Slate roofing is a premium roofing material that looks beautiful and is one of the most durable materials on the market. Unlike asphalt shingles, builders have used slate roofing on historic buildings, residential homes, and businesses for centuries because its look is timeless, and slate tile retains its value better than most options.
True slate roof shingles are 100 percent natural stones with no additives. Much like natural granite counters, slate roofing is quarried directly from the earth.
What is a slate roof?
Slate can be identified by the way the light hits it from a certain angle. This is due to slate tile’s high mica content. Some slate can have up to 40 percent mica content. So, not only is it the texture of the stone that creates its unique look—it’s that low-level shine.
The History Of Slate Roofing
The first recorded use of slate as a roofing material on a private home was in approx. 1300 A.D. in North Wales. Even then, it was expensive for most and was mainly found in castles or military buildings. Eventually, it started being used in America around the 16th century, and the first quarry opened in 1734 on the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland. Still expensive, it wasn’t until the 1800s that slate became available to the average homeowner.
Slate is found in large quantities in India, Brazil, Asia, and the United States. In the U.S., it is mostly mined from Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The rock is taken from the quarry and sent to mills where it is inspected for defects before being manufactured into individual roofing tiles and other products.
The different colors in natural slate are present due to the mineral composition of each piece. Some contain more hematite, which produces purple highlights, while chlorite will give the shingle a green hue, and carbon gives the slate its trademark blacks and grays.
How Long Does A Slate Roof Last?
Slate is classified as hard or soft, and the difference determines how long it will last. Hard slate can last 75-150 years, while soft slate has a shorter lifespan of about 50-90 years. Of course, this depends on many factors, including the finished quality of the slate, installation, and how well the roof has been maintained. The origin of the slate is also paramount.
Slate Roof Pros
Good resale value
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