For years now, Slate has served as a beautiful, sustainable material that has become infamous for its low maintenance, fireproof and waterproof characteristics. Not to mention how they can last anywhere between 100 to 200 years if well maintained. Combine all that with the fact that it’s elegant, ingenious, effective and highly affordable and it’s easy to see why Slate makes some of the finest roofs on the planet.
A short walk around your neighborhood will reveal that slate roofs are indeed a crowning touch in numerous residential and public buildings throughout the USA. Unfortunately, slate maintenance becomes more and more necessary as your roof edges towards the end of its life. At this point, the tiles and shingles might still be in good shape, but the fasteners may have corroded from years of exposure. Instead of spending money replacing your entire roof, hiring a slate roof restoration and repair consultant will help save you plenty of time, money and effort. Here’s how professionals work to preserve the beauty of your slate roof with slate roof repair.
Basic Elements of Slate Roofs and Their Common Problems
Before you can preserve anything, it’s important to understand what your slate roof is made of, how it works and what the common problems that plague each element are. By being well informed and educated on your slate roof, you can even grab some tools and attempt some DIY repairs. Generally, the core elements of slate roofs include:
This is without a doubt the most important part of your slate roof. Not only should your slates be hard, but they should also have a reputation for longevity. Normally, slate is just hard stone mined from the earth in huge, heavy slabs that are then worked into individual shingles by hand or machine.
The mere fact that slates are rocks gives them the ability to stay on your roof for up to two centuries without needing repairs. Unfortunately, stone is a natural material that may have invisible fractures and other imperfections that could crack or damage your slates over time. Depending on the variety, other slates are softer and may crumble as early as 50 years in, making your roof quite ugly and unsightly. Hiring the right roofing experts will ensure your damaged slates are replaced and any weak links are fortified to create one gorgeously perfect roofing surface.
Flashings and Roof Deck
Flashings are those metal joints visible around pipes, dormers, chimneys and other areas that protrude through the ceiling. In Slate roofs, flashings are sheet metal joints that are installed between the roof planes. With time, flashing wears out and could even rust if exposed to too much water.
Worn flashing gives a slate roof a very ancient appearance that betrays the real age of the roof. However, maintenance practices such as painting will see your flashing last almost 4 times longer than unpainted ones. If your flashing is excessively worn, that could spell disaster for the rest of your roof. Hiring slate roofing experts to replace your worn flashing is the smartest move in this case. For the roof deck, a making sure that your non-laminated board deck is in peak condition and not exposed to the elements will see it last for decades without needing any real maintenance.
Typically, the nails holding your roof together should be made of copper or stainless steel. However, cut steel nails and hot-dipped galvanized nails have been known to last for over two centuries without any issues. But with time, nothing is truly invincible. Nails tend to rust or corrode as a result of years of exposure to the harsh elements outside. In turn, loose nails cause your slates to fall off and break; leaving large, ugly, open holes all over your roof. If this sounds like your roof, get the nails replaced immediately using special tools, and any loose slates will be secured back on.
Aside from preserving the beauty of your slate roof, all the above repairs have numerous benefits when it comes to performance and enhancing a home’s resale value. Other common slate roof problems include bad workmanship, improper repairs, tar blotches, mismatched slates and terrible metal patchwork. Fortunately, all these errors and problems can be easily corrected by slate roofing experts who know what they’re doing. Hire one today and enjoy all the benefits that come with having a beautiful, attractive and functional slate roof over your head.