Want to Boost the Lifespan of Your Slate Roof?
It's hard to drive by a house with a slate roof and not stop to
admire it. Slate roofs have been around for hundreds of years,
adding a rich, sophisticated look to many upscale houses, churches
and commercial buildings.
Slate Roof Lifespan
One selling point of slate roofs is the lifespan--typically 100
years or more when installed properly. You might be surprised to
find out that not all slate is alike, with some lasting only 60
years. As you interview
contractors, here's what you should know about getting the most
out of your slate roof. The lifespan is affected by:
- It's place of origin--Some areas have slate with
more impurities in the veins that can affect how it wears and
absorbs moisture. If your contractor selects a slate from
Pennsylvania, the material might last only 60 to 75 years versus
Virginia slate which lasts for 175 years.
- Density--Thicker slate will wear longer than thinner
slate, even if it has some impurities.
- Ribbons--Some slate has random stripes, called
ribbons, across the pieces. This is caused by minerals in the
sediment where the slate was formed and will shorten the lifespan
to 75 to 90 years.
- Roof pitch--Steeper pitches are better, as they
allow for better drainage of water and snow.
- Installation--Make sure the roof has proper flashing
Your Slate Roof Investment
Slate is a beautiful material that can add a stunning look to
any house. It is an investment, however, so talk to your contractor
about where it was made, its density and whether there are
characteristics that would shorten its lifespan.
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