Roof Smart Ltd employs only the highest level of professional roof slaters, whether it's a couple of slates you require replacing to a full re-roof, we can do it.
We specialise in all types of slating; artificial cement fibre slates, artificial Cambrian Slates, Natural Welsh Slates and Spanish Slates.
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The dictionary definition of slate is ‘A fine-grained grey, green, or bluish-purple metamorphic rock easily split into smooth, flat plates. It is the finest grained foliated metamorphic rock’.
First recorded on a domestic roof as early as 1300AD in North Wales, slate for most people was too expensive and was used on castles and other military establishments. Its ability to be broken into thin but durable sheets meant that it could be used as a roofing material reasonably easily.
It is a 100% natural material that can be the crowning glory to a home. Coming in a variety of unique colours, styles and sizes there is a slate to satisfy most requirements.
Slate can definitely be defined as eco-friendly, it is heat-resistant and has powerful insulating properties. Slate tiles can warm quickly in the sunshine and they can then retain heat for long periods of time.
When considering a slate roof there are various elements that need to be taken into consideration. As with any roofing material installation is paramount, and this type of roof is less available now than at beginning of the 1900s at the peak of its popularity. If you are considering a slate roof then it is essential to take advice first. You can ask our roofers in Hertfordshire for advice whenever you want – just contact us and we’ll be happy to help.
How long will slate roofs last?
Slate roofs are for life – well installed and maintained they can last for over 100 years. Some roofs are known to have been in place for over 150 years.
If your home has an existing slate roof then consider asking us to give it a “Check Over”.A quick review of the roof by our roofing experts will make sure that there are no problems with the roof, such as cracked slates that need replacing – with all roofs the old adage of ‘a stitch in time, saves nine’ is so often true.
What will slate roof tiles look like?
The look of natural slate is very pleasing to the eye, available in a range of colours, sizes and thicknesses.
Old slate roof tiles will often have been sourced locally, so that the colour values of the roof are sympathetic with their environment. When considering a slate roof always look at the local slate available as well as alternatives. We can source slate roof tiles for you too, so please do ask our slate roofers in Hertfordshire and we’ll be happy to help.
How much do slate roofs cost?
A new slate roof must be seen as an investment for your home. Roofs using slate roof tiles will last longer than many other materials, and will require less maintenance, but will cost more initially. This natural material could realistically be the most cost-effective roof covering if you look at the cost over the lifetime of the roof. Due to its quality and the fact that is will outlast most buildings in terms of time (over 100 years), it can be seen as a very reasonably priced roofing material.
Benefits of slate roofing tiles
Strength and durability
Slate roofs have an amazingly long life – up to 150 years - a huge benefit compared to some other roofing materials which have a life expectancy of 30-40 years. Slate tiles do not bio-degrade and keep their intrinsic beauty throughout their long life.
The unique appearance of slate roof tiles is what attracts many homeowners to this material. It can be found in a variety of colours that can be blended together to make a very individual roof.
Safety and Maintenance
Compared to some other roofing materials, slate roof tiles are extremely fire resistant. They need little maintenance as the tiles do not degenerate through their life, and therefore unless they get cracked or broken, they need little attendance. These roofs are mould resistant, and because of their low water absorption have little problems with frost damage and breakage due to water freezing.
Points to consider
How much do slate roof tiles weigh?
Slate roof tiles can be very heavy, and a slate roof can weigh 800-1500 lbs. per square of material. Therefore, if a slate roof were to be a new addition to your property, you’d need to have the home’s structure evaluated to make sure that the building could accommodate the weight of the roof. Slate roofs often require additional structural support to avoid any damage to the home. It is always best to use experienced slate roof contractors such as RoofSmart, who have knowledge and experience of slate roofing.
To last a lifetime the slate roof needs to be installed correctly, when hiring a contractor make sure that they have experience with slate roofs. Poor installation can lead to major structural problems, or other damage to the home.
Slate roofing tiles being a natural material can sometimes be considered slightly brittle. The tiles can chip, crack or break with minimal force. So impacts on the roof can make tile replacements necessary, which can be costly. However, if you are in any doubt, please do contact us and we can advise.
Fitting Slate Roofs
Headlap on slate roofs
There is an art in laying slate roofs, and there are very tried and tested ways of producing the perfect slate roof. One thing that needs to be correct is the ‘headlap’ on a slate roof.
The face of the slate in the third course overlaps the head on the slate in the first course of slates and this is called “headlap”.
Dependent upon the slope of the roof the headlap requirement alters, and there are standard industry recommendations for the amount of headlap from 2” through to 4”.
Headlap recommendations are there to help protect against weather conditions such as snow, ice, heavy rains and high winds. Smaller headlaps would work well in a very warm climate but are not ideal for UK weather conditions. Good headlap behind a chimney stack is essential, and the chimney acts like a dam on the roof, which slows down any draining water.
Knowing and understanding the headlap requirements on roofs gives the roofing contractor, i.e. RoofSmart, the ability to order the correct number of slates for your roof. Most slates are mined or manufactured to be installed with up to a 4-inch headlap.
Alternatives to natural slate
If cost or weight restrictions mean that you cannot install a natural slate roof, there are man-made alternatives, which could be considered. There is a good selection of synthetic slate roof tiles available, that offer a possible alternative to create the perfect ‘look’ for your home. Ask for more information on all aspects of Natural Slate Roofing or Synthetic Slate Roofing – we can offer expert advice on your project.