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Beware: 5 Common Slate Roof Installation Blunders

While slate roofs look fantastic, it can sometimes be difficult to find a tradesperson who is skilled and experienced in using this very old and traditional roofing material.
The Slate Roof Installation or renovation requires a special set of skills, knowledge and tools to ensure both the weatherproofing and the longevity of the roof.
There are a number of blunders that can occur when an inexperienced tradesperson, or indeed a homeowner, attempts to install or repair a slate roof.

Here are five of them

1. Poor flashing installation leading to water damage

Flashing will not last as long as your slate roof, and it does need to be replaced at times.
To get to the flashing, you have to remove individual slate tiles, install the appropriate flashing and replace the tiles. Incorrectly or poorly installed flashing can lead to broken slate tiles and the roof leaking.

2. Cracks in the slate tiles, resulting in water damage

Slate tiles break, with some varieties more vulnerable to damage than others. Because of this, slate roofs should not be walked on during installation or repairs.
It’s important to note that damage to a slate roof is not always evident immediately, but may become so years later.
To prevent damage, scaffolding and hook ladders are generally used to access the roof.
While on a rare occasion a professional slate tradesperson may need to walk on part of the roof for a repair, they are taught the correct way to do it without causing damage.

3. Motley or stained roof colour which isn’t aesthetically pleasing

Your slate roof tiles will be delivered in a number of different pallets. While theoretically they should all be the same type of slate, there are sometimes slight differences in colour. A poor supplier may even give you different types of slate.
An inexperienced person may not pick up these problems. However, a slate roof specialist will ensure that the tiles from the different pallets are correctly blended across the roof span for the most pleasing look.
Some varieties of slate may also end up with rust-type stains over time. It is important to talk to your slate specialist about the particular characteristics of the different slates before you choose them.
It can be a very expensive exercise if you have to replace the roof down the track because you don’t like the colour.

4. Use of the incorrect tools resulting in broken slate tiles

If undertaking slate roof repairs, you need the proper tools, which include slate cutters, slate hammers, slate stakes and the ripper.
For example, if you have a broken slate, you need to use a ripper to remove it. Without it, you are likely to end up with multiple broken slate tiles.
Make sure you check that your tradesperson has tools specific to working with slate.

5. Incorrect headlap positioning leading to water damage

Headlap is the term used to describe how the head of the slate tile is overlapped by another two courses of slate tiles.
Appropriate headlap is essential to ensure that no water enters your home.
While three inches (around eight centimetres) is the standard headlap, it does depend on roof pitch and climatic conditions. This is where you need the assistance of a professional slate tradesperson.

Whether you want a Slate Roof Installation or renovation in Sydney or anywhere else in Australia, it’s essential to choose slate roofing specialists with solid skills and experience to do the job.