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Maintenance For A Hard Slate Roof

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Replacing a roof is a totally unnecessary cost; you just have to buy the right roofing material. For example, you could clad your home with a hard slate roof. Why? Slate roofing will last for up to 200 years. While installing slate should preclude the need to ever replace your roof, you may still need to do some maintenance from time to time. In particular, you should look for damaged or slipped roofing tiles and inspect your flashing from time to time. 

What to Do about Damaged Roofing Tiles

A falling tree limb or a freakishly large hailstone can break slate tiles, and when this happens, you will need to replace the broken tiles. Follow these steps:

1) Insert a flat nail puller under the damaged tile and fish around until you hook the nail that holds the tile in place.

2) A nail puller will consist of a flat bar with grooves at one end to hook nails. At the other end, you will have a flat guard and a handle. Once you have hooked the nail, grasp the handle with one hand, and pound on the fact guard with a hammer until you pull the nail out.

3) Pull the damaged tile out of the way and fill the nail hole with a dab of roofing cement.

4) Use a straight edge to mark where the bottom edge of the new tile will lie.

5) Drive the flat end of a slate hook into your roof. The slate hook will be similar in shape to the number "5." When you drive the flat end of the hook into your roof, make sure that the curved end is centered and hangs just below where the bottom edge of the new tile will lie.

6) Slide the new tile into place and make sure that the bottom edge slips into the curved end of the slate hook. 

Flashing Concerns

When you install a slate roof, you should make sure that your flashing will last as long as possible. Galvanized steel flashing will last only around 15 years. On the other hand, copper flashing can last for a hundred years or more. Thus, if you want to keep your maintenance requirements as low as possible, you should install copper flashing on your slate roof.

A slate roof is a beautiful choice for a home in that you will get a uniquely beautiful yet long-lasting roofing material. Just don't let the longevity of your roof lull you into a false confidence in your roof. Long-lasting does not mean the same thing as maintenance free, so to get the most life from your roof, make sure you replace broken tiles and failing flashing as needed. 

For more information, contact Lawson Brothers Construction or a similar company.