Brian Chalsma, President of The Roofing Company and former President of the National Slate Association (NSA), joined other slate roof professionals at the 2022 NSA Conference in Saratoga Springs, New York for the 20th year anniversary of the association reorganization. The NSA was revived in 2002, after a long period of dormancy. One of the first arduous accomplishments was modernizating the 1926 Slate Roofs: Design and Installation Manual from 83 pages to the updated 269 pages of the 2010 edition. The NSA is the standard for slate roofing in North America.

The conference was the first in-person meeting in years since COVID, which once again brought together the slate roof quarriers, contractors, consultants, and distributors.

Left to Right: NSA Past President John Chan, Owner of Durable Slate, Current President Bob Pringle, Vice President of Evans Roofing Company, and our very own past president Brian Chalsma.

For the first two days, considerable focus was spent on creating the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) ProCertification for slate roofing. Slate roofing experts from both the Slate Roofing Contractors Association (SRCA) and the NSA worked diligently to begin the process of creating an approved certification for slate roofing in North America. Skilled roofing mechanics usually receive on-the-job training which can take years by the time they are able to run a slate roof project on their own.

The Slate Quarry Tour took place in West Pawlet, Vermont at Newmont Slate Company. Brian is in the first picture with Tony Raleigh & Bob Raleigh with Renaissance Roofing. The following pictures reveal the natural beauty and serenity at the slate quarry.

Slate is housed on indoor shelves for splitting since harsh winter weather, i.e. snow and freezing temperatures, limits quarrying of the stone.

Slate is housed on indoor shelves for splitting since harsh winter weather, i.e. snow and freezing temperatures, limits quarrying of the stone.

Lunch was served at the Slate Valley Museum in Granville, New York, followed by a tour exhibiting artifacts, machines, and information demonstrating the geology of slate and the history of slate quarrying and the local quarrying community. Roofing slate has been quarried here since the 1840’s and produces a full range of slate colors and all of the colored slates manufactured in the United States.

The images above display a vast choice of slate textures, colors, cuts, graduated length and thickness, and applications. Most of the slate roofs in Norfolk, Virginia, are Buckingham Slate in either single size or graduated length and thickness. Hilton Village in Newport News, Virginia, roofs consist of Vermont Gray-Green Weathering Slate usually in a single size. You can see by the displays that there are many possibilities for a gorgeous slate roof that can last one-hundred or more years.

Another exhibit at the Slate Valley Museum is the Pentagon Roof Project 2001, displaying an original slate tile recovered after 9/11/2001. “The slate shingle on display shows the impact of jet fuel that hit the roofing and started a fire,” as written on the left-sided description. The Pentagon construction broke ground on September 11, 1941 and took 17 months to complete. Sixty years later, to the day, the Pentagon’s south-western section was rebuilt after damage from inconceivable terrorist attacks.

Slate roofing has been around for a very long time and many of the applications are the same now as they were then. It’s a skill, an art, and a talent that only a select few roofing companies in the nation possess. The Roofing Company, Inc. is one of only a few in the Hampton Roads Area.