Common Slate Roof Challenges

Posted by Brett McCutcheon on Nov 13, 2021 8:30:00 AM
Brett McCutcheon

Slate roof

The roof is the pinnacle of a building. When it comes to the roof of your house, you want stability and longevity, but aesthetics are also important. Modern home builders and home remodelers have many choices of common roof materials, including asphalt, aluminum, copper, steel, concrete, clay, tile and wood. Slate has been a popular roof material choice for many decades but comes with its own set of challenges that must be considered. Whether you are installing a new slate roof or repairing an old slate roof, here are a few of the challenges associated with slate roofs.

Challenges of Slate Roofs

Slate brings its own set of challenges, and these must be considered whether you are installing a new slate roof or replacing or repairing parts of an existing slate roof.
  • Weight: Slate is stone, and thus is extremely heavy—one of the heaviest materials used in roofing. Not every home foundation is built to withstand the weight of a slate roof.
  • Expertise: Not all roofers have the skill and ability to properly install or maintain a slate roof. As such, you may need to pay more and/or wait longer to find a crew with the right skills and the right tools to ensure a slate roof is done right. Further, maintaining the roof may not be something you can do yourself, and experts will have to be hired each time the roof needs repair. These long-term costs must be factored in when considering a slate roof.
  • Cost: A slate roof can be a major expense. The cost of a slate tile is many times more than an asphalt roof shingle. While the cost can be justified over time, if you don’t plan to keep/live in the house for at least 30 years, you may take a big loss on resale value because of the high cost of upkeep.
  • Brittle: Slate tiles are both heavy and fragile. When layered upon each other in a roof schematic, slate roofs can be quite strong. However, individual tiles are surprisingly brittle. Items like trees or debris falling on the roof can easily shatter slate shingles. If you ever need to work on the roof or have work done, care must be taken to deal with putting weight on these shingles in order not to break them.

Why Do People Choose Slate Roofs?

Made from metamorphic rock, slate shingles have been a popular roofing choice for decades due to their durability. Slate naturally splits into thin slabs that make for a pleasing roof aesthetic with resistance to pests and water. As it is stone, it is also fireproof—it won’t prevent a house from burning down but can resist embers and sparks. When installed and maintained correctly, slate roofs can last for dozens if not hundreds of years.

The Ideal Slate Roof Installation System

Installing a slate roof can be done quickly and correctly with residue-free, collated slate roof hooks and a pneumatic, 50-hook applicator. The FASCO F24 SLATE HOOK 80-120 system is safer and more efficient than other methods of installation. The high-powered applicator easily drives through wood knots and is lightweight, coming in at just over 3.5 pounds. The F24 Slate Hook applicator works with one shot, dramatically reducing your time and labor costs when compared to manual hammer use requiring three strokes on average.

The applicator holds five different lengths of slate hook fasteners, with custom lengths and finishes are available upon request. The adaptable tool nose allows for easy change in working direction without downtime. Each BECK slate hook fastener is fashioned with a diamond insertion point to help repel dirt and water. These collated, stainless steel slate hooks dramatically increase your efficiency on the job and come in unpainted or painted (black).

BECK’s Slate Roof Fastening System

BECK can supply everything you need to install a slate roof safely, properly, and efficiently. Check out the video below to see the FASCO F24 SLATE HOOK 80-120 system in action! Order yours today by contacting us online, or by calling 1-800-239-TOOL (8665).

View the BECK Slate Hook Fastening System - Installation Guide Video

Topics: Roofing, Roofs, pneumatic tools, Slate Roofing


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