Slate roof tiles are a great long-term investment for most homeowners and building owners. If you’d like a natural, gorgeous roofing material which may be able to outlive the rest of the building, slate tiles are the way to go. They have an incredibly long lifespan and durability, and offer superior insulation, weather resistance, and have a number of other beneficial properties.
One of the benefits that you may have heard about is the ability for you to reuse slate roof tiles in the future – or use reclaimed slate tiles in your own project, to reduce costs. Is it really possible to reuse slate roof tiles? You may have a hard time believing it, but it’s true. In this article, we’ll take a look at everything that you need to know about reusing slate roof tiles.
Slate Roofs Can Last Over 100 Years
Slate tiles, along with some other roof tiles like concrete tile and some types of clay tiles, can have an incredibly long lifespan. Slate roofs are built to last 100 years or longer, because their natural stone is non-porous, and they are attached firmly using special hand-tools, rather than nail guns.
When properly installed, a slate roof will easily last at least 100 years. In fact, there are many slate roofs that are primarily composed of their original slate tiles, and have lasted centuries. Some buildings in Cambridge University in England, for example, as well as Cobh Cathedral, and Crathorne Hall Hotel. There are innumerable other examples all across the world.
Simply put, natural slate is incredibly resistant to wear, and that means that, when properly cared for and installed, a slate roof can easily last 100 years or much longer.
The Rest Of The Roof Wears Out Before Slates Do
If a roof was made entirely out of slate, the roof would likely last more than 100 years – likely several hundred, at the minimum. But, as we all know, roofs are not just made of slate. Things like copper and steel flashing, underlay membranes, timber battens, and other components of the roof are more prone to degradation in a shorter time-frame. When properly installed, a slate roof will help protect all of these sub-components, but they will still wear out eventually, especially when exposed to extreme weather conditions.
However, this has two major advantages for those who choose to re-roof their homes or buildings with slate. First, when a roof must be rebuilt due to the deterioration of the underlying structure, most (if not all) of the slate can be reclaimed and repurposed. Usually, most slate tiles on the roof will still be in nearly perfect condition. A few may need to be discarded, but with proper care, almost all of the tiles can be reclaimed – leading to lower overall roof replacement costs.
It also means that, if you’re currently interested in roofing a building that’s using metal or an asphalt roof, you can save quite a bit of money when replacing the roof with a new slate installation – because you can simply purchase slate tiles that have been reclaimed from another demolition or re-roofing project.
As an inert, natural material, the chemical and physical composition of slate will not change, even after hundreds of years. Just like any other stone, it may become weathered and eroded – but the physical properties, including minimal water absorption, insulation and strength will not change.
By purchasing reclaimed slate for your project, you can do your part to help the environment, and also save quite a bit of money, compared to purchasing brand-new, high-grade slate tiles.
Slate Roofs Also Help You Save On Repairs
Roof repairs are, unfortunately, unavoidable. Though durable, slate can still be damaged by shock and impact, such as hail, tree branches and other debris that may strike a tile and damage it.
However, slate roofs need repairs less frequently than other types of roof, and it’s easy to remove individual slate tiles and replace them. When doing this, it’s actually recommended to use older, reclaimed slate taken from other properties, as it will be thinner than new slate. New slate, which is thickly cut, can cause the surrounding tiles to “stick up,” and cause excessive shear stress, which can break the other tiles.
Reclaimed slate, on the other hand, is more likely to match the proper thickness, and be similar (both in color and weathering) to the existing slate – leading to a more reliable and aesthetically-appealing repair. As long as you can ensure that you are getting slate that’s equal in quality to your existing tiles, we highly suggest using reclaimed slate for your slate roof repairs.
Reused Slate – Just As Good As The New Stuff!
In just about any case, re-used slate (whether from your own roof or that of another building) is just as good as “new” slate. And that makes sense. After all, even the “newest” slate is still technically millions of years old! You wouldn’t expect a piece of stone to wear out quickly.
So, whether you’re curious about whether or not you can reuse your own slate when repairing your roof, or you’re thinking about investing in a new slate roof and would like to use reclaimed tiles, contact NSW Slate Roofing. We can help you determine what’s right for you, give you a free quote, and guide you throughout the entire process. Call us today on 1300 102 908.