Roofs are not designed to last forever, but one type of material that claims to outlast even turtles is slate. Roofing companies claim that slate can last well over 100 years — with regular maintenance, of course — and will look just as good at the end of their life as they do at the beginning.
Those are bold claims. Are any of them true?
Benefits of Slate
Even though asphalt is used on more than 80% of new homes in the United States, many homes at the turn of the 20th century were actually constructed with soft slate. The reasons for its popularity was availability and the lack of any viable competitor. Slate was relatively inexpensive to quarry and is fireproof, doesn't rot, and is a sharp deterrent for insects that like to feast on wood, such as termites. Because of its popularity, you can still see many turn of the century homes that still have the original slate roof that is intact nearly 100 years later.
It's these types of qualities that are responsible for the recent resurgence in slate roofing, even with other materials like clay, wood, asphalt, and metal widely available on the market. People who want to protect their homes with minimal maintenance for years to come — if not decades — have opted to install slate roofs that their grandkids won't even have to replace.
Soft Vs. Hard Slate
Despite its longevity, soft slate is actually not as durable as its similarly-named counterpart, hard slate. Soft slate still has the same fireproof and weather-resistant qualities that made it famous in the early 1900s but is more pliable and can chip easier than hard slate. Because of that, you'll be "forced" to replace it every 100 years or so.
Hard slate, on the other hand, is virtually indestructible. Hard slate doesn't absorb water, but it also won't warp over time or lose much of its coloration. Indeed, many homes that were constructed using hard slate still look as if the roof was just replaced yesterday. If you're fortunate enough to have a house that has a hard slate roof and you were not alive during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, you can breathe easy. Chances are, you won't have to do much maintenance or replace that roof for years or even decades to come.
For more information about slate and other roofing materials, contact a local roofing company.
When there are things about your business building that are damaged, you can expect it to cause problems in the long run. From issues with getting top dollar for your property to dealing with incoming leaks and other issues, it pays to know how to make changes now that could improve your future. However, roofing issues can be hard to spot, which is why it really pays to do what you can to make steps towards fixing things. On this website, you can find excellent information about how roofing can be beneficial to your company, and what to look for when problems arise.