We don’t associate our houses with the phrase ʽhaving a roof over our headsʼ for nothing – it is an integralpart of every home which is responsible for ourfeeling of safety and security. Houses are always in need of continued investment and improvement and, while there are many handy apps for these projects, repairing or improving your roof is far from an easy or cheap task. This is why it is important to pick a high quality and durable material for your roof, right from the start, and the slate is about as durable as it gets. It is actually one of the longest lasting and highest quality materials available on the market, with a long and equally storied history. As a natural stone product it has famous longevity and a beautiful, unique appearance. Nevertheless, this unique roof material is often overlooked because many customers are unfamiliar with its capabilities and value.
What Is Slate Exactly?
First of all, roof slates are not tiles, although they’re often referred to that way. Typical roof tiles are not made from slate but from engineered materials such as concrete or clay. Slate is a metamorphic rock, foliated and fine-graded. During the low-grade regional metamorphism, it is created by the alteration of mudstone or shale. Depending upon the degree of metamorphism, it can be composed mainly of micas or clay minerals. The increasing level of pressure and heat alters the original clay minerals to micas. It can also contain an abundance of quartzas well assmall amounts of hematite, pyrite, calcite, feldspar, and other minerals.
This makes it one of the longest-lasting roof materials, able to last more than a century. And it has been used for centuries as a roof covering, but typically only in slate mining areas. It became common outside these areas after the industrial revolution and the construction of the extensiverailway networks. There is a list of what it can be used for besides roofing – decorative aggregate, dimension stone, exterior paving, and interior flooring. Small pieces of it are also good to make turkey calls. Throughout history, it has been used for table tops, whetstones, cemetery markers, billiard tables, student writing slates, and chalkboards. It was even used for early switch boxes and electric panels due to it being a good electrical insulator. Our chemistry and history lesson over, let’s take a look at its modern advantages as a roofing material.
The Variety Of Classy Appearances
Probably the number one reason why so many homeowners are drawn to slate lies in its beauty. In the entiremarket, there can’t be found any material with a more celebrated and classier appearance. On top of that, there is a great variety inthat beauty. There are many slate roofing styles to choose from, ranging from mixed colors and patterns to textural and graduated installations. And variation is not only in style but also in texture,which can be everywhere from rough and rustic to very smooth and uniform. Although most slates are greyincolor and continuum of shades from dark to light grey, it also naturally occurs in shades of brown, purple, black, red, and green. Tiles can even be mottled with several colors mixed together. The color is determined by the amount of organic material and iron present in the rock.
This makes it obvious that slate roofing tiles offer far more choices than many homeowners realize. Besides the above mentioned wide range of colors, they are also available in varying thickness and size. All this makes slate not only an elegant roofing material but also the one that will definitely enhance the architectural style of your house, maintaining itsappearance over the years. This also means that its ability to increase the sale value of your home is unquestionable.
A Century Of Slate Without Maintenance
In an industry where roofing systems are usually lucky to last 20 or top 30 years before they need to be replaced, slate roofs will last at least a century. If they’re properly installed, it is completely reasonable to expect 150 years of roof longevity with little to no heritage tile maintenance. So it’s safe to say that you’ll gain at least 75 years to a whole century more out of your slate roof. This is pretty obvious when you look at the facts – we’ve already explained that slate is a homogeneous metamorphic rock which is derived from an original sedimentary rock composed of volcanic ash or clay via low-grade regional metamorphism. We’ve repeated this rather complicated chemistry process just to make our point – if your roofing material is millions of years old, it’s pretty obvious that it’s very durable.
Withstanding Fire And Ice
Due to the fact it’s incredibly strong, slate has very good weather resistance. It has very low water absorption, meaning that it can easily withstand freezing temperatures. We all know that harsh winters can take us by surprise, and other regular roof tiles are likely to freeze and breakin those situations. On the other extreme, slate roofs are the most fire-resistant out there. After fires caused by adjacent house fires, wildfires, or airborne sparks from fireworks (which all happen too often today) you can say goodbye to many other roof materials, but slate tiles themselves are one hundred percent fireproof. Furthermore, slate tiles are also great insulators dueo to their relatively high thermal mass.They perform a pretty good job absorbing heat from the sun during daytime and releasing it at nighttime.
Away From Landfields
Atlast, but certainly not the least, slate tiles are environmentally friendly. When you look at the fact that more than 5 percent of total waste ending up on landfillsacross the nationevery year isin the form of roofing waste, you get the picture. This is happening because asphalt shingle roofing is in need of replacement every 20 to 30 years. When you embrace the fact that you’regoing toinstall a roof that’s going to last over a century, the positive environmental impact becomes obvious.
And that is precisely what you get – beauty, class, and variety of it. A roof over your heads for almost two generations without maintenance. Complete resistance to all weather extremes and a good night sleep knowing that your contribution to landfills has just decreased.
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