Slate Roofs

Slate is a fine grain metamorphic rock that can be made into roofing tiles that come in a wide variety of sizes, thicknesses and colors. Slate is one most fire resistant roofing material available. Slate accounts for much less waste than asphalt shingles that need to be replaced at 20 years or less.

Slate tiles have 2 lines of breakability, cleavage and grain making it possible to split the stone into thin sheets. Slate tiles are relatively flat and easy to stack while retaining a natural look. Slate roofs can last 150 years or more.

In some parts of the country slate roofs were common and were standard roofing materials. Today slate roofs are expensive and not as easy to come by as simply going to the quarry and picking some up. Technology and cost have made way for cheaper and lighter asphalt shingles.

Earliest recorded Slate Roof

In 1287 in North Wales England is the first recorded slate roof. Slate was very expensive so only the wealthy were using slate for their castles and churches.

In the 1800’s Spain improved the quarrying process and made slate available for the masses. In 1785 the first U.S. quarry opened in Pennsylvania.

After the civil war slate production increased to over 200 quarries on the east coast, starting in Pennsylvania and spreading east. Vermont is still the state with the most slate production with the highest quality stone.

Slate can cost up to 5 times more than asphalt roofing and if your local roofer doesn’t know what they are doing, it can be like having no roof protection at all.

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