Nothing rivals the beauty, durability and functionality of natural slate. Innovative Construction & Roofing specializes in repairing, replacing and maintaining historic slate roofs throughout the St. Louis region. Our highly trained craftsmen have replaced more than 200 historic slate roofs and repaired hundreds more.
Installation of slate roofing requires patience, care, an eye for detail and a true craftsman’s skill. Innovative has installed the entire range of slate roofing styles and systems, and is skilled in slate roof repairs. From custom graduations and a full palette of colors, to custom sizes and a wide range of finishes, we can install any pattern, size or style to match the historic look of your home.
Natural slate roofing is available in three levels of quality—S1, S2, and S3. The highest-quality slate, S1, provides the longest life expectancy with regard to resistance to water absorption, weathering and breakage. Standing behind our commitment to excellence, Innovative offers a free upgrade to S1 grade slate from S2 or S3 slate.
Slate Roof Replacement or Slate Roof Repair?
When properly installed, a natural slate roof requires relatively little maintenance and can easily last 100 years or more. Deciding whether an historic slate roof should be repaired or replaced can be difficult and each roof should be evaluated individually.
Our experienced slate roof crews are rigorously trained to accurately assess the condition of your roof and determine if it is in need of repair or replacement. Innovative’s detailed analysis and reporting process uncovers even the smallest roof defects. After a roof inspection, we will give you an objective report on the condition of your roof and our recommendation on whether it needs repairs or a full roof replacement. This documentation is required to maximize your chances of claim approval.
Things to consider when determining whether to repair or replace a slate roof:
- Determine the age and condition of the roof. Factor in the roof’s life expectancy given the quality of slate.
- Assess the number of damaged and missing slates. Typically, if the number is less than 20 percent, the roof should be evaluated for repair rather than replacement. If damaged tiles are found all over the roof, the tiles are probably too old to salvage, and it’s time to replace the roof.
- Check for active leaks in the attic and living areas. Be aware that gutters, valleys and flashings are more likely to cause leaks than slates are.
- Check roof rafters and sheathing for moisture damage. Old, delaminated slates will hold moisture and cause rot.
- Because slate is so durable, metal flashings often wear out before the slate does. Even a tiny hole can allow large quantities of water to enter the building. If deterioration of the slate isn’t uniform, it’s possible that only one slope needs replacement and the other slopes can be repaired.
- Knock on fallen slates with your knuckles. A full, deep sound means the slate is in good condition, while a dull thud suggests the slate is in poor condition.
Determining your Roof’s Condition: Time is of the Essence
Like all roofs, a slate roof should be inspected annually by an experienced roofer. However, because most people are not comfortable inspecting their own roof and because roof damage is not easily seen from the ground, homeowners often wait far too long before having their roof inspected.
It is important that damaged and missing slates be repaired promptly by an experienced slate roof installer. A prompt repair will help prevent water damage to interior finishes and accelerated deterioration of the roof and roof sheathing.
Unfortunately, in many circumstances an inspection does not occur until watermarks or some other type of internal damage is observed. This can result in more serious and costly long term problems such as wood rot, mold and damage to living spaces. Additionally, an overdue inspection may cause some insurance companies to view this as neglect of routine maintenance, instead of an “Act of God”. The end result is the homeowner becomes responsible for expensive roof repairs.
ABOUT SLATE ROOFING MATERIALS
When we know where to look, it seems that almost without fail nature provides the most simple and ingenious solutions. In this case, that comes in the form of a metamorphic rock which has served as among the earliest industrialized and best roofing materials ever employed. That material is of course slate, and despite some very clever man-made alternatives, it remains without equal as the hardest, most durable, and intrinsically handsome material available.
Extraordinary time and compression are its two essential ingredients. What results from these tremendous forces is a material that’s become so dense it’s highly resistant to the effects of temperature and extraordinarily impermeable to water. In fact, it’s even a consequence of the mineral foliation (the planes of mineral crystals), due to the extreme pressures, that slate achieves its uniform cleavage planes, accounting for its practicality of use, as well as its handsome natural color variation.
SLATE IS ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
Of all roofing materials, slate’s carbon footprint is almost certainly the lowest, requiring no involvement of petro-chemicals beyond the energy investment of extraction and transportation. Similarly, its durability means that energy investment may only be required once in a hundred years.