Slate roofing is one of the most durable roofing materials out there, and it hasn’t changed much over the centuries. It is done by placing natural stone tiles interlocked on top of each other, mounted on a reinforced roof to withstand their weight, and protecting the building from all the elements, from one extreme to another.
Since it was such a good roofing option for numerous historical buildings and it is still used in residential homes or institutions to this day, it is natural to consider it for your own tiled roof project. We cover the basics of slate and what things you should consider before you start planning a slate roof for your own house.
Qualities of Slate Roofing
As mentioned before, slate roofing is a type of construction structure that has been used for centuries. Its use began in the 12th century in Wales, when churches and cathedrals were protected with this impressive and equally expensive roofing option. Examples of slate roofs can be found in the United States as well, where it was popular during the 19th and 20th century.
What makes natural slate roof so wanted? First of all, it protects very well from the elements, regardless of the roof pitches. From all other roofing materials, slate shingles have a very low water absorption rate, which prevents them from expanding and contracting when exposed to heat and frost. This makes them good insulators and it gives them the famous durability: slate roofs can last for over 100 years, sometimes even more.
They also provide very good protection from fire, since they are fireproof. Fires often spread very fast by burning the roof of a house, but stone slates should be able to slow that down.
Types of Slate Roofing
In the modern-day, roof slates are split into two big categories: natural slates and artificial slates. Natural slate roofs are often preferred over the artificial ones because they seem to guarantee the notorious durability and high quality of this roofing slate, but artificial slates are also very good and more affordable.
When choosing natural slates, their color, durability, and price depend a lot on the source of the stone. Some stones are softer, some are harder and more durable. This type of slate can be expensive and it might require roof reinforcement since it is so heavy.
Artificial slate roof tiles like fiber cement are designed to imitate the qualities of natural stone, but also to add the advantages of technology. They are also fireproof and durable, living up to 50 years or more, but they weigh significantly less, both on your budget and the structure of your house.
Installing a Slate Roof
Another aspect to take into consideration when planning a slate roof is the installation – will it be done by a professional, experienced team? Having a 100 years slate roof not only depends on the quality of the installed slate but also on how good the roofing company that installs it is. To avoid expensive roof repairs in the future, make sure your slate is professionally installed.
Get in touch with teams who have worked with slate before and know what installing a slate roof needs. Since this is such a longevity material, you have a fair chance of getting repairs and replacing missing slate offers that will make the expenses get lower in the long-term.