What is the best slate for roofing?

Slate roof

Are slate roofs good?

Choose a slate roof for your home is something you want to think about before committing. Slate has been around for a long time and is a high-quality material that has a long lifespan, probably the longest of any roofing material. 

Here are the reasons that so many homeowners choose a slate roof. These are facts that will tell you, yes, slate roofs are excellent choices: 

  • Appearance— Slate is a beautiful material, and with a slate roof, that beauty is extended to the home, giving it a classy, elegant appearance. The choices in colors, sizes, and thickness are more than most homeowners realize. It is possible to mix the colors on a slate roof and give your home an authentic look.  
  • Longevity— A slate roof can last a century, even 150 years is possible when slate roof construction is done correctly and installed by professionals experienced with slate roof. Homeowner maintenance is a key factor in the longevity of the slate roof too. Speaking of maintaining, we’ll discuss that more further into this article. Most roofing systems can last twenty years, maybe thirty years before a homeowner if aced with replacement.
  • Fire Resistance— A slate roofing is fire resistant, a factor your homeowner insurance company will love. They aren’t just fire-resistant, though. They are fireproof, so those airborne sparks during firework shows or wildfires are not an issue for a slate roof.
  • Environmentally Friendly— Asphalt shingles account for over five percent of landfill waste annually, and that is roofing material that will need replacing again in the next twenty to thirty years. With a slate roof lasting 100 years or more, makes it one of the most environmentally friendly roofing materials. You’re helping your carbon footprint now and those in the future too!  

How many years does a slate roof last?

As we stated above, a slate roof will late century or longer. A hard slate roof can last up to 200 years. A weighing factor of having a slate roof installed is the hard or soft slate, with the hard slate being the more expensive and the heavier of the two.

 If there is an existing slate roof of the house you purchase, before having any maintenance or repairs, you need to determine if it is a hard or soft slate roof. In general, a colored slate roof is a hard slate, and a black slate roof is a soft slate. Experts of slate roof advise that the softer the slate, the less worthy it is of repairing based on the cost factor. 

Which is better slate or tile roof?

An architect or builder will have experience and knowledge about roofing materials and their differences, such as a slate roof or a tile roof. For the homeowner, your knowledge may be limited. They look similar, and they both protect your home, but some differences are essential when considering slate roof material over tile roof materials.

The most critical difference is slate is an all-natural material, whereas clay or concrete tiles are manmade. If you’re looking for a roofing material that has the authentic rustic appearance, then slate roof tiles are the better choice. 

When looking at materials for roof, slate, or metal, which is the better choice? A slate roof will be stronger than an asphalt shingle roof or cedar shake roof. There is no disputing that fact. However, when it comes to a robust roofing material that can outperform, metal roofing over a slate roof is the better choice, hands down. 

Why is Slate expensive?

The slate itself is expensive because it is handled by hand from the quarry to the manufacturing. It is quarried into 8” x 8’ x 4’ and then hand cut into two-inch slabs. From there, it is then hand-split into thicknesses of ¼” and 3/16”, then hand drilled or punched holes for roofing. 

Because slate is heavy, shipping is expensive. Installation is labor-intensive, adding to the expense too. The slate material can weigh up to 800 pounds per square, taking several men to get the piece to the rooftop. It can take a roofing crew one full day to install one piece of slate. 

slate roofing option on a stucco house

How do you maintain a slate roof?

Before you choose to have a slate roof installed, make sure that maintenance won’t be an issue for you. Because a new slate roof is relatively expensive, you’ll want to inspect it after storms and annually as a routine. Experts recommend inspecting the above the roof, using binoculars, then replace any broken, cracked, misaligned, or missing slates immediately. 

Check the attic at the same time as the slate roof to make sure there aren’t any water stains on the rafters or sheathing. The areas to double heck would near the roof plate and where the roof planes intersect in the valleys. Regular maintenance of your slate roof should include:

  • Gutter cleaning in the fall and the spring
  • Replace damaged slates 
  • Every 5 to 7 years, have your slate roof professionally inspected
  • Minimize or restrict any foot traffic

For your slate roofing installation, choose the experts at Trophy Roofing. Call 972-439-1145 today.