The hierarchy of roofing materials starts off with asphalt shingles, which despite being the little guy in the industry have a lot to offer. Asphalt has become a long time favorite for homeowners and many New Albany roofing companies because of being affordable, easy to install, repair, maintain, and relatively long lasting. Ranked number two is metal roofing, which lasts longer and handles tough weather conditions better than asphalt shingles but costs more. Up the ladder are roof tiles, best known for braving the toughest of conditions to offer a lifetime’s worth of use. Then there is slate roofing, the only material that can hold up as long as and even surpass the life expectancy of tiles.
Referred by experts as ‘the best of the best’, ‘the cream of the crop’, and even ‘the holy grail of roofing material’ slate is held in high esteem among roofing circles. But, does it live up to the praise or is it all just hype? Read this quick introduction to slate as a roofing material to better understand what to expect from it.
Slate is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock that forms under intense pressure and heat underground. Despite being a hard rock, it is valued for its ability to split smoothly and evenly, a benefit that makes slate easy to turn into smooth, flat roof shingles of various shapes.
One of the benefits that draw homeowners to this roofing material is the classic beauty of slate. Manufactures complement the stone’s natural ability of adding a touch of timeless beauty with a wide variety of textures and patterns that significantly boost a roof’s curb appeal. The result is a roofing material that will not only enhance the look of any architectural style, but also give your home an air of class and elegance. Variety in options also extends to different color choices, which include gray, black, green, purple, and red.
Durability and Maintenance
Being a natural stone formed under intense conditions, slate is way tougher than your average man-made roofing material. Since slate is one of the strongest of natural stones, the material has an inherent durability that makes it hail-proof in addition to being fire, mold, and fade resistant. Slate is also highly resistant to temperature fluctuations, which means damage from frost or snow is unlikely. Moreover, manufacturers give slate a high density that makes it waterproof, meaning the roof will not absorb water even during heavy rain. Some New Albany roofing companies also tend to double lap slate tiles to create an even more watertight layer. Since slate is difficult to damage, the roofing material is practically maintenance free.
When it comes to longevity, slate is king. Even tile roofing which is designed to last a lifetime cannot compete with this roofing material. Slate roofs are routinely built to last at least a century. In fact, hard slate can last 150-200 years if properly maintained.
While there are many reasons to install slate roofing, there is one huge reason that makes it a little impossible for everyone to have it – high cost of installation. Slate is the most expensive of roofing materials, with installation costs going as high as 5 times that of conventional materials. However, given that it can last several lifetimes, the roof will more than pay for its initial cost.
Another drawback of slate is that it is not appropriate for every home. With a weight of 800 to 1500 pounds per square foot, not all homes have the structural support necessary to take on a slate roof. So, you will need to have your residence evaluated from a structural standpoint if you are interested in slate roofing.
Slate roofing material also has fragility and replacement issues. Poor installation and walking on can result in breakage. And once a tile is broken, replacing it is nearly impossible since all slate rocks come in unique looks. Because of that, it will be hard to find a perfect match for replacement tile pieces.
Despite the downsides, slate is still considered the best invest you can make for your home since it is not only the highest quality material but also the longest lasting option. However, the performance, durability, and longevity of slate roofing are highly dependent on proper installation and maintenance. More so since slate is a highly specialized roofing system which requires professionals with proper training and experience. So, as you talk to various New Albany Roofing Companies, choose a qualified roofer who actually specializes in slate roofing to get the best results.