composed of clay or volcanic ash over low-grade regional metamorphism. The mineral composition of slate rock will determine slate roof details like the coloring and weathering properties.   

Why is slate so expensive? 

Slate roof has given the home a natural beauty for centuries, along with a long lifespan that other materials could not match. However, because the slate roof is so expensive, it is a major financial investment. Why is it so expensive? Shipping the material is costly, it is a heavy material to be carried to rooftops, and it is difficult to cut, which is done on the job site, not at factory-like asphalt shingles or wood shingles.

Slate roof can cost as much as $15.00 per square foot for the materials and as much as $25.00 per square foot for the labor. The grade, quality, and thickness are all determining factors in the pricing of a slate roof. The next determining factor is the location of your house and getting the slate roof material there.

Does slate break easily? 

For a slate roof, it is a durable material, but if stepped on, it can easily break. So, if there are slate roof defects or broken slate that requires rooftop work like your slate roof is leaking, you need to be certain and find a contractor that is familiar with walking on a slate roof. Even an experienced roofing contractor that has worked with slate roof knows of the complications this can present. Because it is a natural stone, finding exact replacement pieces is not always possible.

Is slate tile waterproof? 

The natural state of slate stone is waterproof. This makes it a perfect material for bathrooms, driveways, around the swimming pool, and because it is a stain-resistant stone, slate tile is great for the kitchen too.

newly installed slate roof

Do you need to seal slate? 

Because they make slate roofs from natural stone, they recommend sealing to strengthen its water repellency and prevent scratching and staining. Roofing contractors that work with slate roof installation recommend having it resealed annually.

The key to a slate roof’s longevity is the installation. An experienced roofing contractor that knows the proper procedure in installing a slate roof should do any type of work needed. This will ensure that you have many years of beauty and enjoyment. However, an improperly installed slate roof, or one that is maintained correctly, can be just as much a troubling roof as it can be a beautiful, long-lasting roof.

Another key to the longevity of a slate roof is maintenance. The higher density of slate that is used, this natural stone is durable, non-combustible, fluctuates with the temperature, weather-resistant with rain, sleet, snow, and wind. It does not harbor fungus or mold, so basically, it is almost a maintenance-free roofing material. A few recommendations of maintenance are:

  • Regular gutter cleaning – one at the start of fall and again at the start of spring.
  • Professional inspection – a qualified slate roof contractor inspection every five years.
  • Keep a logbook – record each time the gutters are cleaned, and inspections or repairs are done.
  • Ventilation – make sure the attic has proper and sufficient ventilation to keep moisture out of the attic
  • Instruct any contractors to wear soft sole shoes when walking on your slate roof. This would include chimney sweeps and painters, or any contractor that needs access to your roof. Ladders should be hooked over the ridge and ladders laid across the roof and walked on instead of walking directly on the slate roof.

Once you get past the expense of having a slate roof installed, you’ll find that it will be that beautiful touch to your home’s architectural style. A slate roof is a distinguished look that will provide you many years of beauty and enjoyment. Dial 281-747-8990 today for your slate roof in Sugar Land, TX.