Why is Slate Used for Roofing? (Pros & Cons You Should Know)

June 22, 2023

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Is slate roofing a good choice for your home? In truth, there is no right or wrong answer about what’s best for your property. You need to choose a material that fits your needs, home style, and budget.

Slate roofing is used due to its longevity, beautiful appearance, and fire resistance. This stone material is also more eco-friendly than other roofing types. 

Obviously, this is a simplistic explanation of slate roofs' pros and cons. Also, a roofing contractor might note added challenges for installing slate on your home. For instance, weak roofing materials might need support to hold slate tiles.

With this in mind, check out some vital information about slate’s pros and cons. Then, you can call a roofing installation company near you as needed for slate roofing.

slate roof

Why Is Slate Good for a Roof?

First, check out the benefits of slate roofs:

1. Slate is the Longest Lasting Roofing Material

Slate enjoys great durability and longevity, often lasting 50 to 100 years or more! It’s not typically prone to cracking or blowing away in high winds. In turn, a slate roof might be the last roof you ever buy for your home. Unlike asphalt shingles, slate roofing materials offer one of the longest lifespans for roofing materials in use today. Also, consider that metal and clay tiles also last 40 or 50 years or even more, on average. In fact, some historic buildings have metal roofs that are over a century old!

2. Slate Tiles are Beautiful and Unique

Beautiful slate roofing tiles offer a stunning aesthetic you can’t duplicate with other materials. Also, its natural texture and color mean that no two slate roofs are alike!

3. Slate Roofing Tiles Withstand Harsh Weather Conditions

If you live in an area prone to brush fires or other natural disasters and hazards, consider natural slate. It’s extremely fire-resistant and even withstands lightning strikes and extreme hail damage better than other shingles and tiles.

4. Slate Roofs are Sustainable and Eco-Friendly

Note that you can recycle and reuse slate roof tiles again and again. Consequently, when it’s time for reroofing, this keeps those materials out of landfills.

install a slate roof

Disadvantages of a Slate Roof

While slate offers many advantages over other materials, it’s not for everyone! First, slate is often one of the most expensive options you might select for your home’s roof. Second, it’s difficult to install. In fact, not every roofer offers slate installation and repairs.

Additionally, a home might need added support to hold up the weight of a slate roof. Installing extra support for a slate roof means added time and expense. Also, note that a roofer cannot typically install slate over existing materials, even if local codes allow it. Removing existing roofing also adds to your slate installation costs and mess.

slate tiles on a roof top

Which Stone is Best for Roofing?

Slate shingles is the most common stone used for roofing and one of the most durable materials. However, there are other stone roofing options:

  • Clay: If you’re considering using natural stone but a more affordable option, you might consider clay tiles. Clay offers a dense, watertight surface, making it a favorite choice in tropical areas.
  • Metal roofing also provides a natural aesthetic and is very eco-friendly. Additionally, manufacturers can powder coat metal in a variety of colors, ensuring a coordinated look for your property.
  • Concrete: Lastly, you might also consider stamped concrete shingles and tiles. Concrete is natural, eco-friendly, and can resemble slate or many other roofing materials.

slate roof tile

Which Color Roof Lasts the Longest?

Dark Color Shingles

Dark shingles and metal roofing often expand as they get hot, and then contract as they cool. In turn, the materials might pull away from their underlayment and crack prematurely. Also, darker roofing materials can hold heat against a home, making summer weather even more uncomfortable.

Light Color Shingles

On the other hand, lighter roofing materials deflect heat and sunlight. As a result, they aren’t as prone to warping and premature cracking. They can also keep a building interior cooler during summer months. Your roofing installation contractor can also note if a lighter roof is best for your property.

What Is the Best Roof for Your Money?

While homeowners need to consider their budget when choosing a new roof, you should also consider a few other factors. For example, how long do you expect to stay in your home? If you might put it on the market in a few years, why invest in a 50-year roof? A 20-year asphalt shingle roof in good condition will probably attract buyers while not costing as much as other materials.

On the other hand, it’s good to consider average weather conditions in your area. Heavy slate and clay tiles don’t blow away in high winds as easily as asphalt shingles. In turn, you might end up paying more for asphalt roof repairs depending on where you live.

Lastly, don’t overlook curb appeal when choosing any roofing material. Asphalt shingles might look a bit industrial for your home, while some metal roofs offer a farmhouse aesthetic. The right color tone is also vital, as you don’t want your home’s roof to clash with exterior walls. For all those reasons, you want to choose a roof that looks good as well as one you can afford!

RC Roofing is happy to help explain this information about slate roofing. Hopefully, we’ve given you some good tips to consider! We look forward to hearing from you. Give us a call today!


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