At Hazlett Roofing & Renovation Ltd., we’ve been installing and repairing roofs in Northeast Ohio since 1915. One of our specialties is working on Natural Slate Roofing. The beautiful and classic appeal of a slate roof is timeless, while the art and skills required in their installation and repair are easy to take for granted.
We love to share our love for slate roofing, so we have compiled this list of interesting facts you may not have known about this historic feature.
1) Slate Roofing is Durable
Not only are natural slate roofs fire-proof and noncombustible, but they are also totally unaffected by the freeze/thaw cycling of our Ohio winters. They are resistant to chemical pollution and acid rain, which means they are enduring compared to other roofing materials. Natural slate roofs can typically last for more than 75 years, as rated by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
Recorded examples of slate roofing have been found that date to over 1000 years ago. In those days, the quarrying process made slate quite expensive compared to other roofing materials, so they were typically only installed in prominent public buildings like churches, universities and courthouses or luxurious homes and castles. However, with the advent of mass quarrying in the 19th century, slate roofing became a much more affordable material and was used extensively throughout residences in Europe and North America. Slate’s aesthetic appeal and durability means it can even add to the value of your home.
3) Handmade and Environmentally Friendly
Once slate is quarried, it still has to be processed by hand unlike mass manufactured synthetics that can be made and cut by machine. Instead, skilled workers ensure a perfectly cut tile every time. While synthetic, man-made roofing materials languish in landfills after their relatively short lifespan, slate roofing outlasts them all and remains a natural material that does not contribute to global pollution or landfill overcrowding.
4) Can Be Customized
Natural slate comes in a wide variety of colors, particularly when quarried in North America. Depending on the mineral composition, slate is available in green, purple, mottled purple, red gray and black with characteristics that can make it less likely to weather or fade. Due to the hands-on process used to cut slate for roofing, tiles can be cut in a variety of different shapes such as scalloped, fish scale, diamond, hexagon, gothic, clipped corner and more. Even the size of the tile can be easily customized. These tiles can then be installed in patterns to create geometric shapes, images or even words. When it comes to natural slate roofs, you are really only limited by your imagination.
5) Tried and True
While synthetic and man-made roofing materials are still relatively new, the history of slate roofing and extensive material testing proves that slate is a reliable choice for your roofing needs. Made from rock that crystallized up to 550 million years ago, there’s just no comparison to modern roofing materials when it comes to the staying power of slate roofing. The proof is in its history!