Replace or Repair an Authentic Slate Roof?

Slate is one of the most durable roofing material available. A properly maintained slate roof can last over 50 years, and sometimes even over 100 years. Like all roofs, slate roofing should be inspected and any broken pieces should be repaired or replaced. Deciding whether your slate roof should be repaired or replaced is always a difficult question to answer.

A Poor Supporting Cast

  • Flashing – The weakest part of a roof is usually the flashing, especially with slate roofing. The reason for this is because slate will outlast the flashing no matter the material. The key to replacing your flashing is to actually replace it, instead of just patching or sealing it.
  • Fasteners – The other weak part of a slate roof are the nails used to hold down the tiles. Poorly maintained slate roofs will absorb moisture at a faster rate which will weaken the nails and the roof itself.

Deteriorated flashing or nails should be replaced, but if they’ve been in bad condition for too long, they could compromise the entire roof. If this is so, a full roof replacement might be necessary.

Knock Knock – Sometimes a slate roof will look like it is in perfect condition, but by feeling the tiles you can realize it may be the opposite. Give a few slate tiles a knock with your knuckles; you will be able to feel and hear the difference between a good and bad roof. Hearing a distinct, hard, and clear sound will show you that the slate is still good. A knock that feels hollow and emits a dull noise is a sign that it needs to be replaced.

Replacement Rules

  • More Than 20 Percent – Repairs for slate roofing can be expensive if there are too many damaged areas. As a rule of thumb, if almost a quarter of your roof needs repair then you might want to consider replacing the entire roof.
  • Powdering – Enter your attic and look at the underside of the roof. If there is powder present on it then you might need to start thinking about replacement.
  • Stay With Slate – If your home has a slate roof, chances are it was installed many years ago. Don’t switch from slate to a new material — preserve the integrity of your home’s historical architecture.

After each inspection of your roof, make the appropriate repairs to your slate roof. If your roof shows any signs of powdering, hollowness, extensive damage, or deteriorated hardware, you may need to replace your entire roof. Since slate roofing is the most prestigious of all roofing materials, only hire the best of the best to have it repaired or replaced. If you’re looking for the best, Preferred Exterior should be your first choice! Schedule an appointment today to meet with one of our GAF Master Elite installers, just call (516) 354-7252.

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