Slate roofing is known for its incredible durability. Hard slate roofs can last for up to 200 years, and even the softer slate roofs have a life expectancy of 50 years or more. Slate is virtually impervious to wind, rain and hail, and it's fireproof, too. Is slate the right choice for your home? That depends on your answers to these questions.
Is your home strong enough to support the weight of slate?
Slate is stone. Stone is incredibly heavy. For homes that were originally designed with slate roofs, this is not an option. However, some older homes were either not designed to support this weight, or their foundations have weakened to the point that they should not be made to support this much weight. If you are considering getting a slate roof, you'll want to have a structural engineer come inspect your home. They can tell you whether or not your home structure can safely support the weight of a slate roof.
How big is your budget?
A slate roof is usually a good investment, since it will save you from having to have your roof replaced again in the future and should need minimal if any repairs over the years. However, slate is not very affordable up-front, so you need to make sure the initial cost fits in your budget. Expect to pay about $9 - $10 per square foot for a basic slate roof. For higher-end, specialty colored slate, you may pay up to $40 per square foot. Prices vary widely by region, so check with companies in your area to get a better idea of your likely costs.
Are you ready to commit to a longer installation process?
Tearing off and replacing an asphalt shingle roof only takes the average roofing company a day or two. Cedar shakes and metal roofs are pretty fast to apply, too. Slate roofs, however, take longer to install. This is partially because the slate is so heavy and must be carefully carried into the roof, a little at a time. Slate tiles are also placed on the roof one by one -- and they're only a few inches wide. Make sure you're ready to commit to a longer installation process before you opt for a slate roof. Your roofing company can tell you how long the process will take, based on the size of your home among other factors. It's not unusual for it to take a week or more to install a slate roof.
For more information, contact Three Rivers Roofing or a similar company.