Slate tiles adorn the rooftops of some of the oldest properties in Australia, and were selected, not only for their great looks, but also as slate is a stone, known for its durability and longevity. If installed and cared for properly, a slate roof can last over 150 years, which is way better than even some of the composite materials being offered today. It is probably the look of a slate roof that people most enjoy. The natural colour variations in the stone are visible across the roof, providing a certain feeling of elegance. Slate tiles are 100% natural stone, so are environmentally very friendly, are fireproof and can be recycled if they outlast the building they are installed on.
Is Slate Suitable For Every Home
Slate tiles biggest drawback is its weight. Compared with some other materials, slate is quite heavy. Before you can consider installing a slate roof, you do need to ensure that the roof deck is sufficiently reinforced as to be able to hold the weight. It might also be appropriate to have your house surveyed, to ensure it too, can support the potential additional pounds.
Can Any Handyman Install Slate Tiles?
Working with slate tiles is not a job for the inexperienced. Unlike manufactured roof tiles, which are all of a precise shape and size, slate may not be gauged, so the thickness of the tiles can vary in thickness. Slate is made of layers, which may spall or shed slightly during installation, so this really isn’t a job for the general handyman, or even a roofing contractor, who is not used to working with it. Aside from the difference in installation from man-made tiles, a slate roof in Sydney to Perth, can last a very long time, but can sustain a lot of damage very quickly if it is walked upon by someone who is not totally familiar with its nature.
Maintenance and Repair
Slate requires very little maintenance, though as with all roof installations, it is advisable to have them checked every year or so, to identify any signs of damage. Slate tiles can be very easily replaced, simply by sliding one tile out and another back in its place. Having said that, slate being a natural product can have natural differences in colour and appearance from one batch to another, so it is a good idea to buy some extra tiles at installation, to avoid you having a different coloured patch on the roof, if you need to replace tiles down the road.
A slate roof is definitely going to be more expensive than a standard shingle type. However, as with many things, the cost of ownership over a long period of time, as opposed to simply the initial purchase price is well recognised as being highly relevant. A slate roof is known as a “forever roof”, as it will almost certainly outlive you, whilst shingle will require far more regular replacement, so may end up costing you more in the long run.
A slate roof will also increase the resale value of your home, while providing natural insulation, while giving your roof a look of elegance and beauty other materials simply can’t match.