Every roofing material has a slightly different lifespan. Whether you own a home with a slate roof or are considering installing one, knowing how long slate roofs last can help you make a more informed decision moving forward.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about slate roofs and the answer to “how long does a slate roof last?” Then contact our Gotcha Covered Contracting team to schedule your free slate roof estimate.
What Is a Slate Roof?
A slate roof is a high-quality roofing system made from natural slate stone tiles. These natural tiles consist of 100% natural metamorphic rocks, which come from the sedimentary rock of clay and volcanic ash.
Slate roofs offer several benefits over more affordable asphalt shingle roofs. Specifically, slate roofs are:
- Highly fire resistant
- Low maintenance
How Long Will a Slate Roof Last?
Slate roofs are some of the longest-lasting roofing systems on the market. With the proper upkeep and care, you can expect your slate roof to last over 100 years. Specifically, hard slate can last between 75 and 200 years, while soft slate can last 50 to 125 years.
In contrast, here are the lifespans of other common roofing materials:
- Metal roof: 40 to 70 years
- Asphalt shingle roof: 15 to 25 years
- Clay tile roof: 50 to 100 years
- Concrete tile roof: 30 to 50 years
Factors Impacting a Slate Roof’s Lifespan
Some slate roofs last longer than others. Several factors can impact the roof’s lifespan, such as:
Quality of the Slate
Natural slate tiles come directly from slate rock. However, these stones can vary significantly in quality. The location where your slate rock originated can impact your roof’s longevity and durability.
Experts can examine the slate rock and grade it according to ASTM standards in the following categories:
- S1: Lifespan of 75+ years
- S2: Lifespan of 40 to 75 years
- S3: Lifespan of 20 to 40 years
Today, almost all new slate roofs in the U.S. are S1.
The following grading standards make up the above grades:
- Water absorption
- Weather resistance
- Flexure testing
Our roofing company can help you determine your existing slate roof’s grade to estimate its lifespan. If you’re considering installing a new slate roof, you can rest assured that we will use the highest-quality S1 roofing materials.
Slate roofs last the longest when they are installed correctly. As a result, if you’re considering a new slate roof, you’ll want to choose a roofing contractor with ample experience installing these roofing materials.
Slate tiles are easily breakable before they become attached to the roof. Therefore, roofing contractors need to handle each tile carefully before and during installation.
Your roofers will also need the expertise and experience necessary to cut and shape the slate tiles by hand to fit them around any architectural elements on your roof. The best slate roof installers can create a beautiful, high-quality appearance for your new roof and ensure that it will withstand the test of time.
You can trust our contractors to provide the top-tier slate installation services you need.
Slate roofs do not require as much maintenance as most other roofing materials. However, performing a few maintenance tasks regularly can help keep your slate roof in the best condition.
We recommend scheduling an annual roof inspection from a professional roofing company. During an inspection, your contractor can examine the slate tiles, flashings, gutters, and downspouts and identify potential problems. Fixing these problems quickly can keep your slate roof performing well.
You should also clean your gutters regularly. When your gutters become clogged with leaves and debris, they may fail to carry water away from your home, leading moisture to sit on your slate roof tiles and damage them.
Typical Weather Conditions
Slate roofs are incredibly weather resistant and can even withstand hurricane winds and torrential downpours. As a result, these roofs are suitable for most climates across the U.S.
However, if your roof experiences frequent wear and tear from storms, it may not last long as other slate roofs. Every major storm that passes through your area can wear down the slate slightly, and over time, these weather patterns could cause your slate roof to deteriorate.
Even though slate tiles are highly durable against common roof impacts, they are fragile if mishandled. As a result, you should ensure that anyone who walks around on your roof, be it a roofing contractor, insurance adjuster, or gutter cleaner, has the proper training to do so.
Walking on a slate roof without the proper care can cause the tiles to crack or break, creating an expensive leak. Once your roof experiences too many cracks, replacing the entire roofing system may make more sense than paying for numerous roof repairs.
Altogether, slate roofs can be an excellent investment for your home — as long as you handle them with care. Contact our Gotcha Covered Contracting today at 724-581-8147 to schedule your free roofing estimate. We offer services in the following locations throughout PA: Pittsburgh, Allison Park, Cranberry Township, Wexford and many more!