Synthetic slate tiles are a great alternative to natural slate. They're made of rubber that's painted and molded to look just like a normal slate tile. Since they're made of rubber, they're much lighter than slate, and they also aren't as brittle. The increased flexibility of rubber allows them to easily withstand hail and driving rain.
Over time, however, the rubber in a synthetic slate tile will start to oxidize due to being exposed to air and sunlight. When this happens, the rubber loses its ability to stretch, and this results in a number of problems. When this starts to happen, you'll know that it's time to replace your synthetic slate roof. To learn three signs that your synthetic slate roof needs to be replaced due to its age, read on.
1. Your Roof Tiles Are Curling
When a synthetic slate tile starts to lose its ability to stretch due to the rubber becoming oxidized, the tile will typically start to curl up at the edges. With no ability to stretch, repeated thermal expansion and contraction will start to deform the tile. A curled tile no longer adequately protects your roof from leaks, so you'll need to replace your roof when this starts to happen.
2. Your Roof Tiles Are Breaking Apart
Synthetic slate tiles that have become brittle don't stand up as well to extreme weather. Freshly installed synthetic slate tile does a great job of repelling hail and heavy rains since the rain and hail will simply bounce off the rubber surface. When the tile becomes brittle, it's more likely to crack apart due to the impact instead. If you notice that several of your tiles have started to crack apart, it's time to replace your roof.
3. Your Roof Tiles Have a Pitted Surface
When rubber starts oxidizing, it loses its ability to hold together. When a synthetic slate tile is old, small pieces of rubber on the surface will begin flaking off. They'll get blown away by the wind, resulting in the surface of the tile becoming pitted. A pitted surface in your synthetic slate tile opens it up to the possibility of even greater damage since rainwater can collect in the small crevices and freeze during winter. When the rain turns into ice, it can split the tile apart. If your roof has numerous tiles that are pitted, you'll need to replace them in order to prevent them from being rapidly damaged by freeze-thaw cycles.
Ultimately, a synthetic slate roof needs to be replaced when the tiles become brittle due to oxidation. If they're cracking and splitting apart, they won't be able to protect your roof from leaks during heavy storms. If you notice that the tiles on your roof are showing their age, call a residential roof replacement service in your area and have all of the tiles replaced — you'll have a brand-new roof that will fully protect your attic and the rest of your home from water damage.