Should I Repair or Replace My Slate Roof
Slate roofs are beautiful and will last a long time, but they will eventually need replacement. Some damage may only require slate roof repair to keep the structure’s optimal condition for years to come. If you have a slate roof, consider the helpful guide below to learn when you should repair or replace your slate roof.
When it is time to service your roof, don’t hesitate to contact Nelson Contracting of Lincoln, NE by calling (402) 464-2418.
Contributing Factors of Slate Roof Damage
Slate is a natural stone material that has a reputation for having a long lifespan. Though this information is accurate, many homeowners believe its durability does not require routine maintenance, which is a misconception.
With proper maintenance, slate roofs can last for more than 150 years before they need replacement. That does not mean the rigid stone tiles cannot sustain damage. Common factors that lead to slate roof repair include:
- Hail: Hail is one of the most common sources of damage to slate tile roofs. It can fall with enough force to puncture or crack the stone tiles. If you do not address this problem quickly, the damage can spread and weaken the tiles, leaving the underlayment below susceptible to moisture.
- Natural Aging: Slate tiles are under constant exposure to the weather and seasonal temperature changes. The roofing material will expand and contract under extreme heat or cold temperatures, eventually causing the tiles to crack or chip. This deterioration can lead to slate roof repair or replacement, depending on the severity of the damage.
Slate Roof Maintenance
Maintenance for slate roofs includes a visual inspection of the building’s interior and exterior to check for moisture damage. You should also check for tiles that may have become loose from the wind or incorrect installation.
During the inspection, you should also examine the roof’s flashings, which are the thin materials roofers attach to the roof’s most vulnerable areas, such as around chimneys, vents, and skylights. Flashings prevent water from seeping into these places and protect the roof’s underlayment from water damage, rot, and mold. The flashings are one of the weakest parts of a slate roof.
Another vulnerable spot is the gutters. If they have clogs, are pulling away from the building, or have holes, they will not successfully direct rainwater away from the roof. As a result, water may pool on the roof, leading to moisture damage.
If you’re searching for a maintenance free slate roof alternative, be sure to check out composite slate.
Slate Roof Repair
During your routine inspections, you should check for missing or damaged slate tiles. Simple slate roof repair includes replacing missing and broken tiles. You may also need to replace weak, worn, or loose flashing to protect the roof system.
Roofers use fasteners to nail the tiles to the underlayment. The best fastener materials for slate are cut steel, galvanized steel, and copper wire.
When roofers correctly install the fasteners and tiles, they will last for decades, but the metal may corrode and weaken if water reaches the nails. As a result, part of your slate roof repair may include replacing subpar fasteners.
Slate Roof Replacement
If you frequently need slate roof repair, it may be time to invest in a replacement. Back-to-back repairs will only temporarily address the problem, and the costs will add up.
You should also consider a replacement if more than 20% of the tiles need replacement. When a considerable portion of the roof has damage, repairing only those areas may make the rest of the roofing system structurally unsound. It will also increase the opportunity for workers to cause further damage accidentally.
Slate roofs will also require replacement if most of the surface is flaking. Flaking or spalling is a sign of natural deterioration, which occurs at the end of the stone’s lifetime.
Leave it to the Pros
For slate roof repair or replacement you can trust, turn to Lincoln’s own Nelson Contracting. Our professionals offer various roofing services, including thorough inspections, roof and gutter installations, and repair. Call (402) 464-2418 today to schedule an inspection and estimate.