Slate is one of the oldest roofing materials. Slate roofs originated sometime in the 13th century in England and were primarily used for castles and churches since only the wealthy could afford them and they offered the most protection. Slate is still a popular roofing material today and it’s still known for its durability and high cost. Here are some pros and cons to consider if you’re thinking about a slate roof.
- Appearance. Slate is a natural stone product and is very beautiful. Synthetic roofing products can imitate the look but it’s just not the same.
- Longevity. Slate roofs are built to last a century or more. It’s not unreasonable to expect a slate roof to last upwards of 150 years. Suffice it to say you’ll never have to worry about a roof replacement again.
- Fire resistance. Slate has a class A fire rating. In short, it won’t catch fire; it can’t catch fire.
- Environment-friendly. Roofing waste accounts for 5% of all waste then ends up in landfills. Since asphalt shingles go to landfills after about 15 years or so, a single slate roof prevents a lot of waste in the course of a century.
- Cost. Slate is probably the most expensive roofing material out there. Keep in mind however that we’re only talking up-front cost. It can save you a lot of money in the long term.
- Poor installation. Since it’s a specialty material, many roofers don’t know how to install slate roofs but they try anyway. You have to make sure the roofer you hire is experienced specifically with slate roofing products.
- Weight. Slate is extremely heavy and some homes can’t bear the weight without structural improvements.
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