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Slate Roof (Slate Roof Tiles)– Advantages and Disadvantages

Slate Roof (Slate Roof Tiles)– Advantages and Disadvantages

Slate Roof (Slate Roof Tiles)– Advantages and Disadvantages

Some of the oldest homes in the nation sport slate tiles on their roofs. This elegant stone roofing is known as one of the longest lasting shingles still on the market today, prized for its beauty, durability, and longevity. Like all roofs, however, it does have its drawbacks as well as its advantages.

Advantages of a Slate Roof

The biggest advantage to installing a slate roof on your home is the appearance. Slate roof tiles are made of 100% natural stone, and have a naturally cleft surface with beautiful color variation ranging over the entire roof. Slate roof tiles are also extremely durable, outlasting the buildings they are installed on in some cases. In fact, installed and cared for properly it is not unheard of for a slate roof to last 150 years or more.

In addition to being beautiful and durable, slate roof tiles are also fireproof and environmentally friendly. Being made of natural stone, the tiles don’t give off VOCs or other pollution during manufacturing. They can also be recycled after they are used on the roof or if they outlast the building they are installed on. They can also help to insulate the home below them, which can lower energy costs in the houses that use them.

Disadvantages of a Slate Roof

The biggest disadvantages to a slate roof are the expense and the installation. Slate roofs can cost as much as $1000 to $6000 a square installed, with many homes needing multiple squares to complete the roof. Not every roofer has worked with slate roof tiles, as well, which makes it more difficult to find a reputable installer who can do the work properly. Slate tiles may not be gauged, which means they can vary in thickness, while the tiles can also spall or shed layers during the installation process. Inexperienced roofing contractors who try to install slate tiles like asphalt can run into big problems very quickly. Hire only Qualified Local Contractors.

The other biggest drawback to using a slate roof is the weight. Slate roof tiles are extremely heavy, and the roof deck needs to be reinforced to hold the weight. In fact, a slate roof can weigh anywhere from 800 to 1500 pounds; you need to have your home surveyed to determine if it can support this weight before having it installed.

Finally, while a slate roof can last for what seems like forever, if you have a contractor that needs to walk on it, a lot of damage can be done very quickly if they don’t know what they’re doing. Additionally, if you do lose or break tiles, it can be difficult to find replacements that match. Because slate is a natural stone, the color variation from lot to lot can be so extreme that you may have a patch that stands out a mile.

Beautiful Curb Appeal

With its longevity and curb appeal, most people that opt for a slate roof do so with the knowledge of the expense and other drawbacks. Weigh these carefully as you make your decision to ensure the right choice.


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The guys that gave me my estimate were very professional and explained things real well. The work was completed and cleaned up as scheduled. Thank you! 🙂

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