A number of homeowners and commercial building owners use slate roofing for their roof projects. What exactly is slate? And why would they choose slate roof over other roof types? Slate is a kind of natural stone that is quarried and used both for interior and exterior purposes. It can be used for the roof, hallways, walls, fireplaces, walkways, driveways, landscape features, and more. This material lasts for hundreds of years and is certainly fireproof, which makes it a great protection for rooftops and walls. It can come in various kinds of colors—red, green, earth tones, gray-green and other multi-colors.
The choice of slate roofing is worth a decision because the use of slate for your rooftop enhances the elegance of your home. Its colorful appearance adds up to the beauty of the building. Its color will depend on where the slate was mined and quarried. Slate shingles are proven to be highly durable and are heavy in weight. The thickness of a slate, just like a wood shingle, is not approximate or stable, because they are handmade. Each slate may be as thick as 4 to 8 mm but when its cut is below 4 mm, tendency is it will easily break. Because slates are thick and heavy, the framework of the roofing structure must have a strong foundation to be able to carry the weight of the slate roof tiles.
In the US, there are about ten different states that are home to natural slate and with quarries or mines where real slate can be supplied. But these quarries are gradually diminishing as the growing use of slate as shingles and for other products also slow down because of its relatively high cost. Those who wish to use slate roofing for their roof but can barely afford to buy real slate can have another alternative that is called synthetic slate roof shingles.
Synthetic slate roofing is a mixture of recycled rubber and plastic put into molds that are taken from real roof slates. As compared to real slate roofing, this is less expensive, lighter and is more durable because it is easily transported and can be installed using roof nails without the fear of breaking the material. Its lightweight attribute would also mean that a roofing structure may not necessarily need strong reinforcement to support the roof tiles. And just like the real slate roof, its life expectancy can also last a hundred years.
If you are thinking of choosing slate roofing for your roof, you now have the preference between the natural slate and the synthetic slate. Compare its values and benefits, and take into consideration your budget, too.