Residential Slate Roofing: 7 Maintenance, Repair and Restoration Tips

Slate is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and durable of all roofing materials. Lasting between 50 and 125 years or more, slate roofs have a long history of protecting institutional buildings like churches and government structures. That’s where aesthetics and longevity were an especially important consideration in material choices.

Dating back to 1600’s, slate roofs have slowly integrated into residential roofing. At its peak production years of late 1800’s Pennsylvania quarries were the largest producer of slate in America.

These days, homeowners are realizing the indisputable value of natural slate when selecting their home’s new roof. Bottom line: Slate is a beautiful, durable and eco-friendly way to cover any structure, and homeowners are taking notice.

Residential Slate Roofing: 7 Maintenance, Repair and Restoration Tips

Residential Slate Roofing: 7 Maintenance, Repair and Restoration Tips

With the relatively high initial cost of installing a new slate roof, it’s important to invest in regular and timely maintenance, which largely increases durability. Additionally, proper repair and restoration will save you replacement money while keeping your roof in tip top shape for decades to come.

7 Maintenance, Repair and Restoration Tips

  1. Your slate’s life depends largely on its style and mineral makeup. Some slate roofing materials are prone to softening and crumbling after years of weather exposure, while others remain hard for 100 years or more. A slate roofing expert should be able to tell you which types of slate material will last longest and resist cracking or leaking.
  2. It’s natural for slate pieces on aging homes to occasionally break or fall off. The sooner you notice these missing slate pieces, the greater chance you have of simply repairing your roof rather than replacing it. Missing or cracked slates may damage your roof’s infrastructure and lead to costly interior leaks. If you take time to replace these failing pieces quickly, you’ll extend the life of your roof and protect your flooring, drywall and furnishings.
  3. Many slate roofs fail because they were not installed with high-quality decking and sheathing materials. The best roof deck is made of lumber and battens that are planed or rough-sawn, and measure at least .75 to 1.5 inches in thickness. Plywood, particle board or cheaply laminated wood should not be used, since your roof will last the longest when solid (rather than synthetic or glued) boards are used. If your existing roof was installed with a substandard decking material, contact your Pennsylvania slate roofing contractor to inquire about the most affordable repair or replacement option.
  4. Good quality flashing and proper installment is also a key to ensuring that your slate roofing enjoys a lengthy lifespan. If you’re experiencing frequent leaks, your flashing may not be the correct gauge—or it may have been improperly aligned, secured or sealed. Single pieces of flashing are usually easily replaced, but multiple pieces may require the expertise of a roofing contractor so the slate is not compromised during repair.
  5. It’s important to remember that walking on your slate roof requires extreme care, and should only be done when absolutely necessary. If you—or a negligent roofing contractor—does not take the time to protect your slate, individual pieces may crack, become dislodged or even break off entirely. If slates are to be walked on, it is best to wear soft soled shoes and to step on the lowermiddle of the exposed portion of the slate unit.
  6. Remember about roof safety. Before anyone climbs on your roof to inspect it, make sure they (A) use a padded ladder, (B) utilize roof scaffolds, roof jacks and planks, and (C) avoid placing your full weight on delicate planes of slate.
  7. Finally, while slate roofs are a beautiful, enduring way to protect your home, you should still have them inspected by an experienced slate contractor annually and after several storms. Check for cracked, broken, misaligned, and missing slates, look at the the degree to which delamination has occurred, look for failed flashings and broken or clogged downspouts.

Find a Contractor You Can Trust!

Residential Slate Roofing: 7 Maintenance, Repair and Restoration TipsSlate roofs that are properly maintained are likely to last for fifty years or more, all while increasing the curb appeal and architectural value of your Pennsylvania home for decades to come.

If you’re looking for a slate roofing contractor you can trust, call LGC Roofing. We are a DaVinci Masterpiece Contractor, install both natural (original) and composite slate roofs and are fully licensed and insured to do roofing work in Pennsylvania & New Jersey!

Backed by over 30 years of experience, we have the skills and knowledge required to handle all your slate roofing installation & repair needs!

Call (215) 932-7850 or 609-712-8157 for your Free Estimate today!


Top 6 Myths About Standing Seam Metal Roofing

Standing seam metal roofing is gaining a foothold in the residential roofing world as a growing number of homeowners embrace the many benefits of this eco-friendly, energy-saving alternative.

Whether made from steel, aluminum or copper, the long-term advantages of standing seam metal roofing are indisputable: besides superior durability (they can last 50 years or more) and excellent weather protection, standing seam metal roofs are modern looking, energy efficient, lightweight, fire and water resistant, virtually maintenance free and fully recyclable!

However, metal roofing is still largely misunderstood, and there are a lot of untruths and myths associated with it, especially when it comes to weather-related issues like lightning, hail, and rain. Don’t let misinformation stop you from making a smart investment in a metal roof. Instead, begin your research by learning to separate fact from fiction.

