The concept of a house remains incomplete without a roof, for it provides the shelter associated with the idea of a home. Roofs are of various types regarding their level of being fancy and durability they have. Among these, a slate roof is both fancy and durable but a bit more costly.
Unfortunately, a carelessly installed slate roof will never give you its real worth. So, every owner and installer must know the following five basic facts when about to install a slate roof.
1. The Source of Slates
While deciding about the slate for your roof, your focus must be more on its origin from the ground than on its colour, manufacturer’s name or even cost. The name and location of the quarry matter a lot, for different quarries have a different reputation and different warranties as well. You must look for a slate with a warranty to last for 75 to 100 years.
Moreover, the warranty must include the replacement of the whole roof by the manufacturer in case there develop pyrite stains or the ugly rust coloured streaks.
2. The factor of overlapping
Overlapping of the slates being used for your roof counts a lot when it comes to covering against the water leakage. But what sides to cover and how much to cover are purely technical. Slates must be overlapped from the sides by three inches. This is the sidelap whereas from the top they must overlap each other by four inches, called headlap, if the ratio between the height and width of the slates ranges from 4:12 to 8:12 inches. Roofs with their pitch lower than 4:12 should not be made of slate.
Experienced and expert roofing companies use first class slate and undertake two additional precautions in this regard:
- To ensure the overlap is perfect, they draw chalk lines on the felt underlayment.
- To keep protected against the possible ice damming, they make an additional one or two inches overlapping near the eaves.
- Metal parts and nails
Both the metal parts and the nails used must preferably be of copper or at least of coated stainless steel. An additional point which must be taken care of regarding the metal parts is their consistency against galvanic corrosion. Remember, the metal parts of the slates are less durable than the rock itself.
Additionally, the nails must be of a proper length which is double the thickness of your slates plus one inch. Moreover, the nails must be pounded to an accurate depth into the roof sheathing boards so that they may not be punched through. Also, hammer them to make their heads sit flush with the slates.
4. The underlayment
No functional underlayment is actually required, for it is the roof itself which shreds water and protects your house, not the underlayment. Professional roofers use the conventional, 30-pounds organic roofing felt to protect against certain elements in case a storm hits before they install the roof. They know that it will degenerate after a few years and it is fine with them.
5. Technique and the legal contract
Installing a slate roof is a five or six-digit project. So, a particular focus should be there about using the latest equipment and technique while installing a slate roof professionally. It must be included in the legal contract that the roofer will work as per installation guidelines from the Slate Roofing Contractors Association. The roof installed this way will stay there for your grandchildren to live under with their children as well.