Slate roofing is witnessing a renaissance with the recent resurgence of interest in traditional building materials and construction techniques. With the advent of modern and innovative new technology, it is now possible to install and shape roofing tiles with greater efficiency and precision. But before you install it, here are a few things to know.
In quarries all throughout the world, slate is mined. Like other stones, each slate has a distinct composition based on the minerals used in its production. Most American and Canadian slates are processed by reputable businesses that have been around for a while. Imported tiles may contain unidentified materials that could respond negatively over time (for example, some Spanish slates can corrode, while some Chinese slates will spot). Knowing your producer and quarry source is essential to the slate’s quality.
For your roof to last a long time, headlap is essential. It is the second course above each course of slate that has overlapped it. The roof doesn’t leak because of this overlap. The typical headlap is three inches, although depending on the roof’s pitch, it may differ. You must start over if this is not properly aligned, and the entire process must be undone. The same can be said for sidelap.
Specialised material, handling, and installation knowledge are needed for this kind of installation. For instance, your installation should be organised so that it nearly never requires installers to walk on it. Slates are resistant to the elements; however, they will break when a work boot steps directly on them. This is just one of many subtleties that must be grasped.
As slate roofs are so heavy, it’s important to build everything around them to survive as long as they do. Like plywood, your decking shouldn’t contain glue because glue deteriorates over time and loses its binding. The best material for supporting your roof during its lifetime is solid wood.
Your standard toolkit for roofing is insufficient. You must make the necessary investments in equipment if you intend to expand your roofing company to offer slate. To make the right edges and add holes, for instance, you will need a slate cutter and a slate hammer.
Slate roofs need particular attention and upkeep. Slate roofing, in contrast to other forms of roofing, cannot be restored using common DIY techniques. Instead, any repairs need to be done by a qualified slate roofer.
The wood to which the slate is fastened is the sheathing, commonly referred to as decking. The wood should last 150 years, or long enough to support a typical slate roof for both the initial roof and the replacement roof. Individual plank boards are the best option for sheathing. The boards can be made of a variety of wood species and range in thickness from three-fourths to eleven and a half inches. Make sure your rafters and sheathing are sturdy enough to support a heavy slate roof without sagging if you are replacing a light roof.
As people desire natural items that last, slate roof installations are becoming a more popular art form. If you feel you’re ready to step up your roofing game, make sure your workmanship matches the durability of the materials by making an investment in high-quality fasteners and tools.