Slate roofing involves roofing a house with slates that are made from metamorphic rocks. These metamorphic rocks are gotten from sedimentary rocks formed from volcanic ash and clay called tuff and shale. Different slates will have different colours based on their mineral composition. Slates composed of carbon, for instance, will come out black or grey, while chlorite will produce a green slate.
Why choose roof slates?
Slates have been around for hundreds of years. Old houses, churches and castles used roof slates because it was the most durable option then. Interestingly, such an old roofing system is still being used today.
If you want roofing that is strong, beautiful and will last you a long time, you should use slate roofing. Slate roofs are aesthetically pleasing. The vibrant look of the slate rock gives your house a natural feel that you can’t get with other types of roofs. Its longevity is another thing to nudge you towards slate roofing tiles. They are made from rocks that have lasted thousands of years before you or anyone you know existed. This means they have withstood many harsh weather conditions and perhaps even a few dinosaur stomps. Roofing slates can last you 100 to 150 years.
Different types of roofing slate
- Natural slate: These are slates made from natural rock excavated from the earth, sent to a manufacturing plant where they are examined and then cut into regular size slates for roofing. There are three grades of natural slate. S1 grade is the highest quality slate with more strength and longevity. S2 grade is the mid-level quality slate, and S3 is the slate with the lowest quality. Natural slates are strong and highly resistant to harsh weather, fire and water damage.
- Fibre cement slate: These slates are made from mixing fibre, cement and admixtures. They are more budget friendly than natural slate tiles, giving you a similar physical appeal without drilling holes in your wallet. Fibre cement slates are great for beach and riverfront houses because of their salt and water-resistant nature. Because of their lightweight, you can use them on buildings with no extra support. This makes them an excellent choice for newer buildings. They are also very easy to install.
- Man-made slate: Man-made slate is reconstituted form of natural slates. They are cheaper and less durable than natural slates. They are made from synthesised resin and ground slate. They are generally used for re-roofing different types of buildings and offer more choice in terms of colour – great if you want a consistent look for your building. Like Fibre cement slate, they are easy to install and are also very lightweight. Although not as durable as the others, man-made slate can last up to 30 years which is still very impressive.
Benefits of Roof Slates
- Quality: As mentioned before, roof slates are made from rocks that have lasted years. This means they are a high-quality option for any household or company. When slate roofing is done, you usually don’t need any maintenance for a long time. They are so high in quality that you may never need to replace your roof slates for the rest of your life. They can last for over a century after installation, so even if you live that long, your roof will still be intact.
- Durability: Roof slates can withstand harsh weather conditions, fires and water disasters. The metamorphic rocks they are formed from come from parts of the earth where extreme weather is the norm. This makes them highly resistant to wear and tear, giving them longevity that other roofing types don’t match up with. Their durability makes them a safe option in fires, and because they are nonconductive, electric hazards will not be a problem.
- Price: For roofs that can last you over one hundred years, roof slates are a good bargain. Yes, you might have to fork out some cash initially, but it makes more economic sense to pay upfront and never have to worry about your roof again. With cheaper options, the money you spend over time for maintenance and replacement will cost you way more than if you got yourself a roof slate. It all depends on the type you get, but slate roofing will typically cost between $6000 to $8000 per square. Looking at the long term value of roof slates, that’s a steal.
Author: Matt Holder
Matt Holder is our in-house writer. Matt has been working in the construction industry for 10 years. From working on-site to integration himself into our office.
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