Slate roofing can add natural beauty to a home and is available in a variety of different colors to suit the style of any home. However, it isn't for everyone. Taking a number of factors into consideration will help you decide if this type of roofing might be right for your roof.
Expected Life of the Roof
Slate roofing is one of the most durable and long-lasting types of roofing available. It can last at least 100 years, compared to just 20 years for some other types of roofing, so it's a good choice for people who don't want to have to worry about replacing their roof anytime soon and don't plan to sell their home in the near future. If you do wind up selling your home, this type of roofing adds to the value of the home and can get you a higher selling price.
Cost of Tiles and Installation
Unfortunately, slate roofing also comes with a high cost. Typically, it costs $1,000 to $4,000 per square foot for the purchase and installation of slate roofing tile, but depending on the options chosen it could go as high as $8,000 per square foot. Part of the reason for the high cost is the difficulty of installation of slate roofs. Your roof won't last long and could cause a lot of problems if it isn't installed properly, and not all roofing professionals are familiar with the right way to install slate tiles. Because slate is a stone, it tends to be very heavy. Make sure the structure of your house can stand up to the weight of a stone roof, as it may need to be reinforced to bear the heavy weight of these roofing tiles.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Unlike many roofing materials, slate isn't adversely affected by weather, mold or fungus. Another benefit of slate roofing is that because it is made of stone, it's completely fireproof, so it helps keep a home from burning due to airborne sparks from other fire sources. Temperature changes don't destroy the roof, and it can stand up to lots of snow, wind or rain. This means it doesn't have to be repaired often. The one consideration is that you shouldn't walk on a slate roof, as the tiles could break or crack if you step on them the wrong way and it isn't easy to replace the tiles.
Because of the long life of these roofs and the fact that they aren't made from petroleum products like the asphalt composite often used for roofing, this is one of the more environmentally-friendly options for roofing. It's also one of the better choices for people who want to harvest rainwater runoff from their roof. Salvaged slate or slate from a local quarry is the most environmentally-friendly.
For more information, contact a local roofing contractor (like Three Rivers Roofing).