Cambridge Roofing: Article About Choosing Natural Versus Composite Slate Tiles

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Slate lasts many times longer than other roofing materials. It is considered the gold standard for beauty, durability and protection from rain and snow. Natural slate roofs have been known to last up to 500 years and, according to Cambridge roofing professionals, 150 years is a reasonable expectation.

Of course, this kind of enduring beauty and protection comes at a cost. Natural slate tile roofs usually cost from $6,000 to $8,000 per square (100 square feet).

Installation is complicated, and so roofers charge higher labor prices. It is well worth the investment, however, to hire an educated and qualified roofer. If a slate roof is incorrectly installed, the new roof that an owner counts on can end up giving the home no protection at all.

Natural slate is massive, weighing anywhere from 800 to 1,500 pounds per square inch. The roof must be able to handle the added weight, perhaps requiring an engineering consultation to ensure the viability of applying the stone.

There is one significant problem in using natural slate on a roof. While it is a strong, resilient and enduring material, the slate is highly susceptible to fracture.

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

If the owner or a repairperson walks directly on the tiles or a thick branch falls on the roof, many tiles can easily break. Replacing tiles is a problem, not only because of the labor expense involved.

Natural slate is sold in lots. Each lot is colored individually depending on where it was mined. The owner must purchase enough tiles at the beginning of a project to ensure there are enough for all future repairs. With the long expected lifespan of the roof, the need for more tiles might be difficult to forecast.

Roofing shingle manufacturers have worked hard in the past few decades to create manufactured products. These engineered slate tiles seek to encompass all of the positive features of natural slate. These products also come in at a lower cost, with consistent and reproducible colors, and without the fragility of real slate.

Most roofing professionals will recommend natural slate since the material has been proven to last over the centuries. If, however, a roof has a shallow pitch or sees heavy traffic, then polymer tiles are preferable due to their greater flexibility.

A roofing professional experienced in using both natural and engineered slate tiles is an invaluable asset for an owner considering whether slate is the right material for their home.

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