Roof Maintenance FAQs: How to Care for Slate Tile Roofing

When it comes to tile roofs, most homes in Arizona have clay tiles. However, you will see the occasional home with slate tile roofing. Additionally, with the popularity of modernist and contemporary home designs, slate tile roofs are becoming more prevalent. Not only do slate tile roofs look beautiful, but they offer excellent durability, a long lifespan, and are even fire resistant. Slate roofs are also considered environmentally friendly largely because they are a natural material and because of their long lifespan, leading to less waste over time.

Below we provide a quick overview of the history of slate tile roofing and a few of our top tips for maintaining slate roofing.

History of Slate Roofing

Slate has been used as a roofing material for centuries. In the U.S. alone, slate has been around since the 17th century. Though initially only available to the very wealthy, around the 19th century, slate roofing became more accessible, and now you can see it on residential homes across the country. You may have even seen some historic homes with their original slate roofing still intact today.

A lot of the slate roofing you see across the U.S. is sourced from Vermont, but slate tile manufacturers are found across the country. The region the slate is from can have an impact on its color. For example, slate found in Vermont comes in a wide variety of colors, including gray, black, green, purple, and even red.

How Much Does Slate Roof Cost?

You may be wondering, is slate roofing expensive? Slate roofing is one of the most expensive roofing materials on the market. On average, slate tiles can cost anywhere from $7 to $13 per square. Depending on the size of your home, this can mean that installing a new slate roof can cost upwards of $30,000.

Though this is a significant investment, because of slate tiles’ longevity, you will likely never have to replace your roof again. Despite the price tag, this and the relatively low maintenance requirements make slate roofing a popular choice.

How Does Slate Roofing Hold Up to Extreme Heat?

As we have already mentioned, slate tile roofing is incredibly durable. This includes withstanding high heat and sun. Slate has relatively low thermal conductivity, so it does a good job insulating your home. Consequently, it can help keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. As added bonuses, slate roofing is also pest and mold-resistant.

What Is the Biggest Concern with Slate Roofing?

The most important consideration regarding slate roofing is the weight of the slate tiles. Not all homes can handle the higher-than-average weight, and if you are set on installing slate roofing, you may need to adjust your roof’s structure before doing so.

Because of the higher cost and weight issues associated with slate roofing, many people who want the look of slate are turning to synthetic slate shingles. These shingles offer a less expensive, lighter alternative to natural slate tiles and may work well for your home if slate is not an option.

Slate Roofing Maintenance Tips

One of the greatest benefits of slate roofing is its relatively low maintenance. However, this doesn’t mean that you can just ignore your roof. As with all roofing materials, regular inspections and maintenance are necessary to ensure that your roof stays in the best possible condition. We recommend scheduling roof inspections with one of our professional roofers annually.

Other things you can do to keep your slate roofing in good condition:

  • Visually inspect your roof regularly, especially after storms
  • Keep your roof free of debris, such as leaves, sticks, branches, etc.
  • Pay attention to roof flashing to make sure that it is not rusted or damaged
  • If you see broken, cracked, or missing shingles, schedule repair service
  • If you see signs of a leak, schedule repair service

Additionally, if you notice birds, rodents, or other pests attempting to roost or nest on your roof, you should set up pest deterrents or schedule pest control services to keep the pests away.

Need to schedule a routine inspection or repair appointment for your slate roof? Call Lyons Roofing at (520) 447-2522 or send us a message online.