When it's time to replace your roof, you have many options from which to choose. While asphalt shingles are still popular, more and more homeowners are considering slate tile roofs because of their aesthetic benefits. However, while slate tile roofs may be gorgeous, they aren't the best choice for every home or everyone. If you are considering slate tiles for your roof, check out these four questions to determine if they're the right choice for your home.
Can You Afford a Major Investment?
Many people forgo a slate tile roof because of the cost. While an asphalt shingle roof only costs about $1 to $4 per square foot, a slate tile roof costs closer to $9 to $40 per square foot. However, with proper care and maintenance, your slate tile roof may last 50 years or more, vs. asphalt roofs, which only last about 20 years. Therefore, the initial cost may be expensive, but you may never need to replace your roof again.
Is Your Roof Strong Enough?
Asphalt, metal and wood roofing materials are lightweight, making them great for almost any home. However, slate tiles are stone, making them incredibly heavy. On average, a slate tile roof weighs 1000 pounds per 100 square feet. For this reason, you need a strong roof structure to support the extra weight. If you don't already have a strong enough roof, you can have additional features installed, but that will increase the price of the overall project. If your home had a slate tile roof or other heavy material in the past, it may already have the necessary features. You can also consider fake rubber slate tiles, which look like slate but are much lighter.
Does Your Roof Have a Steep Slope?
Slate tile works best on roofs with a steep slope. This helps reduce the amount of weight on the roof by allowing snow, water, ice, debris, etc. to slide off with ease. A steep slope also prevents people from walking on the roof, and slate tile roofs are prone to damage when exposed to foot traffic. Only people familiar with slate tile roofs, such as professional roofers, should be allowed to walk on the roof. The steeper the slope the better, but a steep slope also increases the overall price because you'll need more materials to cover the extra area. If your roof isn't particularly steep, your roofer may still recommend a slate tile roof, but you'll need to ensure you keep it clean to prevent extra weight.
Where Do You Live?
Slate tile roofs work in most climates. In wet climates, they are resistant to decay and water damage, but they may develop some moss or mildew. The tiles are great in hotter climates because they can resist the hot UV rays from the sun. Slate tile, however, may not be a good choice if you live in an area with a lot of snowfall. Again, this is due to the extra weight of the snow on the roof. Even with adequate support structures, the combined weight of the stone tiles and massive amounts of snow may cause the roof to collapse. For this reason, if you do live in an area with snowfall, make sure your roof is strong and steep, and keep it clean.
Slate tile creates some of the most beautiful roofs, but the heavy, expensive tiles make them a poor choice for some homes. If you think slate tiles are right for your home, however, you need to get a qualified, experienced roofer to ensure excellent installation. For more information about slate tile roofs or other roofing materials, contact a roofer at a company like Right Way Roofing, Inc in your area today and ask them about their experience with slate tile roofs.