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Made to Last: What You Should Know About Slate and Tile Roofing

Made to Last: What You Should Know About Slate and Tile Roofing

There are a number of factors to consider when looking for the best roofing material. For one, you want a roof that will last long and effectively protect your home. If you are after a roof that can provide superior durability and last practically a lifetime while adding to your home’s beauty, then you should consider slate and tile roofing.

Slate Roofing: The Roof From Nature

Slate roofing has a long and notable history, particularly because once installed, it can actually ‘witness’ history being made due to its long lifespan. For centuries, slate’s exceptional longevity and natural beauty have been unmatched, with no other roofing material coming close. As such, slate is known to be a high-end roofing product.


AESTHETIC FLEXIBILITY: Slate tiles can be customized, taking on any shape and size to complement a property.

Slate roofing is derived from slate, a fine-grained metamorphic rock composed mostly of clay and volcanic ash. It offers considerable advantages, including:

  • Timeless appearance – Many homeowners are drawn to slate roofing primarily because of its beauty. It has the ability to enhance the look of any home, particularly those traditional in style. Slate roof tiles also come in different sizes and thicknesses as well as a variety of colors, allowing for design flexibility. They can even be custom-made to meet specific design requirements.
  • Remarkable lifespan – When you install a slate roof, you can expect it to last at least a century, with properly installed and maintained systems reaching 150 years on the average. In fact, it’s not unheard of for slate roofing to outlast the home it’s on. This life expectancy is a huge advantage given that other roofing materials last for only 20 to 30 years. To support slate’s long service life, many manufacturers offer century-long warranties on their products.

  • Excellent fire resistance – Slate roofs are practically fire-proof. Because of their composition, they won’t catch fire or add fuel to a blaze, making them ideal for homes in area prone to wildfires.
  • Environment-friendliness- Waste from the roofing industry accounts for over 5%of the total waste that end up in landfills across the United States. Since slate roofs don’t need to be replaced every few decades or so, they help reduce the amount of waste. And when slate does need replacing, it can be recycled.
  • Outstanding durability and maintainability – Being derived from natural stone, slate roof tiles boast of incredible durability. They feature a dense design that makes them waterproof, preventing water and moisture absorption. Slate can also withstand extreme temperature changes, retaining its shape through heavy rain, snow, hail and wind. They are also unlikely to develop fungi and mold, and will remain looking and functioning great without extensive maintenance.


ROOFING DONE RIGHT: If you work only with a reputable roofer in your area, you will guarantee that you make the most of what tile roofing has to offer.

Installing a Slate Roof: What to Consider

To make the most of installing a slate roof, make sure you carefully consider the following:

  • Slate type – Before you get started, you need to study and decide what type of slate roof tiles you want for your home. There are different options, available to you. To help you in choosing, don’t hesitate to ask your trusted roofer for recommendations.
  • Slate thickness – The thicker the slate, the more durable it is. However, getting the thickest slate isn’t always necessarily the best move. Keep in mind that thick slate tiles are harder to cut and work with, and are naturally heavier. This may complicate installation, making it last longer and labor more expensive.
  • Proper installation – You need to remember that slate is essentially a stone that requires specialized installation tools and methods. You need to work with a roofer that has extensive experience and training in slate roofing installation to ensure the success of your roofing project.

Tile Roofing: The Next Best Thing

Although man-made, tile roofs can be as beautiful and durable as slate roofs. Typically made of clay or concrete, they are great for homes exposed to extremely hot weather and coastal air. And like slate, they also offer remarkable lifespans.

The main benefits of tile roofing include:

  • Longevity – Tile roofs can endure for decades, easily lasting between 35 to 50 years when installed and cared for right. Additionally, they can withstand high winds, hail and fire, typically coming with 50-year warranties from roofing manufacturers.


  • Aesthetic flexibility – Clay and concrete tile roofs come in a huge variety of styles and colors, making them suitable for a range of architectural styles, from traditional Spanish and Mediterranean to Contemporary European. You can even find clay tiles that resemble the look of traditional shingles and wood shakes.

  • Rot-resistance – Unlike wood, clay tiles are impervious to rot as well as insect damage.
  • Eco-friendliness – Aside from being made with sustainable resources, they can also be ground up and recycled to produce other products, such as pots or bricks when replaced,reducing waste in landfills.
  • Energy efficiency – They don’t look like it, but tile roofs are actually cool roofs. Their curved design optimizes air flow through the system, preventing heat from accumulating and being transferred into a home. This helps in maintaining ideal indoor conditions, keeping HVAC systems from working doubly hard and guzzling energy unnecessarily.



TIMELESS ELEGANCE: Tile roofs exude a timeless appeal of elegance that can work with most traditional architectural styles and even contemporary ones.

Installing a Tile Roof: What to Consider

Before you install a clay or cement tile roof, take the time to consider these factors first:

  • Material – It is important to get products that have been proven to work in your climate.
  • Underlayment – As tile roofs are designed to shed water, it won’t be surprising for some water to find its way under the tiles. This makes the installation of high-quality and proper underlayment very important.
  • Gutters and flashing -Tile roofs must be combined with a high-quality and efficient gutter and flashing systems to be able to perform its water shedding capabilities well and to take full advantage of its long service life.
  • Proper installation – Ultimately, tile roofing must be properly installed and securely attached to a roof deck to prevent wind uplift. As roof tiles can be heavy, it is necessary to have a trained and experienced roofer perform the installation, guaranteeing the right structural supports are in place.

If you’re after longevity and elegance, you can’t go wrong with slate and tile roofing. Yes, they can be more expensive than other roofing options, but the two have been proven to be worthy investments, especially when installed right by professional. Should you wish to learn more about slate and tile roofs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local roofing expert today.


Author Bio:

Chris Spacek is the son of Bud “Papa” Spacek, owner of West Side Roofing. He grew up loving the roofing industry and the way their company has made a difference in the lives of countless homeowners since the 1950s. Today, he fully manages West Side Roofing with his brother, Jamie, overseeing the residential side of the business. Check out the company blog for updates from Chris!



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