Ahhhh, Slate. The beautiful, natural and versatile stone we are in love with. Literally! When you understand what it’s made of, where it comes from, and how it’s used, you may also find that it’s pretty darn fascinating. It’s more than just a rock and we are excited to announce, with our lightweight slate system, it’s a roof that can be installed on any home!
What is slate and where does it come from? Slate is a microcrystalline, fine grained metamorphic rock formed 400 million to 550 million years ago by means of tremendous pressure and heat from deep in the earth. Those chemical and mineralogical transformations led to what you see today. Natural slate is commonly used for roofing material, floor tile, countertops, wall cladding, and blackboards.
When you envision a slate roof, the first colors that may come to mind are grey, charcoal, or black. There are those, and then other subtle variations in color, shade, veining, and grain of each individual slate shingle. The slate industry identifies the change in color as weathering, non-weathering, fading and non-fading. Unfading slates keep their color over a considerable amount of time, whereas weathering slates will slowly begin to change as they are exposed to the outdoor elements. Slate colors can vary between black, gray, green, purple, red and other mixed combinations and are unique to the region where they are produced. They can be found in Vermont, Pennsylvania, Quebec and right here in Virginia.
Sizes, Shapes & Thickness
Popular by demand, the standard, and most common, natural slate roofing shape is the rectangle, which begins at 12 inches in length and can increase by 2 inch increments up to 24 inches. Step out of that rectangular box and check out other cool slate roof styled cuts below, available and only limited to your own creativity! Joseph Jenkins, author of The Slate Roof Bible, shares an awesome compilation of patterns, styles and even inscriptions using roofing slate, on his website Slate Roof Central.
Up until recently, due the thickness and weight of slate tile, only homes built to withstand the weight of the roof, could have a slate roof installed. In most cases, the home was built with that in mind. That limitation no longer exists. Brian Chalsma, President of The Roofing Company and Sr. Vice President of the National Slate Association, and Bob Williams of Newmont Slate Company developed a light-weight slate system that can be installed on any home. Not just that, it’s also more affordable than original slate, because it’s lighter and faster to install. That means, any homeowner can now own a slate roof if that is their heart’s desire. We are simply tickled about it because we can now pass our passion for slate roofing to any homeowner in Hampton Roads!
Want to know more? Give us a call at 757-867-6600! We are more than happy to talk "slate"!