For centuries, builders and homeowners have considered slate asphalt roofing one of the very best types of roofing because a well-installed slate roof will last longer than the house. Some slate roofs have lasted for centuries, and maintenance costs can be next to nothing.
How Slate Roofing Works
Slate is prized for its ability to be split into the thin sheets that go into making slate roofing tiles. As slate is a type of metamorphic rock, it is waterproof and fireproof and will benefit the homeowner when it comes to home insurance premiums. Because they last so long and produce very little waste, slate roof tiles are also environmentally friendly. Slate is a wholly natural product, and its use helps keep other types of roofing shingles out of landfills. When they finally do outlast the house, the tiles can be reused. Slate roofing tile has some huge upsides, mostly due to the fact that it’s a natural stone product, giving it a unique, beautiful appearance, and the longevity that slate is famous for. Here’s a list of the most popular reasons homeowners choose to install slate roofing tiles on their home.
- Appearance — First and foremost, homeowners are drawn to slate because of its beauty. There simply isn’t a roofing material on the market that has a classier, more celebrated appearance. Furthermore, slate roofing tiles offer more choices than most homeowners realize, available in varying sizes and thicknesses, as well as a wide range of colors, including gray, green, purple, black, red, and mottled tiles that sport several colors mixed together.
- Longevity — Slate roofs can and should be routinely built to last at least a century. In fact, 150 years is a reasonable expectation of a roof’s longevity if the roof is properly constructed. That’s a big plus in an industry where many roofing systems are lucky to last 20 or 30 years before needing replacement.
- Fire Resistance — Slate roofing is one of the most fire resistant roofs that exist. Unlike many other roofing materials, slate tiles themselves are completely fire proof. That’s a big advantage when it comes to preventing fires caused by air borne sparks from fireworks, wildfires, or from adjacent house fires.
- Environmentally Friendly — Roofing waste accounts for more than 5 percent of the total waste sent to landfills across the nation every year. Since the majority of that roofing waste can be attributed to asphalt shingle roofing that needs replacement every 20 to 30 years, it’s easy to see the positive environmental impacts of installing a roof that is going to last 100 years or more.
Click here to learn more about Natural Slate
Synthetic slate shingles are a modern improvement on a construction classic. Made from combinations of plastic and rubber, synthetic slate is designed to mirror the beauty and uniqueness of authentic slate without the expense or installation headaches. And synthetic slate shingles can last longer. They’re made by injection-molding petroleum-based materials into metal forms that are cast from authentic slate. Some brands of synthetic slate shingles are manufactured with virgin rubber or plastic, while other products incorporate recycled rubber or plastic, mineral dust or cellulose fibers. Recycled content usually consists of high-quality post-industrial materials; only a few incorporate post-consumer recycled materials.
Here’s a look at the benefits of synthetic slate:
- Synthetic slate is considered a “green” building alternative—even those that use virgin materials—because all types of synthetic slate can be recycled at the end of a roof’s usable life.
- Synthetic slate shingles are more durable than authentic slate, as they contain advanced ultraviolet inhibitors to reduce wear from the sun.
- Safety is built-in. Synthetic slate typically contains impact modifiers to help withstand storm damage; in fact, most are certified by Underwriters Laboratories for Class 4 impact resistance, the highest level for roofing materials. Many synthetic slates also have the highest fire-resistance rating—Class A—which means they’re effective against severe exposure to external fires, are not readily flammable and do not spread fire.
- Transportation and installation of synthetic slate shingles is easier and less expensive than other roofing materials. Synthetic slate shingles are lighter than all asphalt shingles and are only a quarter the weight of authentic slate shingles. Their light weight also means that a standard roof structure can support synthetic slate shingles with no special reinforcement, making them practical for mainstream residential construction. During installation, synthetic slate shingles can easily be field-cut with a utility knife and nailed into place with standard roofing nails and a pneumatic nail gun. These characteristics are in sharp contrast with those of authentic slate installation, which requires precision cutting and nailing of heavy shingles that chip and crack easily.
- On a scale comparing costs of conventional roofing materials, the initial cost of installing synthetic slate shingles falls in the middle—it’s more expensive than asphalt and architectural shingles and less expensive than clay tile and authentic slate. Unlike less expensive asphalt shingles, however, synthetic slate roofs can last for up to 100 years, and the majority of synthetic slate shingles have 50-year warranties. The long life expectancy of this material means that a roof doesn’t have to be replaced in 15 or even 30 years, and also that fewer repairs are needed during the roof’s lifetime.
A good slate roof is unmatched when it comes to lifespan, beauty and eco-friendliness. The roofers at Mid-Shore Exteriors have experience in slate roof installation, so call us today for a free quote.