A slate roof has some very good qualities, including its attractive appearance and extreme durability. In fact, the common materials that are used to create slate roofing tiles have demonstrated a life expectancy ranging from a half-century to a century or more, depending on quality, climate, and attention to maintenance and repairs.
Slate roofing, however, does have some unique qualities that must be addressed whenever there are basic repair or maintenance needs. If you are a homeowner who wants to get a very long lifespan from your slate roof, here are some tips you can use:
Common slate roof maintenance needs
Providing regular maintenance is an excellent way to get the most value and protection from any slate roof. In addition to the repair issues noted below, homeowners should also plan to have their slate roof professionally cleaned, on an as needed basis.
Cleaning slate roofing should always include removing any debris, such as fallen leaves, moss, twigs, seeds, and acorns from the roof. Once the surface has been cleared, it should be washed with a gentle cleansing solution to remove ash, dust, pollen, and other residue.
Homeowners who face particular cleaning issues, such as frequent buildups of fallen leaves or other plant debris may want to consider removal of some or all of the offending trees.
Common slate roof repair issues
Because the roof of every home protects it from water and exposure to the elements, any condition issues should always be taken seriously, especially those that are constructed with slate tiles. Some of the most common slate roof repair issues include:
- cracked, broken, or missing tiles
- deterioration of tile surface, including discoloration and flaking
- deteriorated or damaged flashing
- missing, corroded, or broken fasteners
Total removal and replacement of a slate tile roof can cost tens of thousands of dollars, so taking care of small repairs as they occur is the best plan.
Since slate roofing tiles can be damaged easily if walked on, homeowners may want to consider avoiding DIY roof care plans. Instead, they may want to have periodic professional inspections performed by a qualified roofing contractor to help ensure repair issues are found and addressed quickly.
When considering any slate roof maintenance or repair issues, homeowners should always make sure that the roofing contractor they hire is proficient with slate roofing. In addition, slate roofing repair contractors should be able to provide references, proof of insurance, and a written bid that shows the exact scope of work to be done and the agreed upon price.