Replacing your roof is not nearly as sexy of a home improvement project as remodeling a bathroom or renovating your kitchen. But just because it’s time to replace those worn out asphalt shingles doesn’t mean you are stuck with spending thousands of dollars on a project that won’t change the curb appeal of your home. Why not invest in a slate roof to give your home added energy efficiency, greater curb appeal, and lasting, maintenance free roofing?
What Exactly is a Slate Roof?
Historically, roofs have been made up of whatever builders could find. Early American homes were made from mud and thatch until trees could be felled, planed and used as building materials. Eventually, building materials became more sophisticated, and several aristocrats began using mined slate as roofing shingles. In many cases, historical homes still sport the same slate roofs that were originally installed.
Slate is a fine, gray, green, black, or blue metamorphic rock. It is dug or quarried, brought to the earth’s surface, then split into thin slabs using a hammer and chisel. These sheets are only about a quarter of an inch thick; they hold up well to wind, rain, freezing temperatures, and sweltering heat. Slate is also recyclable since the majority of slate roofs fail due to the underlayment, not the shingles themselves.
Why Would you use Slate for Roofing?
There are several reasons why you would want to use slate as a roofing material.
- The biggest advantage of installing a slate roof is its longevity. In many cases, slate roofs outlast the buildings they sit atop. Installed properly and cared for regularly, it is common for a slate roof to last between 75 and 125 years.
- Since slate roof tiles are made of 100 percent stone, there are natural variations and clefts in their surface offering an unparalleled beauty to your home.
- Even though they are quarried, slate roof tiles do not give off pollutants, nor is there pollution associated with their manufacturing. Slate tiles can also be recycled.
- Slate offers another layer of insulation to your home. Homeowners with slate roofs notice significant energy savings within a few weeks of their installation.
The Down Side to Slate Roofs
Of course, there are a few disadvantages to installing a slate roof on your home.
- Cost is the biggest deterrent to this type of roof. Not only do the materials cost more, installing a slate roof takes more time and expertise than installing shingles. However, when you consider one slate roof outlasts two (or even three) traditional roofs, the cost is more than reasonable.
- Slate roofs are heavier than traditional shingled roofs. Most homes can withstand the additional weight just fine, but others may require additional reinforcement to ensure the safety of the home and its occupants.
- Walking on a slate roof can damage the tiles. Blowing debris can too. Although they are durable, it is possible that you will need to periodically replace some of your slate tiles, especially if a contractor needs to do work on top of your home or a large storm blows through.
Curious whether a slate roof is right for your home? Call Crown Remodeling for a free in-home estimate.