We routinely get questions about a range of roofing materials, not just metal. Recently, someone contacted us because they were considering re-roofing with slate and they wanted our opinion on the material and the logistics, particularly given the fact that they would be replacing a composition shingle roof.
Now, with a name like Metal Roof Network, it should be obvious that we specialize in one kind of roofing. But since we've been in the industry for decades, we've learned quite a bit about the many materials on the market, and we're always happy to pontificate. So here's what you need to know about slate.
1. One of the first things to source is a very experienced, extensively trained roofer who specializes in slate. Of all of the roofing materials available, slate is one of the most sensitive to the knowledge and workmanship of the installer. It's very likely that you will need to have an evaluation of the structure, and you may have to upgrade the load-bearing capacity in order to handle the additional weight.
2. Slate material selection is extremely important to its durability. Make sure to do lots of reading on the topic to make sure you select a good quality stone. Or at least select a roofer who knows slate particularly well (those who trouble-shoot and maintain slate roofs as a regular practice are often the best) to assist in the material selection process.
Another option? You may wish to consider - what else? - a metal roof installation directly over your asphalt shingles. The combined weight of your existing asphalt plus a new metal roof will still be less than half the weight of a new slate roof, and metal offers many looks that are similar in effect to that of slate. Copper diamonds shingles, for example, or rectangular copper shingles like those pictured here, can provide a similar rustic architectural feel and distinction without anywhere near the structural concern - they're lighter than asphalt shingles!
Have more questions? We're happy to chat roofing anytime, so feel free to call. For re-roofing booklet downloads, material comparison sheets and other freebies, check out our Resources page.