Slate is one of the oldest materials used in the western world. It is basically stone that is naturally very easy to shape and to cut into tiles. Used for centuries it’s both elegant and durable, while staying environmentally friendly during its manufacture and usage.
Now, if properly maintained, slate can last for over 100 years. Furthermore, it’s completely fireproof and does not give off any type of pollution. Coupled with a naturally beautiful blue colour and the fact that its recyclable, and you get a roofing material that deserves to be cared for.
However, no matter how amazing or durable slate is, you need to notice when it’s time to replace or repair it. In fact, that is quite necessary if you want your roof to last as long as it could. So, taking that into account, below you can find some information on the signs that point towards you needing to replace your roof.
Most people will find a roof covered with moss, vines, and other vegetation quite nice. It gives off an old, ancestral kind of sentiment. However, the sad fact is that this type of vegetation will absolutely ruin your slate roof. The effects of moss on your roof are particularly bad, no matter how nice it looks.
Namely, on an aesthetic front, plants retain moisture, which can cause discolouration on your roof. However, this also means they can dry it out sooner and make it crack sooner. Coupled with the fact that they can divert the path of how water drains off of your roof, and that some plants can have their roots burrow into your tiles, and you can end up with a severely damaged and ruined roof. Our advice is that you get this fixed as soon as possible, and have someone replace any tiles that have been damaged by the plants.
Curling of slate tiles and shingles
We know that roof repairs can be a bit of a hassle, but it’s quite worth it. Namely, if you notice that some of your tiles or shingles have been curling, or that they are buckled, it’s time to get a professional to take a look. Two main culprits here are a lack of ventilation, and excessive moisture (most often these two come in tandem). This can then lead to them falling off, or cracking completely.
Another factor that leads to these issues is simply your roof becoming older and older. Advanced age can lead to this happening, no matter how thorough you are with your maintenance and inspections. However, luckily with slate roofs this may take some time to occur.
Flashings prevent water from emerging through your roof’s through weak points. That’s why they are placed on chimneys, skylights… They are also there to simply reinforce these points, and to add some extra insulation. However, if you let them deteriorate, this will lead to continual and consistent leaks.
Your slate roof lines are sagging
A very serious issue is if you notice your roof lines are sagging. Essentially, is your roof moving in a straight line, or are these points curved downwards? A sagging roof can and will eventually collapse unless you have someone fix it up soon. A sagging roof requires immediate attention from a roofer.
Many things can cause this. Rotten pillars and columns, rotten sheathing, or severely accumulated snowfall and ice during a severe winter.
A leak is bound to happen from time to time, and they should be dealt with accordingly. However, if they tend to happen on a monthly basis, or more often, then you should hire someone to take a look as soon as possible.
Now, the culprit could be a very strong rain shower, or severe hail. On the other hand, don’t forget that roof ventilation is important, and that improper ventilation can lead to an increased retention of water, which can then lead to leaks. Finally, if you faced small rainfall, but still have leaks, this means that your roof really needs to be fixed up.
And there you have it folks, a couple of warning signs that you need to fix up your roof. Slate roofs are tough and long-lasting, but that doesn’t mean they are indestructible. After some time you will definitely need to get it fixed up. So, keep an eye out for serious leaks and sagging roofs. Check if your flashings are damaged, and have any moss and vines removed as soon as possible.