Perhaps best known for its use in the traditional English cottage, natural slate roofing is a beautiful illustration of elegance and uniqueness. Made of natural slate stone, this kind of roofing is reliable, durable, and can last well over a century. Due to the cost associated with such a timeless material, there are many factors to consider if you are thinking about replacing your roof with a natural slate. In this article, we discuss four pros and four cons associated with natural slate.
Advantages of Natural Slate Roofing
Here are four pros of having natural slate roofing:
1. Adds Value to Your Home
Even though natural slate roofing is costly, it is likely to add to the resale value of your home. Because of its classic look, durability, and versatility, many buyers will opt for a house with a slate roof rather than a more common, less beautiful asphalt roof, therefore increasing the market value of your home.
2. Minimal Environmental Impact
Slate roofs are made out of natural stone, meaning that it is gentle on the earth to produce them, relative to the production of artificial materials, which requires chemical and petroleum additives such as plastic, paint, and preservatives. Additionally, slate roofs can be recycled and made into other items once the pieces of stone are removed from the roof.
3. Impressive Track Record
With usage dating back over a thousand years, slate is one of the oldest roofing materials still in frequent use. Its durability has not only stood the test of time, but of the elements, too: slate is fire resistant, and has been given a Class 4 hail rating under the UL - 2218 system.
4. Low Maintenance
Other than the standard minimal maintenance such as annual inspection by a roofing company, slate roofs are very low maintenance because fungus, mold, and rotting do not affect their integrity.
Disadvantages of Natural Slate Roofing
Where the advantages are plenty, here are four cons of installing a natural slate roof:
Natural slate roofing is durable to the weather, but if you step or walk on it, it can become damaged. This makes replacing a damaged slate shingle an incredibly difficult and time-consuming task. It is also worth considering that because it’s made from natural stone, no two batches of slate tiles are the same, so it is next to impossible to find an exact match for a missing or damaged shingle.
Natural slate roofing weighs between 800 and 1,500 pounds per 100 square feet, and not all buildings are equipped to support it. Your roof may require extra structural support to hold the weight of slate tiles. Before investing in natural slate roofing, you should hire a roofing contractor to assess your home from a structural perspective. A reputable roofing contractor will tell you honestly whether or not your roof can support slate. If your roof does not need extra structural support, they will give you the green light to install natural slate roofing.
3. Difficult Installation Process
Even the most premium quality natural slate tiles can cause issues and wrack up additional costs if they are improperly installed by an inexperienced roofing contractor. It is important to ensure the roofing company you hire has to experience with installing natural slate roofing on homes, especially so that they can design long-lasting flashing materials to go with it.
You can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 per square for natural slate roofing: five times the cost of artificial roofing materials. Even though it costs more, it lasts longer than other roofing materials.
Despite the high initial cost, you should still consider all of the return on investment that comes with a natural slate roof. It increases your home’s value at the time of sale, requires less maintenance and repair, and lasts significantly longer than other roofing materials, such as asphalt and synthetic slate.
If your heart is set on going with natural slate roofing for your house, only hire a roofing company that has been around for several years. Most importantly, make sure they have a team of skilled roofers with years of experience in installing natural slate roofing and preparing flashings for it. If you are still unsure about whether or not you should opt for natural slate roofing or any other type of roofing material, don’t hesitate to ask your roofing contractor for advice.
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