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Slate Roof Installation: Natural vs. Synthetic






Natural Slate vs. Synthetic Slate Roofing

If installing a natural slate roof is out of your budget, you may consider installing a synthetic slate roof. Synthetic slate is more affordable, easier to install, and more energy efficient. However, natural slate is longer-lasting and will add significant value to your home.



Natural Slate Roofing

The Good:

• Made of natural stones
• Durable when properly maintained
• Fire-resistant
• Will not grow mold or mildew
• Will not attract insects

The Bad:

• Very expensive
• Fragile and brittle
• Will break if stepped on
• Extremely heavy (Roof framework may require reinforcement)
• Costly, challenging installation
• Freezing temperatures may cause slate to crack
• Slate quality can vary significantly
• Easily damaged by hail

The Bottom Line:

If the necessary precautions are taken, a natural slate roof can last over 100 years. However, softer slates can be crumble under pressure and should not be walked on by anyone other than a professional. Slate roofs should be inspected regularly to check for cracked slates and rusted nails. Slate is incredibly heavy. As a result, the installation is expensive and time-consuming. You may need to enlist the services of a stonemason or slater rather than a regular roofer. The quality of the slate can vary significantly based on geographical location. For instance, slates from Virginia and Vermont tend to last longer than slates from quarries in Pennsylvania.

Synthetic Slate Roofing

The Good:

• More affordable than natural slate
• Lightweight (Easier to install)
• Replicates look and texture of natural slate
• Made of recycled materials
• Energy efficient
• Will not crumble or shatter when walked on
• Can handle freezing temperatures
• Comes in a variety of colors
• Will not fade

The Bad:

• Still more expensive than asphalt roofing
• Shorter life than natural slate
• Will not add substantial value to your home
• Relatively new to the market

The Bottom Line:

Synthetic slate (or composite slate) roofing can be a great alternative to natural slate. In some cases, it is impossible to tell the difference between the real and the fake. Synthetic slate can handle foot traffic and will not break apart in a hailstorm. However, there are some doubts about the long-term durability of synthetic slate. Due to its lightweight, it is much easier (and cheaper) to install than natural slate.

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Cost of Slate Roof Installation



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About the Author

ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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