Should I Install Slate Shingles on My Home?
Slate roofing has been around for over a hundred years. Slate shingles are one of the oldest methods of roofing. They are also the longest lasting type of shingle. Hard slates can last upwards of 150 years. Before we get to the pros and cons of slate shingles, let’s cover what they are.
What Are Slate Shingles?
Slate is a type of stone with a high mica percentage of up to 40 percent. This begs another question: what is mica?
Mica is a name given to all silicate minerals that form in distinct layers. Silicate minerals don’t conduct electricity or conduct heat, so this makes slate a great material for roofing.
It’s also easy to create shingles out of slate. Because it’s made of so many layers, it’s a simple process to cleave off any number of these layers to create a shingle.
These aren’t the only benefits of slate shingles. Let’s dive deep into what makes slate roofing a great option.
Advantages of Slate Shingles
Slate Shingles Are Incredibly Durable
As a metamorphic rock, slate can take millions of years to form. As a roofing material, it’s so durable that it rarely requires any maintenance.
If you install slate shingles on your home, you can bet that you probably won’t ever have to replace them.
On top of that, slate’s durability offers better protection for your home. Slate roofs are the safest when it comes to protecting your family from heavy rainfall, ice, and even fire!
Slate Shingles Add Value to Your Home
Slate roofs are valuable as much for their durability as they are for their beauty. Slate shingles are renowned for their elegance. As long as you keep them in good condition (which isn’t difficult), people will pay
Disadvantages of Slate Shingles
Slate Shingles are Costly
Slate roofing is more expensive than traditional shingles. You can expect it to be about three times more expensive. It’s usually about 15 dollars per square foot installed.
Despite the fact that slate roofs tend to last for over a hundred years, they are expensive to repair or replace. Whether you should repair or replace your slate roof largely depends on whether you have hard or soft slate.
Slate roof repairs are more likely for hard slate roofs. They last longer, so repairing them can add another 50-plus years to their lifespan.
In contrast, damaged soft slate roofs generally need to be replaced. The rule of thumb for contractors is that after over ~25 percent of your soft slate roof is damaged, it needs to be completely replaced.
Slate Shingles are Heavy
As you might guess, the weight of putting what amounts to a bunch of large rocks on your home quickly adds up. Slate roofs can easily add an additional 500 pounds to your roof.
For this reason, it’s advisable to have a structural engineer inspect your home before you install a slate roof.