Is Slate Roofing a Good Investment?

slate roofing on a home

Is slate tile outdated?

A slate tile installation can look beautiful on a home when done correctly, even a home that you wouldn’t think is styled for slate tile. Slate tile can give any design and size of home a look of elegance, especially slate tile roofing.

Fashions come and go on the runways of New York and Paris, and so do the fashions of homes. We’ve gone from big open rooms to smaller private rooms, back to big open concept, and after the recent pandemic, we’re back to smaller, private rooms. Are we ever happy? 

The fashion of having a slate tile installation on the roof has come and gone and is on the comeback. Where you once would have found it on exquisite properties worth of the money and time to have a slate tile installation, there are pros and cons to choosing this type of roofing material: 

The Pros of Having A Slate Tile Installation

  • Longevity: A slate tile installation for your roof will eliminate needing a new roof for decades. 
  • Aesthetics: A slate roof is natural look that is cherished on home of grandeur. 
  • Value: A slate tile installation is expensive, but the value is in the investment. 

The Cons of Having A Slate Tile Installation

  • Structural Requirements: A slate roof is heavy and requires the structure to withstand as much as 1,900 pounds per square. 
  • Cost: As mentioned above, a slate tile installation is expensive, especially when comparing Slate tile vs asphalt shingles
  • Difficult Installation: A slate tile installation must be done by somebody that is experienced working with slate tiles. It is fragile, heavy, and replacing a broken piece could be impossible to match.
  • Install Time: A slate tile installation roofing job take longer than any other roofing material because of the extreme care required and the heavy weight of each tile. 

Why is slate tile expensive? 

Like any natural stone floor installation, slate tile installation is not cheap, ad this starts at the point where slate if mined. The material is mined from certain areas, mostly by hand. Then the heavy product is shipped to the factory, where it is cut down in smaller pieces to sell.  To have it installed by a professional, this gets costly because of the care it requires and the weight of  slate. So, yes, slate tile installation is a costly investment unless you’re a DIY person, but for a roofing job of this heavy material, we don’t recommend making that attempt. 

Is slate tile hard to install?

A square of slate will cover 100sq ft and weighs  900 pounds. That is the same as nine pound per square foot. You don’t want to pay an inexperienced roofing contractor to do your roof tile installation job.  This job should only be done by an installer that has slate tile installation experience. 

Because the material is so heavy, and a minimum pitch of 4/12 pitch is required, as well as a reinforced structure that can hold the weight. A slate tile installation will weigh up to two time as much as asphalt shingle roofing. 

How do you install slate tile?

 So, you want to do your own roof slate tile installation and your asking, “What is the best way to install slate tile?”. Remember, this is a heavy material and must be installed correctly or you’ll have problems later. This is why most homeowners will hire a contractor to complete the slate tile installation. However, if you’re ready to attempt this, we offer the following basic steps: 

  1. Confirm the roof is properly constructed for the weight of slate tiles. 
  2. Choose the right slates based on color, size, thickness, and type.
  3. Research and study slate roof tile and slate tile installation before starting. 
  4. Gather your tools, making sure you have the correct tools like a slate cutter, slate ripper, and a slate hammer.
  5. Underlayment is not sufficient for waterproofing. Use a double half-lap of felt with the headlap increased along the eaves. 
  6. Make sure your starter course has ample headlap. 
  7. Blend the different slates if coming from several pallets.
  8. Get the headlaps and side laps right to avoid condemning the entire roof. 
  9. During the slate tile installation, avoid walking on the slate tile. 
  10. Mark your courses with red chalk on the roof surface, not the slate tile. 
  11. Lay The starter slates with the backside facing up. 
  12. Avoid over-nailing or under-nailing and use only copper or stainless steel roofing nails. 
  13. Use quality flashing material like 20-ounce copper or stainless steel. 
  14. Use a quality hip and ridge system. 

Do you need to seal slate tile?

Generally speaking, after your  slate tile installation, the slate will not require a lot of maintenance. This natural stone doesn’t rust or warp and is mold resistant.  It is a rare occasion for a slate tile roof to be damaged by a natural event with the exception of an earthquake or a tornado. However, walking across a slate tile roof will crack the tiles, so walking on your roof should be avoided. 

slate roofing on a roof

Can slate tile be repaired?

Yes, and when it comes to natural stone roofing, a slate tile is a durable material. Should it get chipped or cracked, it is easy to repair by an experienced contractor that works with slate. The ease of Slate tile repair and replacement is one of the main attractions to this material.

If a slate tile roof is your desire, you’ll want to get an engineering inspection first. The weight of the slate needs a sturdy structure.  Next, you want to get several quotes on an installation, making sure the one you choose is an experienced contractor with slate tile installation and repairs. This is going to be the roof you have for decades, make sure you’ll be happy with the finished product. Call (516) 986-3979 today for your slate tile installation in , NY with All American Home Improvement Inc.