Slate has to be the most misunderstood roofing product on the market. I interview several dozen homeowners yearly who have slate roofs, and very few even know where slate comes from. I will attempt to answer a few frequently asked questions about slate roofing, as well as list some do’s and don’ts concerning slate repairs and selecting a slate roofer in Norfolk.
The most common installed by slate roofers in Norfolk and Newport News is the Blue/Black Buckingham slate，variety from Buckingham County, Virginia. Buckingham County is only about 4 hour’s north-west of Hampton Roads. There are also several green and buff colored slate roofs in the Hilton Village section of Newport News that were quarried and shipped from the slate valley area in Vermont.
The cost of installing a new slate roof can be relatively expensive compared to other forms of roofing materials, sometimes several times more. But while the up front cost of installation is high, the cost per year over its lifespan is the lowest of all of its competitors. It is impossible to list a general cost of a newly installed slate roof as there are too many variables. The roof size and pitch, the size of the slate, which type of slate will be used and the roof details all factor in on the figuring of the cost of a slate roof.
Depending on the type of slate, a slate roof can last hundreds of years. Buckingham Slate warranties their product for 150 years. Having the lowest water absorption rate of any American slate, it is safe to say it should outlive the home it was installed on.
Slate roofs require no more maintenance than any other style of roof. Just like all roofs, they should be inspected by professional slate roofers every few years or so. Homeowners should conduct their own inspections yearly. Start in the attic and look for water stains. The exterior can be inspected by use of a simple pair of binoculars right from the ground. Look for slates that are missing, broken, sliding out or have holes in them. If an area of your roof is obstructed, be creative, just be safe!
Typically, slate roofs will last well over 100 years. Buckingham slate roofs have been known to last over 150 years. It is rare the slate itself fails. If a slate roof leaks it is usually a failure in the details of the roof. Pipe collars, valley metal, and wall flashings are common leak sources. Over 95% of the slate roofs I have looked at over the years were easily repaired. Only one roof I have inspected required replacement due to fastener failure. The few that require replacement was due to prolonged leaking that destroyed the substrate. Only trust the opinion of a certified slate roof repair company and trained slate roofers. The Roofing Company and The Remodeling Company houses an on-site facility, Hampton Roads Roofing and Slate Roofing Training Center, where new slate roofers learn and the expert slate roofers train and educate. Slate roofing services take a special skill set and one that we can ensure you we have.
In many states, the use of impact-resistant roofing products makes you eligible for significant insurance premium discounts.
Natural slate roofing is recommended for the ultimate impact resistance. Slate easily passed UL 2218 Class 4, the toughest impact test (slate shingles show no evidence of cracks or ruptures on front or back). At the request of the National Slate Association, more lab testing was conducted to confirm the ability of roofing slate to withstand hail damage. See the results for yourself! read more…
Now to my final question…
Slate roofing practices haven’t changed in the last 100 years yet so many roofs are repaired incorrectly. I have personally seen anything from nails though the face of the slate, plastic product used instead of real slate, tar slapped on anything that looks like a leak, and the most common incorrect repair of them all, the metal strap hanger. When trying to find experts in roofing in Virginia to properly diagnose and repair your slate roof is simple, educate yourself! First, ask your neighbors for references. See who they have used in the past. Often you will hear who NOT to use which is just as important as whom you should call. Your next step is to read. Many slate roof owners have enjoyed Joseph Jenkins’s book “The Slate Roof Bible”.This is a very informative book on the history of slate roofing in the United States. It also has a very extensive section on slate roofing repairs and the proper ways slate roofers conduct those repairs. You should also only hire a contractor who has been certified by the various slate roofing governing bodies such as The National Slate Association and the Slate Roofing Contractors Association.
Their websites are indispensable when it comes to finding the right contractor and properly trained slate roofers to repair your roof.
Don’t let a poor decision in contractor selection lead to further damage and additional costs that may have been avoided by doing a little research.
The Roofing Company and The Remodeling Company services the Peninsula region and have improved the homes of thousands of homeowners in Chesapeake, Hampton, Norfolk, Newport News, and Virginia Beach. Visit our Contact Us page or give us a call for more info.
Serving Hampton Roads, Virginia
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We service the Hampton Roads and the Virginia Peninsula region including Chesapeake,Norfolk, Newport News, and Virginia Beach. Visit our Contact Us page or give us a call for more info.