Slate Roofing Company
Our President is the Past President of the National Slate Association
Slate Roofing Company
Slate roofing has been around for hundreds of years and many of the same techniques and tools are still used by contractors today. While it’s often called the Rolls Royce of roofing materials, it is a worthwhile consideration due to its long life cycle, high quality, and very low maintenance. Slate roofing will add timeless beauty and elegance to any home or building that will make any home stand out from the rest.
Slate roofing has been around for hundreds of years and many of the same techniques and tools are still used by contractors today. While it’s often called the Rolls Royce of roofing materials, it is a worthwhile consideration due to its long life cycle, high quality, and very low maintenance. Slate roofing will add timeless beauty and elegance to any home or building that will make any home stand out from the rest. The Roofing Company, Inc. provides slate roofing designed to last and provide you with peace of mind with its diverse features and benefits. Slate roofing adds a unique aesthetic to any home, while also providing superior protection from the elements. With a variety of colors and textures available, you can find the perfect look for your home. Believe it or not, a slate roof is the most cost-effective roof you can have due to its longevity.
Peace of Mind
At The Roofing Company, Inc., we take pride in our craftsmanship. When you choose us for slate roofing, you have peace of mind knowing your home is in good hands. Slate roof solutions take care and expertise; we have both.
Strength and Durability
Slate roofing is one of the strongest and most durable materials on the market today. Slate is a natural stone that is highly resistant to weathering, moisture, and fire. It is also resistant to insects and other pests, which can damage other types of roofing materials.
Slate is a dense material that has extremely low moisture absorption. This means that there is a minute expansion and contraction with changes in temperature, which can cause other roofing materials to crack and warp over time.
Beauty and Functionality
The most commonly installed is the Blue/Black Buckingham slate variety from Buckingham County, Virginia. Buckingham County is only about 4 hours northwest of Hampton Roads. Buckingham Slate warranties their product for 150 years. Having the lowest water absorption rate of any American slate, it is safe to say it should outlive the home it was installed on. You will find many slate roofs of this variety in Norfolk, Virginia. There are also several green and buff-colored slate roofs in the Hilton Village section of Newport News that were quarried and shipped from the slate valley area in Vermont.
Longevity & Low Maintenance
The longevity of a slate roof depends on a variety of factors, including the quality of the slate,
the installation technique, and the maintenance schedule.
Natural slate roofing is recommended for ultimate impact resistance and fire resistance. It easily passed UL 2218 Class 4, the toughest impact test (slate shingles show no evidence of cracks or ruptures on the front or back). At the request of the National Slate Association, more lab testing was conducted to confirm the ability of the roofing slate to withstand hail damage.
Slate is installed using a special technique that involves overlapping the tiles and securing them with nails, clips, or hooks. This creates a long-lasting water-shedding high-performance roofing system that helps to prevent water from penetrating the roof and causing damage.
Slate roofing requires no more maintenance than any other style of roof. Just like all roofs, they should be inspected by professional slate roofers every few years or so. Homeowners should conduct their own inspections yearly. Start in the attic and look for water stains. The exterior can be inspected by use of a simple pair of binoculars right from the ground. Look for slates that are missing, broken, sliding out, or have holes in them. If an area of your roof is obstructed, be creative, just be safe, and never walk around on a slate roof!
As a courtesy to all of our slate roofing customers, we provide an annual Customer Appreciation Inspection where we come back every year to inspect both the work we completed and conduct a visual inspection for any possible issues.
It is rare that an S-1 slate itself fails. If a slate roof leaks, it is usually a failure in the details of the roof. Pipe collars, valley metal, and wall flashings are common leak sources. The quality of slate varies around the world. See this white paper on the petrography of roofing slates.
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A note from Brian Chalsma, President of The Roofing Company, Inc. and former President of the National Slate Association: Slate roofing practices haven’t changed in the last 100 years, yet so many roofs are repaired incorrectly. I have personally seen anything from nails through the face of the slate, a plastic product used instead of real slate, tar slapped on anything that looks like a leak, and the most common incorrect repair of them all, the metal straphanger.
When trying to find experts in roofing that will properly diagnose and repair your slate roof, the best thing to do is educate yourself!
- Ask your neighbors for references. See who they have used in the past. Often you will hear who NOT to use which is just as important as whom you should call.
- Read & Watch Informative Videos. Many slate roof owners have enjoyed Joseph Jenkins’s book “The Slate Roof Bible”. This is a very informative book on the history of slate roofing in the United States. It also has a very extensive section on slate roofing repairs and the proper ways slate roofers conduct those repairs. View informative videos about slate roof repairs and installation produced and shared by the National Slate Association. Don’t let a poor decision in contractor selection lead to further damage and additional costs that may have been avoided by doing a little research.
- Choose your contractor wisely. Only hire a contractor who has been certified by the various slate roofing governing bodies such as the National Slate Association and the Slate Roofing Contractors Association. Their websites are indispensable when it comes to finding the right contractor and properly trained slate roofers to repair your roof.
Over 95% of the slate roofs I have looked at over the years were easily repaired. Only one roof I have inspected required replacement due to fastener failure. The few that require replacement were due to prolonged leaking that destroyed the substrate. Only trust the opinion of a certified slate roof repair company and trained slate roofers. The Roofing Company, Inc. has an on-site facility, Hampton Roads Roofing and Slate Roofing Training Center, where new slate roofers learn and expert slate roofers train and educate. Slate roofing services take a special skill set and one that we can ensure you we have.
Whether you already have or are interested in a Buckingham slate or Vermont slate roof, we specialize in both. We also offer a Lightweight Slate system, which can be installed on virtually any roof and takes less time than a traditional slate roof installation. Our expert team will install your slate tile roof with utmost precision for maximum durability and longevity.