Raise The Roof: Installing Natural Slate On Your Custom Home's Roof

Posted on: 4 August 2015

If you need to choose a roofing material for your new custom home, then you should consider installing natural slate. Slate roofs last for a very long time and require only simple periodic maintenance.

Here is some information to help you decide if a slate roof is right for your new custom home:

Natural Slate Roofing Material Colors

Since slate is a natural sedimentary rock, it comes in a wide variety of different colors, depending upon where it is quarried out of the ground. The most common colors of slate used for roofing are:

  • black
  • green
  • grey
  • purple
  • red

Slate will sometimes fade or turn brown as it is exposed to the elements.

Natural Slate Weathering and Fading

Each rock quarry's slate will vary in both color and composition, due to the local mineralization and geological makeup. Some slate will oxidize and turn a brown color while other slate will fade to a lighter color. For this reason, you need to ask a roofing contractor like Alpen Roofing if you can see some of the stone from your local quarry that has been aged in the elements. This will help to determine the final color of your custom home's new slate roof.

Natural Slate Roof Deck Attachment Methods

Slate can be attached successfully to either a concrete or wooden roof deck. Concrete roof decking will have a special mortar placed between the deck and the slate. Attachment to a wooden roof deck is accomplished by drilling small holes into the slate and attaching it to the deck with smooth-shank copper or stainless steel roofing nails.

Natural Slate Roofing Material Advantages

Slate roofing materials are perfect for use in climates that get a lot of rain and snow. Natural slate stone is very waterproof with a low water absorption index. This not only ensures a waterproof roof, but it also keeps the slate from expanding and contracting in the weather. Without expanding and contracting, the slate will not crack in the same way that a tile roofing material will.

Natural slate is also an excellent roofing material for areas with a high fire danger since the slate is completely fireproof.

Natural Slate Roof Maintenance

Finally, to keep your custom home's new slate roof looking wonderful and impervious to water, you will need to have it inspected periodically for leaks or damage. Trees and storms can crack tiles and this can cause a leak in the roof.  Additionally, slate roofs also need regular caulking and sealing of flashing in the same way that other roofs do.

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