It's difficult to deny that a roof with slate tiles is beautiful and unique, so if you're ready to replace your roof, you may be considering a slate tile roof. Unfortunately, a slate roof isn't as simple as an asphalt roof, and there are many factors to consider before you start roofing. If you're considering a slate tile roof, check out these five questions to really determine if it is the right option for your home.
How Much Weight Can Your Roof Handle?
Slate tiles are heavy. Roofing material is measured in roofing squares, which equal 100 square feet. Typical ¼ inch slate tiles weigh roughly 1000 pounds per roofing square. That's a lot of weight to add to your roof, and many roofs just can't take the pressure. You'll need to have your roof evaluated by a roofer experienced in tile roofs.
A good roofer can determine if your roof can support a heavy roof or what steps must be taken so it can support the slate tiles. Most likely, before installing the roof, you'll need to also install an additional support system to prevent the roof from crushing your home.
What Is the Angle of Your Roof's Slope?
Before installing a slate tile roof, you must also determine the angle of your roof's slope. To qualify for a slate tile roof, your roof's slope should be at least 4 inches. Flatter roofs are a poor candidate for slate for a few reasons. The first reason is that flatter roofs are easier to walk on, and walking on slate tile can cause severe damage.
Another reason they don't work on flatter roofs is because of the weight, especially if you live in an area that sees heavy snowfall. Steep roofs allow the snow to simply slide right off, while flatter roofs allow the snow to sit, adding to the massive weight.
Can You Afford the Expensive Installation?
Slate roof tiles vary in price, depending on the quality, but even at the low end, they are still one of the most expensive roofing materials. Slate roof tiles cost between $9 and $40 or more per square foot, and since you have to have a steep roof, you're going to have a lot of square feet to cover. On the other hand, once you install your slate roof, you probably won't ever have to worry about replacing it because they can last between 40 and 200 years.
Are You Willing to Take the Time to Find a Qualified Roofer?
Slate tiles are difficult to install and require specialized training. This is especially the case if you need additional support to hold the roof. You'll need to take time finding a roofer who has experience in slate tile roofs. It's also a good idea to request reviews from other clients to get a first-hand experience.
Once the roof is installed, if damage occurs, you don't want any roofer making repairs. You'll, again, have to find a roofer with experience.
Have You Considered Synthetic Slate?
If you love the look of slate, there is another option: synthetic slate tiles. It's less expensive than slate and weighs less but looks just like real slate tiles. Synthetic slate tiles are also less likely to get damaged when walked on. Unfortunately, synthetic slate doesn't last as long as real slate. It also doesn't add value to your home the way that real slate tile does.
Slate roofs are breathtaking, but they aren't right for every home, and the cost is high, especially if you have to install a support system. If your roof has a high slope, however, and you're interested in a slate tile roof, contact an roofer like John Criner Roofing Inc in your area to request a quote.