When it comes to your home, nothing creates curb appeal quite like a slate roof.
Slate roofs are one of the most historical roofing materials available on the market. Despite that, a natural slate roof is a rare find in today’s modern homes. That means if you are one of the few homeowners who still have a slate roof, you may have trouble finding the right contractor to help you with your slate roof repair.
If you are in need of a slate roof repair, you’re likely asking yourself all sorts of questions, including:
- Is it the right time for a roof repair?
- How much will repairs cost?
- What is the difference between a repair and a replacement?
We’ll be answering all of that and more in today’s article.
What Are the Benefits of a Slate Roof?
Slate roofs have been popular for centuries for good reason. Here are some of the top reasons homeowners invest in a new slate roof.
- Durability – Slate roofs are popular, first and foremost, for their extreme durability. Slate roofs are known for being “lifetime roofs,” with an amazing life expectancy. In fact, once you invest in a new slate roof, you won’t have to buy a new roof for the rest of your life.
- Aesthetics – Of all of the roof styles available, slate roofs are widely considered to be one of the most beautiful options on the market. A slate roof adds instant charm to your home and helps to boost your curb appeal.
- Weatherproof – If you live in a climate with some serious weather conditions, a slate roof might be just what you need. Slate roofs are great when it comes to standing up to cold and hot temperatures, as well as more severe conditions such as wildfires, snow, and hail.
What Are the Downsides of a Slate Roof?
While the benefits of a slate roof are well documented, there are some downsides that come with a slate roof, as well. If you’re considering repairing your slate roof or adding a new one, here are some things you’ll want to consider.
- Weight – When you have a roof made of solid stone, it’s bound to be heavier than the average roof made of asphalt shingles. However, that weight can put a lot of strain on the foundation of your home. Extra reinforcements are often needed to make sure that your home can withstand the weight.
- Expensive – The price of roofing materials varies widely. Unfortunately, if slate roof tiles are what you have your heart set on, you should be prepared to pay a high price. Natural slate roofs are one of the most expensive styles on the market.
What Are the Signs that Your Slate Roof Needs Repair?
If you already own an existing slate roof, it can be difficult to tell when it needs to be repaired. After all, as we just mentioned, slate roofs are hugely durable. As a slate roof owner, here are the top signs to look for in order to determine whether it is time for you to schedule some roof repairs.
One of the easiest ways to spot a damaged slate roof is to look for missing slate tiles. Tiles can go missing for a variety of reasons. Usually, though, they come loose due to high wind speeds. You may find blown-off shingles in your yard or simply find that they are missing from the roof itself. Missing tiles may not look that serious from the outside, but they leave your roof exposed to the elements, most notably water damage.
Slate roofs may be durable, but they also have a tendency to be brittle. The brittle slate can break easily from people walking on your roof or from hail damage. Broken tiles may present as a crack or missing pieces from the tiles. While it may be more subtle than a missing tile, it can cause similar consequences due to water damage.
Noticing that parts of your roof seem to be discolored? You may be dealing with your slate tiles absorbing moisture. If this is the case, you may be dealing with attic leaks. When you notice discoloration, it’s best to schedule a roof inspection as soon as possible to assess possible damage.
Moss and algae growth on your roof is another sure sign of moisture buildup on your roof. Not only can moss growth be indicative of a larger problem, but the moss itself can lead to damaged slate tiles.
It might seem like it goes without saying, but if you have a ceiling leak, you need to contact your local roofing contractor as soon as possible. A leak is a clear indicator that something in your roof system is not functioning properly.
How Much Does a Slate Roof Repair Cost?
As we’ve previously mentioned, slate roofs are expensive to install and repair. However, the total cost of a repair will vary widely depending on the extent of the damage to your roof, as well as the style of slate tiles that you choose.
Slate roof repairs can cost anywhere between $700-$2500. The cost of your replacement slate will typically make up the bulk of that cost and may vary depending on the availability of the supply. Labor costs will change depending on the averages of the area that you live in.
How Long Does a Slate Roof Last?
As discussed, slate roofs are popular for being a roofing material that lasts for over a century. However, if extensive repairs are in your future, it is possible that you may be wondering if it is worth it to invest in new slate roofing or if it is more cost-efficient to get a different roofing style.
The fact of the matter is if you continue to repair and maintain your existing slate roof, you’ll find that it pays off in the long run. With proper care, your slate roof can last for 70-200 years!
5 Alternative Slate Roof Styles
Is a slate roof not working for you, but you still love the look of it? These days, you can get the look and feel of slate at a significantly cheaper cost by choosing one of the high-quality Composite options available to you. Here are some of our favorite slate-inspired roofing materials.
1) Bituminous Slate
If you’ve had a standard asphalt shingle roof in the past, bituminous slate will likely feel very familiar to you. These tiles are made out of the same asphalt material that you see on most roofs but are designed to mimic the look of slate roofing tiles.
2) Fiber Cement Slate
Fiber cement products have grown in popularity for the exterior of homes over the years. This is mostly due to their extreme durability, fire resistance, and variety of beautiful finishes. One of those finishes includes a slate tile dupe that looks amazingly close to the real thing.
3) Composite Slate
If you are looking for something that looks comparable to fiber cement slate but provides even more protection from UV rays, changing temperatures, and foot traffic? A composite slate roof may be the solution you’ve been looking for. It’s important to note that composite slate roofs will have a bit more of a sheen than natural slate.
4) Metal Slate
Metal roofs are known for their durability, and now you can get them in a style that will blend in perfectly in your residential neighborhood. Metal slate won’t look like it is made out of actual stone, but it will help you get the shape and feel of a slate roof for less money.
5) Concrete Slate
Concrete slate is your best option if your goal is to mimic that true stone look. Concrete looks the most like a true slate roof but will require extensive annual maintenance in order to ensure that it stays functional and beautiful throughout the years.
Get Help From a Slate Roofing Pro
Ready to tackle your slate roof repairs? Our team at Durashield is here to help! As your local roofing experts, we have the expertise required in order to repair slate roofs and ensure that your replacement slate is properly installed. Contact us today to learn more about our services!