Slate Tile Roof

Slate Tile Roof

The use of artificial, mineral fiber slate is not recommended for restoration work since its rigid appearance is that of a manmade material and not one of nature. Artificial slates may also have a tendency to fade over time. And, although artificial slate costs less than natural slate, the total initial cost of an artificial slate roof is only marginally less than a natural slate roof. This is because all the other costs associated with replacing a slate roof, such as the cost of labor, flashings, and tearingoff the old roof, are equal in both cases. Over the long term, natural slate tends to be a better investment because several artificial slate roofs will have to be installed during the life span of one natural slate roof.
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Slate Tile Roof

The damaged slate is first removed by cutting or pulling out its nails with a ripper. If steel cut nails, rather than copper nails, were used in laying the roof, adjacent slates may be inadvertently damaged or displaced in the ripping process, and these, too, will have to be repaired. If the slate does not slide out by itself, the pointed end of the ,slate hammer can be punched into the slate and the slate dragged out. A new slate, or salvaged slate, which should match the size, shape, texture, and weathered color of the old slate, is then slid into place and held in position by one nail inserted through the vertical joint between the slates in the course above and approximately one inch below the tail of the slate two courses above.
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Slate Tile Roof

Slate is one of the most aesthetically pleasing and durable of all roofing materials. It is indicative at once of the awesome powers of nature which have formed it and the expertise and skill of the craftsman in handshaping and laying it on the roof. Installed properly, slate roofs require relatively little maintenance and will last 60 to 125 years or longer depending on the type of slate employed, roof configuration, and the geographical location of the property. Some slates have been known to last over 200 years. Found on virtually every class of structure, slate roofs are perhaps most often associated with institutional, ecclesiastical, and government buildings, where longevity is an especially important consideration in material choices. In the slate quarrying regions of the country, where supply is abundant, slate was often used on farm and agricultural buildings as well.
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Slate Tile Roof

Being a natural stone, slate is more durable than any man-made material. High density of slate makes it waterproof, meaning that it will not absorb water. Slate is also completely non-combustible and will protect your home in the event of a fire. Slate is also highly resistant to any temperature fluctuations and inclement weather conditions, making it ideal in areas prone to heavy rain, snow, and wind. Moreover, a slate roof will not be affected by fungus and mold. These properties make a slate roof practically maintenance free, allowing you to have the peace of mind, without having to spend extra cash on expensive maintenance and repairs.
slate tile roof 4

Slate Tile Roof

Slate Roofing Pros and Cons – Slate Roof Facts, FAQ, & Pricing Details Leave a reply If you are looking for a “lifetime” roofing system that will provide superior durability and add a distinctive touch of timeless beauty and curb appeal to your home, then consider investing in a natural slate roof. For centuries, slate has been highly acclaimed for its natural beauty and remarkable longevity, unmatched by other materials. Investing in a slate roofing system is a major financial commitment. Therefore, it is critical to learn about advantages and drawbacks of slate before you make a buying decision.
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Slate Tile Roof

The biggest advantage to installing a slate roof on your home is the appearance. Slate roof tiles are made of 100% natural stone, and have a naturally cleft surface with beautiful color variation ranging over the entire roof. Slate roof tiles are also extremely durable, outlasting the buildings they are installed on in some cases. In fact, installed and cared for properly it is not unheard of for a slate roof to last 150 years or more.
slate tile roof 6

Slate Tile Roof

The U.S. roofing slate industry reached its highest point in both quantity and value of output in the period from 1897 to 1914. In 1899, there were over 200 slate quarries operating in 13 states, Pennsylvania historically being the largest producer of all. The decline of the U.S. roofing slate industry began c.1915 and resulted from several factors, including a decline in skilled labor for both the fabrication and installation of slate and competition from substitute materials, such as asphalt shingles, which could be mass produced, transported and installed at a lower cost than slate. Only recently, with the increasing popularity of historic preservation and the recognition of the superiority of slate over other roofing materials, has slate usage begun to increase.
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Slate Tile Roof

