What is a slate roof made of?

slatr roof on white home

Natural materials for your roof

When you want to give your home a unique look and it is time for a new roof, slate roofing is an option to consider. When you compare a slate roof vs shingle roofing, the finished look is a unique beauty that gives a home an amazing curb appeal. When it comes to determining which is better, slate roofing benefits stand out from the asphalt shingle roofing: 

Most homeowners will overlook this unique roofing material because of the unknown. There are capabilities and values with slate roofing that will leave asphalt shingles or other roofing materials behind, such as: 

  • Color and Style: Slate roofing has multitudes of colors, styles, and textural patterns, including graduated installations. Choose a smooth and uniform texture or a rough and rustic texture that matches your home’s architectural style. The colors are in basic blacks and greys as well as greens, purples, reds, and other vibrant colors. A roofing company that offers slate roofing will have a slate roofing guide with all the choices available and can answer any questions. 
  • Lifespan: Slate roofing is made from a natural homogeneous metamorphic rock, comprised of clay or volcanic ash that transformed by a low-grade metamorphism. This rock is millions of years old and is likely to be one of the most durable materials you can have for roofing.  Slate roofing will last on your home for a minimum of 75 years up to 100 years or longer when left in its natural state, sans any sealant. A fire resistant, mold resistant, water absorption material that is frost resistant and less likely to break or other be damage from freezing temperature. 
  • Structure Preparation: Because slate roofing will be extremely heavy, adding as much as 500 pounds to a structure, it requires that an engineering inspection and report be completed before proceeding. There may be a need for additional support to be added to a structure before installing slate roofing. 
  • Pricing: There is no doubt that slate roofing is more expensive than asphalt shingle roofing, up to three times more expensive. 
  • Repairs: Slate roofing can be repaired and should only be done by a roofing contractor with slate roofing experience. An inexperienced contractor can do more harm than good by not knowing what the details of working with slate roofing how to do repairs correctly.

Are slate roofs better than tiles?

Both slate roofing tile and ceramic tiles have their benefits. Slate is a natural, metamorphic rock that forms underground from intense heat and pressure. It is then hand split into flat smooth pieces to create the slate roofing tiles you see. 

Slate roofing is watertight, require minimal maintenance, and this fire resistant materials also regulates a home’s temperature, reducing energy costs. Because it is a natural material, there is no toxics released in production and is 100% recyclable. 

Concrete roofing tile is a trusted roofing material and has been used since 10,000 B.C. on homes, commercial structures, houses of worship, and places of education. It is manmade, mixing cement with sand, oxide, and water into a variety of colors, profiles, and sizes.  A lighter weight material, installation is a little less than slate roofing. 

Can you pressure wash slate roof?

Slate roofing shingles make a beautiful home even more beautiful, but there are things to know about slate roofing. First, it is expensive to install and expensive to repair or replaced. This is a natural material that is durable, yet delicate. 

Debris and moss will build up on slate roofing just like any other roofing, and while it is easy to clean, it should not be cleaned with a power washer. You should never use any ammonia, bleach, or other chemicals on your slate roofing because of the copper components within the slate rock.

slate roof

How do you maintain a slate roof?

Maintenance of a slate roof is minimal but important and should be done with caution.  Given that slate roof is expensive, you want to inspect it after a storm and at least once a year otherwise. The inspection should be done from the ground with binoculars and avoid walking on the slate roofing surface. 

Broken, cracked, misaligned, and missing slate should be noted and repaired or replaced promptly to avoid any further delamination. Any flashings should be repaired or replaced, gutters should be cleaned twice a year and every 5 years, a professional roofing contractor experienced with slate roofing should do a thorough inspection. 

Can you walk on a slate roof?

Only an experienced contractor should be allowed to walk on your slate roofing and only if absolutely necessary.  Slate roofing is an extremely delicate material and foot traffic will shorten its longevity, damaging any tiles that are in questionable condition and breaking any good tiles. 

How long does a slate roof last?

It will probably last longer than the homeowner, even soft slate has a life expectancy up to 125 years with proper care and maintenance.  Hard slate roofing tiles have a life expectancy up to 200 years or longer. 

Slate roofing is an expensive choice in roofing, but with proper installation and attention to care and maintenance, a homeowner will have a beautiful roof for many years to come. Call (832) 766-9994 today for your slate roofing needs in Kingwood, TX.