Slate is one of Mother Nature’s strongest inventions. It’s literally the stuff of volcanoes—It’s formed over thousands of years as a result of large tectonic changes. It has one of the finest grains in the metamorphic world, so it’s unsurprising that the roofing industry has adopted it on a massive scale.
Scientists have brought their own innovations to this valuable stone. It can now be installed in Technicolor and in lightweight form. Variations in interlayment and installation techniques have made slate more flexible than ever before. These days, you can choose it in a huge range of thicknesses and graduations.
Lighter installations look identical to traditional slate roofs, but they don’t require your home to accommodate slate’s usual weight of 24 pounds per square foot.
What is slate roofing?
True slate roofing is made from natural stone quarried straight from nature. Its mica content is high, which reduces its shine and contributes to its luscious texture. Slate roof-tiling is fitted in layers, but there are enough variations to suit your preferences.
- Uniform slate roofs rely on square cut butts that are spaced in horizontal courses.
- Patterned slate relies on a range of colors and shapes to provide unique accents.
- Random width and graduated length slate roofs achieve a rustic effect that doesn’t rely on joint offset.
- Blended or multicolored slate roofs offer a sleek, varied aesthetic.
- Textural slate roofs have rough surface textures and varied thicknesses.
- Staggered slate roofs project past the butt-line.
Slate can be as rustic or minimalist as you choose, so it’ll adapt itself to almost any architectural style. Your only limitation is your imagination.
A third of unwanted household heat originates from the roof. The lighter and flatter your roof, the cooler it will be. With the right coatings, slate can achieve a solar reflectivity rating of almost 100, even if you have a steep pitch. While lookalikes like concrete can achieve the same stylish aesthetic as slate, they can’t beat the weight of today’s lightest installations.
Slate is also virtually impervious to water and insects. It might come at a relatively high price, but it’s non-combustible and hail-proof. You can expect your charming new roof to give you at least 40 years of service. Care for it well, and you won’t need a replacement for at least a century. Adding a slate roof to your property before resale will boost your home’s value and give you a timeless aesthetic.
Balancing out the costs
Slate isn’t a budget guru’s material by any means. It’ll set you back between $1, 000 and $3, 000 per square meter in installation costs alone. Soft slate is slightly cheaper than hard slate, weighing in at $10 to $20 per square foot, but both options offer a return on investment of up to 85%.
Neither can’t beat the ROI of metal, but they’re highly competitive. As some of the most energy-efficient products on the market, they’ll drive your utility bills down to satisfying lows.
Your roof is the most essential part of your property envelope, so the robustness of its shingles has all-encompassing effects on the durability of your home. Slate is a powerful stone that’s up to the task. With nontraditional installation practices adding vibrancy to the market, you can enjoy the benefits of asphalt-saturated and synthetic underlayments.
They’ll bring new levels of moisture-resistance and ventilation to your roof. Lighter installation methods make slate a viable option for buildings that once too fragile to accommodate it. The elegance of stone is finally in reach.
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