Apr 11, 2023
If you have been considering slate roofing for your property, it is well worth doing a little research to find out as much as possible about this beautiful material. As your local slate roofer in Gladwyne, PA, we have done some of that research for you and put together a list of some of the things you need to know about slate roofing!
The History of Slate Roofing
Let's start with a fun fact about slate! Did you know that the very first slate quarry in America opened right here in Pennsylvania back in 1785? Prior to that, slate had to be imported from the North of Wales, and as a result, it was only used on high-end buildings in major cities. However, once a local supply became available, the cost began to drop, and it became more common to see slate on all sorts of buildings. With the growth of the railroad, slate became more widely available across the country. By the 1870s, the United States was exporting slate from over 200 quarries, mainly located in New England and the mid-Atlantic states!
Choosing The Right Slate
Properly installed slate roofing can last anywhere from 60 to 200 years. With such a lengthy commitment, it is important that you choose the right slate and the right design. Your slate roofing will likely last for the remainder of your lifetime, so you need to know that you are going to love it for the rest of its life! The best way to figure out the right choices is to work with an experienced slate roofer in Gladwyne, PA. They will be able to offer recommendations based on the architectural style of your home and the neighboring properties so that it fits in well with the neighborhood.
Slate is available in a wide variety of colors, including grey, black, green, purple, and red. These can be used to create slate roofs in a solid color or ask your slate roofer in Gladwyne, PA, about creating a custom color blend. It is also important to know that your slate may also be categorized as fading or unfading. This is going to let you know whether or not the color will fade as it weathers. The natural color variations in your slate comes from the mineral content in each slate. If there is a higher percentage of Hematite, you get a more purple hue, while Chlorite produces green. Slate that is black or gray in color will usually have a high carbon content!
Thickness is also a factor that you will want to consider when choosing which type of slate to install. The most traditional thickness for slate is 3/16″, but modern slate products are often between 1/4″ and 3/8″. Just like choosing a color blend, it is also possible to have intermingled thickness to create a more textured look for your roof. Speak with an experienced slate roofer in Gladwyne, PA, about achieving this look for your new roof.
In addition to selecting the right color and thickness, you will want to consider the shape, width, and length of each piece. Finally, you might want to consider the expected lifespan of the material; not all slate is created equally! Certain varieties have greater longevity. For example, Vermont and New York slate typically last for around 125 years, Buckingham Virginia can last for 175 years, and Softvein Pennsylvania slate will last a little over 60 years. As you can see, there is a large spectrum, so it is important to be aware of your new roof's expected lifespan based on your slate choice.
Caring for a Slate Roof
One of the main reasons why slate roofing is so popular with homeowners is that it generally will not require very much maintenance. It is best to limit the amount of foot traffic on your roof. If you do need to go up there for any reason, wear soft-soled shoes like tennis shoes over hard-soled boots! If your roof is installed correctly, it should only require an annual inspection by a slate roofer in Gladwyne, PA, to check for loose or cracked slates. If you replace damaged slate tiles promptly, it is going to help avoid further damage, meaning you won't have more extensive repairs needed down the line. Depending on where you live, you may decide to have your slate cleaned to remove heavy growth of moss or other organic materials. If this is the case, a non-acidic biological solution can be sprayed on the slate and left to kill off the material. There is no need to scrub or wash the slate. It will take a few weeks for results, but it is a less invasive option than scrubbing, and that is going to help extend the longevity of the roofing.
Staying on Top of Things
Founded in 1986, Gillespie Contracting Inc is a family run professional Cedar roofer in Chester Springs, PA and sheet metal fabrication company. We have been serving Southeast Pennsylvania since 1986 providing roofing, siding, gutter systems, metal fabrication, and exterior home maintenance. If you are in need of a cedar or slate roofer in Chester Springs, PA why not get in touch by calling 610.601-6285 today.