If you ever see a house with a slate roof, chances are that it is really old. From the 1850’s to the 1920’s, slate roofs were commonly used by home builders in the US and the usual colors are black, purple, gray and red. One positive aspect of slate roofs are once they are set-up, they can survive for more than a century with minimal upkeep or none at all because slate is a sturdy material. However, it also has a propensity to crumble into thin layers of rock. It is durable, 100% fireproof and it does not soak up melted snow or rain water, rather it tends to slide from its slippery surface more freely. One negative characteristic of slate is that it adds extra weight on the house, so the structure should be good enough to hold the weight of the roof adequately. Another drawback of a slate roof is that it is expensive to buy, and if ever you have to hire a contractor to fix it, you should be ready to spend a lot of money.

Preparation for Repairs

If you are a person with the ability to do the work yourself, you can do several repairs on your slate roof. To begin with, the roof of your house is most likely very high, so you will require a helper, a very long ladder, a few scaffolding and a security harness. First, you have to climb up to the roof so you can appraise the damage. If you have to change one or more pieces of slate, you will need to find a company that sells pieces of rectangular slate. You will also require several galvanized roof nails and a slate remover.

Replacing Damaged Slate

To change a piece of cracked or broken slate, you will have to utilize the slate remover. You will then slide the hook under the grit you want to detach. Ensure the hook hitches the nail. Afterwards, hammer on the slate remover so as to take out the nail. As soon as the nails are detached from the piece of rock, it will freely slide out. You will then need to inspect the wood underneath to ensure it is firm. If the wood is damaged or rotted, you will have to change it. Ensure that the new wood matches the current wood and that you put a primer on the replacement first with an excellent quality product.

Lastly, place a new piece of slate into position and hammer a few galvanized roof nails on the replacement slate.

Once it is done, leave it for a few hours and check it every now and then to see if the nails are firmly hammered but don’t throw the old slates away as they can be utilized for other things like covering up an opening and none can do it better than roofrestorationperthwa.com.au.

Flashings that are Defective

Leaks due to faulty flashings are another typical dilemma with slate roofs. Old flashings were made from thin pieces of copper and tends to rust and form holes in it after several years.

If this sounds like your slate roof, then you will have to change the current copper flashing. Currently, you can purchase lead-coated copper flashing for additional weather resistance. Just take out the current flashing, measure it and cut the replacement piece, and then position the new cooper flashing into place with the use of galvanized roof nails.


In conclusion, repairing a slate roof can be a difficult project, but it is possible to complete with some help and some preparation. If you follow the steps listed above, your slate roof will remain in good shape and last for years to come.

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