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Slate Roofing

What is more beautiful or aesthetically pleasing than a natural slate roof (Figures 1 and 2)?

house with slate roof

Figure 1 - House with slate roof

A slate roof is one of the most durable roofing materials available. When properly installed, and maintained, a slate roof will last for hundred's of years. The specific life of a slate roof is dependent upon a lot of variables and it is wise to discuss your requirements with a local professional installer.

House with slate roof

Figure 2 - House with slate roof

Life Variables:

  • type and origin of the slate
  • roof style
  • climate

Many roofs are not structurally designed to handle the load represented by a slate tile installation. Before committing to the installation of a slate roof ensure that your rafters and/or trusses have been designed and installed to handle the additional weight.

Considered to be the most stylish and sophisticated roofing materials, slate comes in a wide range of colors, textures and quality levels. Because a slate roof installation requires skilled, professional and experienced roofers (actually an expert slate installer is not a roofer, they are stone masons - craftsmen), slate is not an inexpensive roof covering. In addition because of the products weight special handling equipment is required and freight charges will add to the cost. You can expect to pay in the order of $100 per square foot or a $1,000 per roofing square.

Because of the high investment made in installing a slate roof they should be inspected yearly and after major storms. Most companies that supply and install slate roofs offer annual service contracts which include inspections at regular intervals. If properly maintained and cared for slate roofs have an indefinite life.

If you are considering replacing your current roof with a new slate installation, check the reputation of the contractor you are using and make sure that the slate they will install comes from a reputable high quality quarry. The capabilities of the contractor and the quality of the slate will be the biggest factors in determining the longevity of the roof.