As a child, did you dream of one day owning a beautiful storybook home? Maybe you longed to have a majestic Tudor home with historic architecture and a regal slate roof. Maybe early American history has always been a fascination for you. If any of this rings true, purchasing an older home to restore may be a great way for you to afford your dream home. However, when it comes to owning a home with a slate roof, there are some things that you should know.
Slate is built to last, but it does require maintenance.
Your slate roof needs to be inspected annually in order to make sure that there are no damaged slates or areas where other roofing materials such as flashing or nails are starting to fail. Corroded flashing or broken, worn slates need to be replaced as soon as they are spotted, in order to prevent your roof from leaking and causing more damage. It is also important to note that a slate roof is not made to walk on. Climbing around on your slate roof will break the tiles, and can cause you to need the entire roof to be replaced. Inspections should always be done from the ground or from a lift, if one is available.
Consider the age of the home that you are restoring.
In many cases, a slate roof should last for about 150 years, if it is properly maintained. If your dream home is approaching this age, a careful evaluation of the slate can be very important. An experience slate roof inspector or consultant will be able to tell you if there is much life left in your slate, or if it is time for a new roof. As a rule of thumb, if you need more than 20% of the tiles replaced, it is time for a new roof.
A slate roof should only be replaced or repaired by an experienced slate contractor.
While slate may be one of the oldest forms of roofing material in the U.S., its installation is a bit of a dying art form. Special equipment, such as hanging ladders, and installation techniques, like making sure that there is enough headspace, are important trademarks of an experienced contractor. Not every roofer has the experience or skills to install a slate roof. Knowing this upfront can save you a lot of heartache caused by a poorly installed roof.
If your dream home has a slate roof, make sure that you pay close attention to the maintenance, age, and installation of the roof. A high-quality slate roof, installed by a company like Jeff Blaisdell LLC, can last for many years to come, and can add value to your home for centuries more to come.