Top 6 Myths About Standing Seam Metal Roofing

Dispelling Standing Seam Metal Roofing Myths

Here are five common myths associated with a standing seam roof and its installation process:

Myth #1: Metal roofing is prohibitively expensive.

It’s true that the upfront cost of a metal roof is higher than the cost of installing an asphalt roof (often twice as high), but your metal roof will last a lifetime. The average lifespan of a metal roof is 40-60 years, which is at least 2-3 longer than that of a shingle roof. This means money saved in the long run.

Additionally, metal roofing will raise the resale value of your home, save on energy (details below), and maintenance cost, since there’s practically none needed. You may also qualify for tax credits and insurance discounts by installing a metal roof, which makes the value proposition even greater.

Bottom line: if you can afford the initial higher cost, standing seam metal roof will cost less than your typical asphalt roof over the course of its life-cycle, offering the biggest return on your investment.

Top 6 Myths About Standing Seam Metal Roofing

Myth #2: Metal roofing attracts lightning.

A home with a metal roof is no more likely to be hit by lightning than a home with an asphalt roof. The actual probability of lightning strikes has more to do with land topography, location, size and height of the building, rather than the roofing material used. Even if lightning did strike your home, your metal roof would act as a barrier against the electricity, discharging it evenly throughout the roof to prevent damage, since metal is an excellent electrical conductor.

Additionally, metal roofs are not combustible or flammable, so there would be no chance of a fire starting. Asphalt shingles are flammable, and not as safe.

Myth #3: Metal roofs are very noisy.

This is only the case when metal roofs are installed over an open frame, as is the case with barns and sheds.

Residential metal roof are usually installed over plywood, solid sheathing or an existing shingle roof, all of which absorb sounds. Therefore, they are not any louder than your typical shingle roof, and in many instances are actually quieter.

Myth #4: Metal roofs dent easily.

Today’s metal roofs are designed to resist wind gusts of up to 150 miles per hour, and they can withstand decades of heavy rain and hailstorms. Tests show that metal roofs significantly outperform asphalt shingles in terms of durability and weather resistance. Remember, hail damages asphalt roofing material by displacing granules and causing premature deterioration and weathering. This is not the case with metal roofs, which are virtually impenetrable.

Unless we’re dealing with extreme large hail (which will damage any type of roofing material), metal roofs can take a significant beating – they are tough and highly resistant to weather damage, strongly outperforming shingle roofs.

Top 6 Myths About Standing Seam Metal Roofing

Myth #5: Metal roofs don’t last very long.

A properly installed roof can last a lifetime, with some manufacturers offering 50-year or even lifetime warranties. Compared to standard asphalt shingles (averaging 12-20 years), metal roofs have a far longer average lifespan, which justifies the higher upfront material & installation cost.

Metal roofs are highly durable, weather resistant, and inflammable – they will not rot, split, crack, dry-out, chip, warp, corrode, leak, form ice dams, catch on fire, or attract rodents. Outstanding endurance is what attracts most buyers to invest in this highly performing material.

Myth #6: Metal roofs get too hot.

Actually, metal roofs reflect rather than absorb heat – up to 70% of the sun’s energy is reflected back into the atmosphere. This minimizes the heat retention and, as a result, less heat is transferred into the building’s structure. This is one of their primary benefits.

In the summer months, metal roofs deflect sunlight off your roof, preventing heat gain and helping keep your home cooler while reducing your reliance on air conditioning. In fact, metal roofing offers a similar effect of R-11 insulation on top of the roof during sunny day conditions. This reduction in the heat absorbed by the roof results in a cooler home which translates to lower energy cost related to air conditioning.

Additionally, metal roofs can offer not only a 40% reduction in energy costs in the summer but also up to a 15% reduction in the energy costs in the winter — more savings for you.

Bottom line

Standing seam metal roofs are a great investment, offering high ROI, even if you decide to sell your home sooner than expected. Years of outstanding protection, great looks & curb appeal, and energy savings that add up over the years are all great reasons for considering this top of the line material when you’re ready to re-roof your home.

We Specialize In Standing Seam Metal Roofing

If you’re ready to invest in standing seam metal roof, give LGC Roofing a call. Family owned and operated NJ & PA roofing contractor in business since 1985, we handle all types of residential roofing projects specializing in the installation of standing seam metal roofing. Each of our superior metal roofs comes in 16 different colors and includes a 35-year material warranty.

Call 609-712-8157 in NJ or (215) 932-7850 in PA to schedule a free, no-obligation estimate.

Serving residential and commercial customers throughout New Jersey and Bucks & Montgomery counties of Pennsylvania, our team of skilled and experienced installation technicians can quickly and reliably install the metal roof of your dreams, as we have for our many happy customers over the last three decades!

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  • What Our Customers Say

    "Nice job on installing a slate roof for us. I was very impressed with their attention to detail and the crew was on top of keeping the site clean at all times. I have already recommended them to two people." ~Steve P., Bedminster, PA.

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