The Pros and Cons of a Slate Roof


Slate roofing tiles have historically been known as one of the highest quality and longest lasting roofing materials; not only does a slate roof look beautiful, it is one of the most durable roofing materials available. However, there are some drawbacks to a slate roof; the entire roofing job requires an experienced contractor as a slate roof is not easily installed and the tiles can be fragile and break easily. A slate roof may not be for everyone, but there are many situations when a slate roof is the best choice.

There are many reasons to choose a slate roof, and the appearance is just one:

Slate roofing tiles are designed to last at least 100 years; and 150 years is not an unrealistic expectation if the roof is installed properly. Although most of us do not live in the same house for this length of time, a slate roof is a big plus when it comes to resale. The new owners will be pleased to know that the roof will not need replacing for many years to come.

A slate roof is one of the most fire-resistant roofs that exist; the slate tiles themselves are completely fire proof. This is a big advantage if you live in an area prone to brush and wildfires; depending on the area you live in a slate roof could be a prudent investment for this reason only. Slate is also an environmentally friendly roofing choice.

According to statistics, roofing waste accounts for more than 5% of the total waste sent to landfills; asphalt shingle that must be replaced every 20 to 30 years are the primary component of that waste and since slate roofs need only be replace every century or so, they do not contribute to that waste.

There are several drawbacks to slate roofs, most notably is the cost. Slate is an expensive roofing choice and the installation makes it even more costly. Slate is difficult to install and takes a very knowledgeable and skilled contractor to install it properly; this causes the cost to be even higher. When choosing a contractor to install you slate roof make sure he or she has the experience necessary and don’t be afraid to ask for references.

The weight of a slate roof is another drawback; a slate roof can weigh between 800 and 1,500 pounds per 100 square feet. You will need to make sure that your home is structurally equipped to handle this weight before deciding on a slate roof. Another disadvantage to a slate roof is the fragility; slate tiles break very easily. If you do choose a slate roof make sure any maintenance technicians that may need to be on your roof know how to walk on a slate roof without breaking the tiles; it is often difficult to find matching replacement tiles.

As you can see, a slate roof has many advantages and disadvantages. It is important to take all these into consideration before choosing a slate roof. If you do decide on a slate roof you will have a beautiful, long lasting roofing system that will be the envy of the neighborhood.


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