What Is Synthetic Slate Roofing?

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If you’re interested in a new roof in Sydney, and you’d like to invest in long-lasting, durable, and attractive roofing products, artificial slates are a great choice. At NSW Slate Roofing, we offer a wide variety of fiber cement artificial slates.

Composite slate roof tiles are a great way to get the natural, durable look of slate without the high cost of natural slate tiles. Whether you’re building a new home, replacing asphalt shingles, or undertaking any other roof repair and replacement project, we can help you install synthetic slate tiles.

Got questions about synthetic slate tile? You’re in the right place. We can answer them all for you on this page. Read on, and learn more about this unique roofing material.

What Is Synthetic Slate Roofing?

Synthetic slate roofing is often called “imitation slate,” because that’s exactly what it is. Essentially, synthetic slate uses fiber cement to create artificial “slates.” Cement is overlaid across a durable blend of cellulose fibres, and then pressed into shape.

After it’s left to cure, this results in a thin, lightweight, and uniform tile that’s perfect for any roofing application. These artificial slate roofing tiles are easy to work with and install, and can be purchased in an enormous variety of styles and colors.

What Is Synthetic Slate Roofing? | NSW Slate Roofing Sydney

How Much Does Composite Slate Roofing Cost?

This depends on the company you work with to purchase your slate roofing tiles, the brand of tile you purchase, and a number of other factors. It’s impossible to give you a completely accurate number without more details about your project. However, we can give you a bit more insight on the general, overall cost of slate roofing.

Overall, synthetic slate roofing is usually quite a bit cheaper, compared to traditional slate roofing. You can expect to somewhere around $1,300 AUD per roofing “square.” (This is a unique roofing measurement, which measures about 100 square feet.) For natural slate, you would have to pay somewhere between $2,300 AUD and $4,200 AUD per roofing square. This depends on the grade of slate you use, and the size of your home, among other factors.

There are several reasons that synthetic slate roofing is much cheaper than traditional slate roofing, such as:

  • Installation costs – Synthetic slate is a light weight material which, compared to traditional slate, is easier to work with. This means that the costs of labor and installation are lower, and that it’s typically much faster to install a full synthetic slate roof, compared to a traditional slate roof.
  • Artificial slate is manufactured, not quarried – Natural slate is still quarried by hand and by machine at quarries, which means high labor costs. This translates to a higher cost of materials. In addition, high-quality slate can only be quarried in a few places around the world. In contrast, the mass-produced nature of composite slate makes it much more affordable.
  • Cheaper transportation/import costs – Synthetic slate usually has a better impact resistance than natural slate, and does not have to be imported or transported from a long distance. This adds up to a lower overall cost, compared to traditional slate.

If you’re looking for a durable, long-lasting alternative to asphalt shingles or a metal roof, a synthetic slate roof may be perfect for you.

How Long Does it Roofing Last?

A synthetic slate roof will usually last for a very long time – up to 50 years. In fact, most synthetic slate companies offer 50-year warranties on their products – if any of your tiles fail before 50 years, you will likely be able to have them replaced free of charge.

It’s expected that the lifespan of most modern synthetic slate roofs will easily exceed 50 years. By way of comparison, a natural slate roof will usually last over a century – but an asphalt-based roof may require repairs and replacement within just 10-20 years of installation.

Synthetic slate roofing is a “happy medium” which balances affordability and longevity. It’s perfect if you’d like to improve upon a metal or asphalt roof, but do not need the 100+ year lifespan of a natural slate roof, or cannot afford natural slate shingles.

What Is Synthetic Slate Roofing? | NSW Slate Roofing Sydney

What Are The Benefits Of Synthetic Slate Roofing?

Looking to learn more about the benefits of synthetic slate roofing tiles? Here just a few of the best reasons to choose a synthetic slate roof.

  • Fire resistance – Most synthetic slates have a Class A fire rating, making them ideal for areas where bushfires and wildfires could be present, and for buildings which must meet Australian standards for fireproofing and fire safety. Synthetic slate resists fire and burning, and helps protect the underlying roof structure from heat.
  • Light weight – Synthetic tile typically weighs only about 25% as much as natural slate, though this may vary based on the tile product.
    Natural slate tiles are extremely durable and long-lasting, but also very heavy. In some cases, they may not be usable on your home or building, if the underlying roof structure cannot support their weight. Additional, expensive modifications or reinforcements may have to be made.
  • Maintenance-free – As mentioned, synthetic slate shingles have a very long lifespan, and they, and also require very little maintenance. Simply have your roof inspected every few years, and consider washing it if any stains, algae, or other debris build up on the roof. That’s it!
  • Impact resistance – Natural slate is very brittle. While it’s strong, it is a bit vulnerable to shearing and cracking when it’s hit by a strong impact, such as a piece of hail, a tree branch, or any other debris that impacts the tile at a high speed. In contrast, the cement and cellulose-based structure of synthetic slate absorbs impact without breaking, distributing it evenly throughout the tile, and preserving its integrity.

See If A Composite Slate Roof Is Right For You!

Investing in a new roof is a big decision – so we’re sure you’ve still got some additional questions before you get started on your project. If so, please contact NSW Slate Roofing right away! We can help you learn more about artificial slate, provide you with a quote for your project, and more. Get started now, and see if a synthetic / composite slate roof is right for your home or business. Call us on 1300 102 908.