Slate tiles are often used for interior and exterior flooring, stairs, walkways and wall cladding. Tiles are installed and set on mortar and grouted along the edges. Chemical sealants are often used on tiles to improve durability and appearance, increase stain resistance, reduce efflorescence, and increase or reduce surface smoothness. Tiles are often sold gauged, meaning that the back surface is ground for ease of installation. Slate flooring can be slippery when used in external locations subject to rain. Slate tiles were used in 19th century UK building construction (apart from roofs) and in slate quarrying areas such as Blaenau Ffestiniog and Bethesda, Wales there are still many buildings wholly constructed of slate. Slates can also be set into walls to provide a rudimentary damp-proof membrane. Small offcuts are used as shims to level floor joists. In areas where slate is plentiful it is also used in pieces of various sizes for building walls and hedges, sometimes combined with other kinds of stone. In modern homes slate is often used as table coasters.
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The key to slate’s longevity is proper installation. If a slate roof is not properly installed, it could easily become the cause of some major roof problems. Slate is a very specialized roofing system and installing it correctly does require some proper training and experience. The reality is that most roofers do not have this experience, yet many will readily agree to install your slate roof anyway! Do not fall into this trap, and only hire an experienced contractor who specializes in slate roofing. Be sure to ask the contractor for references.
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Slate can be made into roofing slates, a type of roof shingle, or more specifically a type of roof tile, which are installed by a slater. Slate has two lines of breakability – cleavage and grain – which make it possible to split the stone into thin sheets. When broken, slate retains a natural appearance while remaining relatively flat and easy to stack. A “slate boom” occurred in Europe from the 1870s until the first world war, allowed by the use of the steam engine in manufacturing slate tiles and improvements in road and waterway transportation systems.
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The relatively large percentage of historic buildings roofed with slate during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries means that many slate roofs, and the 60 to 125 year life span of the slates most commonly used, may be nearing the end of their serviceable lives at the end of the twentieth century. Too often, these roofs are being improperly repaired or replaced with alternative roofing materials, to the detriment of the historic integrity and appearance of the structure. Increased knowledge of the characteristics of slate and its detailing and installation on the roof can lead to more sensitive interventions in which original material is preserved and the building’s historic character maintained. Every effort should be made to replace deteriorated slate roofs with new slate and to develop an effective maintenance and repair program for slate roofs that can be retained.
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Installation problems often involve the improper nailing and lapping of slates. The nailing of slates differs from that of other roofing materials. Slate nails should not be driven tight as is the case with asphalt and wood shingles. Rather, they should be set such that the slate is permitted to hang freely on the nail shank. Nails driven too far will crack the slate and those left projecting will puncture the overlying slate. Nail heads left exposed accelerate roof deterioration by providing a point for water entry. Non-ferrous slater’s nails, such as solid copper or stainless steel, should always be used since plain steel and galvanized nails will usually rust out long before the slate itself begins to deteriorate. The rusting of nineteenth century cut nails is a common cause of slate loss on historic roofs.
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Slate roof repair is viable for localized problems and damaged roofs with reasonably long serviceable lives remaining. If 20% or more of the slates on a roof or roof slope are broken, cracked, missing, or sliding out of position, it is usually less expensive to replace the roof than to execute individual repairs. This is especially true of older roofs nearing the end of their serviceable lives because even the most experienced slater will likely damage additional slates while attempting repairs. Depending on the age of the slate, its expected serviceable life, and the cause(s) of deterioration, it may or may not be cost effective to salvage slates. Where deteriorated nails or flashings are the cause of the roof failure, salvage of at least some slates should be possible for use in repairs. When salvaging slates, each must be sounded to discover cracks and faults and the degree to which it has weathered. It is usually wise to salvage slates when only a portion of the roof is to be replaced. In this way, the salvaged slates may be used for future repairs to the remaining sections of the roof.