Slate is a durable material and can last for between 75 and 200 years depending on whether you install soft or hard slate on your home. Just because you project that your roof will last for longer than you are in your home does not mean you don't occasionally have to perform some roof maintenance. In particular, you will need to inspect and maintain flashings and replace any shingles that get damaged.
Flashing News Flash
Flashing is a metal collar that you slip around chimneys, dormers or any other structures that protrude from your roof. The purpose of flashing is to block any water that runs down the vertical sides of these protrusions so that it doesn't run under your roofing material. When you install a slate roof, you will either use galvanized steel or copper flashings. You can save a little money on your roof installation by using galvanized flashings, but you will have to paint your flashings whenever they show signs of wear and replace them at least every 20 years. For a more durable flashing, you should use copper, which will last for 70 years before it needs to be replaced.
Breaking Down Repairs for Broken Shingles
While your roof as a whole should last for decades if not centuries, you may have problems with individual pieces of slate. Whenever you discover that you have a damaged shingle, you need to replace it. If you are reasonably comfortable with walking on your roof, you can remove the old shingle with a flat nail puller and then hang a new shingle in its place with a slate hook. Follow these steps:
1. When you walk on your slate roof, make sure that you step on the bottom edge of shingle where you are actually stepping on two layers of shingles instead of in the middle of shingles where there is a gap between the shingle and the roof, which may allow the shingle to break.
2. Insert the nail puller under the damaged shingle and fish around until you hook the nail that holds the shingle in place.
3. Grab the handle of the puller with one hand and pound on the flat guard at the end of the handle with a hammer until the nail comes out.
4. Fill the nail hole with roofing cement.
5. Use a straight edge to mark where the bottom of the new shingle should be.
6. Pound the straight, pointy end of the slate hook into your roof in such a way that the hooked end protrudes slightly beyond the mark you made.
7. Slide the new shingle into place and make sure that the bottom edge of the shingle rests in the curved end of the hook.
Slate roofs are beautiful, but they also are long-lasting. Just remember that even a durable roofing material like slate needs maintenance once in a while. To get the best performance and the most life from your roof, stay caught up your maintenance.
Contact a roofing business in your surrounding area if you have specific questions about the best roofing option for a home or other building.
Hi, welcome to my blog. My name is Wendy, and after traveling through many parts of the world as I worked on a degree in anthropology with a minor in architecture, I learned a lot. I saw how people took different approaches to the same issue (putting a roof on their home), but more importantly, I noticed how those approaches were dictated by the climate and culture in the area. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people in North America build roofs that are traditional rather than roofs that are the right fit for the climate. If you are interested in exploring the latter idea, I'm here to help. These posts look at the best way to get a roof that protects you from the elements. Explore, enjoy and send your friends over to my blog. Thanks!