Cambridge Roofing: Article About Common Causes Of Slate Damage

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For homeowners that are lucky enough to own a historic home with an existing slate tile roof, they should know they've hit the jackpot. Slate is incredibly durable, long lasting and relatively low in maintenance. It can easily last hundreds of years if the roof is cared for properly. Before a historic slate roof is removed, homeowners should consult with their Cambridge roofing company to see if their roof can be salvaged.

Slate is naturally durable, but its ultimate test comes from a variety of factors. Certain types of slate from different regions are hardier than other types and manufacturing processes can affect its lifespan. The method of installation is also important in regards to how long it will remain functional and how much regular maintenance it will need. While its lifespan is incredibly long, it doesn't mean slate is invincible. It will weather naturally over time, chipping and flaking along the tile's cleaved edges. Eventually, the surface will start to flake, starting the delamination process. As slate delaminates, it starts to become soft and spongy and stops repelling moisture. Tapping the tile is the best indication of its overall condition.

The roofing experts at Capital Construction of Cambridge MA can assist you with any questions regarding windows and doors or decks.

Slate in good condition will resound with clear sound, and slate at the end of its lifespan will sound dull when it's tapped.

Poor installation can also lower the lifespan of slate tiles. The most common installation problem is improperly nailing the slate down. Roofers experienced with slate know that the slate should be nailed down so that it hangs off the nail and isn't tightly held down to the roofing substrate. Nails that are hammered too far in will crack the slate, but exposed nail heads allow an entry point for moisture. The right kind of nails should always be used, too. Slater's nails are the best choice because they're made of copper or stainless steel and don't rust.

Slate tiles that are broken or cracked need to be replaced immediately. The main purpose of shingles is to prevent water from getting into the house, and when they're cracked, they're letting in every bit of moisture that passes over them. If the slate has to be special ordered, the broken tiles should be covered with plywood or plastic to prevent immediate water damage.

Slate may never have to be replaced during a homeowner's lifetime, so historic homes should have their slate tiles saved whenever possible. Having roofing material that's both beautiful and long lasting is every homeowner's dream.

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