Slate roofs are extremely attractive, and very long lasting. A historic choice of roofing material, a slate roof installation can add beauty and character to many homes. Slate offers many advantages over other roofing types, although it does have a few disadvantages as well. To determine whether slate is a favorable option for a roof, homeowners are encouraged to learn about the pros and cons of slate roofs, and to discuss their ideas with a roofing contractor experienced with slate installations.
Classic Beauty with Slate
Slate has been used as a roofing material for centuries throughout Europe, eventually becoming popular in the US in the 19th Century. It lends beautifully to more traditional types of architecture, and can be found on many types of pitched roofs in various shades and shingle styles. Slate is a natural material, so shingles are usually varied in shade and color, adding, even more, character to slate roofs. The look of slate shingling is so desirable that today numerous faux slate types of shingles even exist.
Extreme Durability and Longevity
The main benefit of a slate roof is a long roof life, something that every homeowner desires. Slate is quite possibly the longest-lived roofing material available, with a lifespan of between 100 and 200 years, outlasting even the best metal roofs. It is also strong and weather resistant, creating a durable, protective roof when installed by a knowledgeable roofing contractor. Although slate can become cracked or chipped by hail and other extreme weather, in most cases it can withstand the worst, and even stay put in heavy winds due to its rigidity and weight.
Environmental, Efficiency and Safety Factors
Besides being beautiful and long-lived, a slate roof installation also provides two other important advantages. Slate is a completely natural material, requiring no extensive production processes to turn it into roofing material. It can also be disposed of safely, without becoming an environmental hazard like other materials. Slate, like other similar materials, is also an energy-efficient choice in that it is cooler than other roofs, absorbing UV heat without transferring it into the structure under the roof. On top of all that, it has a high safety rating because it is fire resistant.
A Few Disadvantages to Slate
Like any other material, there are a few disadvantages that come with all the advantages, which homeowners should be aware of. The main deterring factor with a slate roofing installation is the cost, as slate roofs can be one of the most expensive roofs installed by a roofing contractor. That cost is recuperated throughout the long life of a slate roof, but initially, the installation can be quite an investment. Cost is the main reason why most homeowners opt against slate.
The other important consideration with slate is its weight. Slate creates a very heavy roof, something that must be accounted for before installation. The actual roof structure itself must be strong and solid enough to easily support a slate roof and anything else that could end up on top of it, like snow or ice.
Considering all the benefits, it is easy to see how beautiful slate roofs are a desirable option for many homes. The disadvantages, although only a couple are significant, however. Homeowners thinking of a slate roofing installation should discuss the possibilities with an experienced roofing contractor. With an assessment of the existing roof structure and a cost estimate, a beautiful, long-lived slate roof could be right around the corner!