Expats who relocate to Australia sometimes have a bit of trouble grasping what exactly slate roofing is. This is understandable since slate isn’t as popular in other parts of the world as it is here.
Image Credit: Michael C. Rygel via Wikimedia Commons
Nevertheless, slate is among the longest-lasting roof materials, and there are records of slate roofs older than a hundred years.
Still, as durable and poplar as it is, slate roofing has its own disadvantages that you should consider before you decide to get it for your home.
Here are some advantages and disadvantages you should keep in mind if you want a slate roof:
Pro: It looks great
Simply put, a great number of homeowners decide to go with slate roofing because of its timeless beauty and elegance.
The appearance of slate roofs is celebrated by homeowners worldwide, and this is because it looks classy even when it’s decades old.
As simple, elegant, and timeless it is, slate roofing can also be versatile because you can choose from a variety of size, thickness, and a wide range of colors.
There are homeowners who don’t stick to one color but choose to mix several hues, creating a whimsical look.
Pro: It’s energy efficient
If you’re hoping to have an energy-efficient and green home, slate is perfect for you. Because it’s an incredibly dense material, the slate will absorb the heat during the day to slowly release it during the night.
This means that during cold Aussie winters, you will be able to count on a bit more natural warmth in your home because slates will keep the heat inside.
In addition to this, the slate will keep the heat away from your attic during scorching summer days and keep your home cooler.
Thus, your heating and cooling bills will be lower than they would if you choose to go with another kind of roofing material.
Con: It’s very expensive
On the downside, you have to be prepared that you will pay a hefty sum if you do decide to go with slate roofing for your home.
Because it’s a natural material that has to be cut into thin slices so that it can cover a roof, slate happens to be among the most expensive roofing materials on the market these past decades.
Be that as it may, slate is also a great investment because it will outlast any terracotta tiles. Certain homeowners, however, feel that the up-front cost of slate roofing in Australia is just too much for their budget, which is why they decide to go with an alternative material.
Pro: It’s incredibly durable
We already mentioned that the durability of slate roofing could be measured in decades (sometimes even in centuries).
Seeing as it’s a type of rock, it’s awfully strong and durable, even if it’s on a bit heavier side. Because it lasts long, it’s not uncommon for people who buy older houses to find slate roofing.
This is great for several reasons – they are getting wonderful material, and they won’t have to change it any time soon.
Still, slate roofing can need a bit of TLC from time to time, so it’s best to invite professionals specialized in slate roof repairs in Sydney to take a look.
Trying to fix it on your own can cost you extra – you don’t want to damage the precious material further.
Con: It’s rather heavy
Considering it’s basically stone, slate is lighter than you might have thought at first, but it’s still heavier than your average terracotta roof tile.
While the weight of conventional composite shingles per square is between 200 and 250 pounds, slate weighs four times more.
A square of slate shingles can reach the weight of 800 to 1,000 pounds, which means that your roof should be reinforced if you want it to bear the burden.
The additional cost of roof reinforcements is another reason why people decide to choose an alternative roofing option.
Pro: It’s fireproof
Because of those horrible forest fires that happened in Australia, many homeowners were rightfully worried for their homes.
Slate, being a natural stone, is fireproof, which makes it a very desirable roofing material here in the Land Down Under.
This means that any sparks or embers that actually land on your roof will not spread, and slates will not catch fire.
Asphalt shingles, terracotta tiles, and similar products that are very popular, on the other hand, will catch fire rather easily, which is unnerving if you live in an area prone to bushfires.
That being said, this doesn’t mean that your home is completely fireproof just because you have a slate roof.
You still need to invest in good fire alarms and be very careful with cigarette butts, especially during hot summer months.
Because it’s completely natural and incredibly durable, slate is one of the most expensive roofing materials currently on the market.
There are certain disadvantages to slate roofing that shouldn’t be disregarded – its relatively high cost, for example.
Still, even with that in mind, it remains a high-quality building material that many professionals will advise you to consider when you’re looking into roofing materials.
If you’re planning on owning your home long, slate roofing will be a great investment.
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Afton Jackson says
The fireproof and durable properties of slate roofing that you talked about were really interesting. A material like this that could protect my house from all the natural fire hazards that were so abundant last year could make me feel so much safer than before. Once I find a roofing expert in the area that offers slate materials, I’ll hire them for some renovations immediately.