Slate roofs are timeless and elegant, lasting for centuries at a time before they completely deteriorate - potentially longer with proper roof maintenance.  Coveted for its elegance and longevity, slate is the premier roofing material for heritage sites, elegant homes, and upscale commercial buildings. However, no roof lasts forever.  There are going to be times in the life of a slate roof where it needs to be repaired or even completely replaced.

How can you tell when you might need a repair versus a replacement?  Read on to find out.

Other Types of Roofing

Before we dive into slate roofing, it’s important to get a brief overview of other roofing materials to understand why slate is a superior roofing choice.  Common roofing materials include concrete, wood, clay tile, metal, and asphalt shingles. Of those roofing materials, concrete, clay, and metal all have the longest average lifespan at 50 years.  Comparing lifespan alone, slate far exceeds any other roofing material - it’s common to have slate roofing last 100 years or longer.

When to Repair

Most of the time you’re only going to be faced with a simple repair - slate roofs are extremely durable and can handle a lot.  Common issues that would require a simple repair would be a cracked slate tile or issues with fastenings. The good news is that replacing a cracked tile is extremely simple and inexpensive.  

Most people won’t notice any leaks or issues with their roof with a few cracked slate tiles.  However, it’s important to get those cracks repaired quickly to avoid larger issues that can be much costlier.  If cracks get left unrepaired, water can seep into the cracks and deteriorate the foundation of the roof, which will lead to much larger problems.

Worn fastenings are another common problem with older slate roofing that should be addressed quickly.  Much like replacing a cracked or damaged tile, replacing fastenings is also quick and inexpensive. While slightly more complex than replacing a tile, replacing fastenings is a much more cost-effective solution than a complete slate roof replacement.  

Regular maintenance is a vital step in keeping your roofing costs down over time.  You’ll be able to tell if your slate roof is properly installed - you shouldn’t have to replace your fastenings more than once.  If you have to replace them multiple times, that’s a sign of an in improper installation. Delaying fastener replacements can cause similar issues with not replacing cracked slate tiles.  As soon as you realise your fasteners need replaced, call the experts at Murnane Slate Roofing to get the job done!

When to Replace

It’s rare to come across a slate roof that needs completely replaced, but it does happen.  Improper maintenance techniques, or complete lack of roof maintenance at all, are two common mistakes people make when they own a slate roof.  There are plenty of people out there who simply think that a slate roof won’t require maintenance or repairs, which is what gets them into trouble.  Neglecting to make the necessary repairs and upkeep can cause major issues with your roof and increases the chances of it needing to be replaced.

There are also times in the life of a slate roof that it needs to be completely replaced simply due to age.  Most common in heritage sites, these roofs need replaced to bring back to beauty and elegance the building had when it was first built.  Sometimes there aren’t enough repair options to save the roof.

While replacing a slate roof can be costly, if it needs to be replaced because of age, the slate roof paid for itself countless times over during the life of the roof.