Some slate roofs last forever (around 200 years), while others may only last up to 50 years. If you want to replace your old roof with a new and improved slate roof, it’s essential to understand the details of slate roof lifespan.
At North Star Roofing, we help homeowners make the best decision for their homes, as we want everyone in the community to live in a safe and beautiful home that’s up-to-code. This article explains how long does a slate roof last, including the following points:
- An overview of slate roofs
- Different kinds of slate roofs and their longevity
- Maintaining a slate roof for optimum performance and durability, regardless of the age of the material
We’ll start by giving you an overview of slate roofs so you can better understand this roofing system before looking at the closer details.
An Overview Of Slate Roofs
Slate is a natural compound that is formed from fine-grained sediments and volcanic ash that has been compressed and heated over millions of years. It mainly consists of rock and clay minerals such as mica, quartz, chlorite, and kaolinite. Slate is known for its durability, natural beauty, fire resistance, and resistance to erosion, water, and insects. These properties make it an ideal material for various uses, including roofing, flooring, and walls.
When it comes to roofing, the industry is evolving at a fast pace. Today, a dozen versions of slate roofing are on the market, with varied lifespans and costs. When homeowners consult us for their slate roofing project, we always get these questions: Is a slate roof worth it? How long does a synthetic slate roof last? Is there a long-lasting slate roof that would fit our budget? Read on to find the answers to these questions and more.
How Long Do Slate Roofs Last?
From mined or quarried natural slate to factory-made concrete and rubber slate, each one of them varies significantly in terms of durability and strength. Let’s learn about the lifespan of a few popular slate roofing materials so that you can pick the right one for your home.
Natural Slate Roof Lifespan
Natural slate is an eco-friendly material, and it is a premium roofing option chosen by many estate owners in the world. It’s incredibly resistant to high impacts, wind damage, snow, fire, insects, and rot. Natural slate is extracted from the earth and stands out as the most durable roofing material with a luxurious appeal.
Hard slate and soft slate are two different versions of slate commonly used for residential roofing. Both types have distinct features and lifespans. Depending on factors such as the quality and thickness of the roofing slabs, natural slate roofs can last between 75 to 200 years. So it’s no wonder why slate roofs are so popular among U.S. homeowners, roofers, and designers.
When it comes to slate roofing, the terms “hard” and “soft” refer to the density and durability of the slate. Understanding the differences between these two types of slate can help you make an informed decision about which one is best for your specific roofing needs.
Hard Slate Roof Lifespan: 100 to 200 Years
As the name suggests, a hard slate roof is made from hard slabs of slate– a variety that’s very tough, thick, and more durable than other types of slate. It’s also less permeable, which means that it does not easily absorb water like other roofing materials.
Soft Slate Roof Lifespan: 75 to 125 Years
Soft slate is the name for softer versions of natural slate. It’s made from the same material but is thinner and prone to damage over time. However, with proper maintenance and repairs, a soft slate roof can last for over a century!
Apart from natural slate, there are many other modern varieties of slate that are made from synthetic or composite roofing materials. These are developed to cater to the needs of people who want a slate roof that’s more economical but matches the strength of the natural stone.
How Long Does A Synthetic Slate Roof Last?
Synthetic slate is made from a variety of materials, including rubber, plastic, concrete, and fiber cement. This type of composition is a more affordable alternative to natural slate and is designed to mimic the appearance of those elegant slate tiles. The lifespan of a synthetic slate roof ranges between 50 and 75 years, which is perfect for homes in moderate climates. Also, these synthetic roofing slates are sturdy and hold strong in rainy regions. With proper upkeep and timely repairs, synthetic slate roofs can also last a lifetime!
If you want to learn how to increase the slate roof lifespan, we’ve got some helpful tips from our slate roofing experts.
Slate Roof Maintenance: How To Increase The Lifespan Of Your Slate Roof
If you want to ensure that your slate roof lasts as long as it should, hiring a good-quality slate roofing contractor is the right place to start. Slate roofs are very complex in construction and require years of experience and special skills to install them. In addition, they are also quite dangerous during installation because of their fragility and the need for skilled workers who know how to handle them safely.
Choose Good-Quality Slate During Installation
Roofing slate comes in varied thicknesses, colors, and shapes with different grades based on their quality. From hard and soft slate to multi-colored and highly textured versions, you have an array of options at your hand. But you don’t need to worry much about this, as a good slate roofer will naturally choose the best-quality tiles for your roof replacement project. Moreover, they will also consider your budget and other details like home architecture, exterior colors, roof pitch, and weather conditions.
Make Sure The Roof Is Properly Maintained
A good maintenance routine can increase your slate roof’s lifespan by 10 to 50 years. Soft slates can crack and dislodge under the stress of hail, rainwater, or storm damage. Luckily, some companies provide maintenance packages suitable for your chosen type of slate. It’s always best to get a yearly package to help you identify and repair any damage before it reaches the inside of your home.
Overall, having regular roof inspections should be a crucial part of your maintenance efforts. The biggest issue that comes with having a slate roof is the weight of the material on your home. Ensure that the structure of your roof is strong enough to hold the material before installation even occurs. You could end up dealing with serious structural issues if this isn’t accounted for beforehand.
If you want to learn more about the slate roof lifespan, or need to speak with an expert regarding any other roofing topic, we are always ready to help.
Discuss Your Slate Roofing Project With Our Experts
At North Star Roofing, we are proud to be the most reliable, reasonable, and skilled slate roofing contractors in Lansdale, and all of Southern Pennsylvania. We will work with you from start to finish to provide you with the best type of slate roof for your home. Our team has slate roofing specialists who are highly skilled, experienced, and trained. They do their jobs efficiently by taking into account every little detail other contractors might miss.
If you want to discuss your slate roof installation or repair project with our experts, call us at (484)-302-7663. We will be happy to help you with a free consultation and estimate of your slate roof cost. Hundreds of homeowners trust us with their homes, and we look forward to helping you improve yours!