6 Slate Roof Problems and a Better Alternative

There are countless roofing options available on the market. Regardless of a homeowner's style, there is something out there that will fit the look they desire for their home. However, not all roofing options are made equal, and each offers distinct advantages and disadvantages that are important to keep in mind. Because of this, it is vital to do research and know the best options before you buy.

Slate tile roofing is one roofing option that many choose for various reasons. Here is why slate roofing is popular as well as some slate shingles problems to keep in mind, before committing to this roofing option.

Why Do People Choose Slate Roofing?

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Slate roofing has proven popular for many different reasons. For one, slate is a beautiful product that has a distinct look, unlike options such as asphalt or composite tiles. Slate roofing tiles are available in different sizes, thicknesses, and even colors.

These roofs have a long lifespan and were a popular choice for many years for that reason. Once a slate roof is in place, it will last decades before it needs replacing, which makes them an environmentally friendly option as well. Their long lifespan is due to their durability⁠—they can handle cases of extreme weather with relative ease and are also fire resistant.

Slate Roof Problems

While there are benefits to slate tile roofing, it is, again, not without its issues. Here are the most notable slate shingles problems to be aware of before you make your final decision.

1. Slate Tiles Are Heavy

One of the most significant issues with  slate tiles is their weight. Unlike other roofing options, slate comes with a significant extra weight that homeowners need to account for. These roofs can weigh on average 800 pounds per square foot, so it is critical to know a home's framing can handle all of that extra weight. If a home is not structurally sound enough to handle that weight, the house can bow and even collapse under the pressure.

2. Difficult and Long Installation 

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While a slate roof is easy to maintain once it is installed, the actual installation is time-consuming and difficult. Part of what makes installation an issue is the fact that slate tiles are not readily available like other roofing options. It can take anywhere from one to three months just for materials to arrive to the job site. From there, for the average-sized home, the actual installation can take around three months to complete when you choose a professional to do the job.

As mentioned before, if the home needs additional structural support, that can make installation more difficult and time-consuming as well.

3. Replacing Difficulties

Another of the many problems with slate roofing is that it is not just difficult to install, but also to repair. This is because it is incredibly challenging to find new tiles that are exact matches to your existing roofing. Since it is a natural product with a wide range of colors, thicknesses, and sizes available, not all tiles are the same. Because of this, if you ever find yourself needing to replace a slate tile, the replacement may stand out from the rest and ruin the previous aesthetic.

4. Fragile Product

In some ways, slate tiles are a very conflicting roofing option. While they are considered durable against fire and various forms of extreme weather, they are still a relatively fragile material. If work on the roof is ever necessary, it will require the utmost care. If stepped on the wrong way, slate roofing tiles can break fairly easily. Because of this, it is critical to hire professionals that truly understand slate tiles and how to handle them.

5. Difficult to Find Installers

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There is no denying that installing a slate roof is a job that requires a professional slate roof installer. Between the fragility of the product and the difficulty of installation, you want to be sure it is done right. However, the problem with that is that few professional installers have good knowledge of slate tiles.

This is a critical detail, because if slate tiles are installed the wrong way, it can lead to countless roofing issues in the future. It also means you will end up spending more on repairs over time, as the damage is more likely to occur and to be more serious.

6. High Costs

Going hand-in-hand with the other slate shingles problems is the cost. By itself, slate roofing can cost up to five times more than other kinds of roofing per square foot. But, that does not take into account the cost of hiring a professional slate installer or even adding extra structural support so the home can handle all the excess weight. All of this adds up to make slate roofing a costly investment.

Furthermore, if your slate roofing suffers any damage and requires repairs or tile replacement, that is an additional potential cost to take into account.

Slate Roofing Alternative

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While slate roofing has its benefits, it can also create problems, as we’ve seen, which take away from the appeal. For a better alternative, consider synthetic roofing shingles.

These shingles are made from materials like polyurethane, which is extremely strong and durable. One brand to look into for this is CeDUR roofing shakes. These roofing shake shingles are molded after real wood shakes but are coated with a special paint that won't chip or crack. In addition, the shingles themselves are very durable⁠—they offer the highest Impact and Fire ratings on the market. This means they won't crack, warp, or break, even when exposed to extreme conditions.

Beyond that, CeDUR shingles are much easier to install than slate tiles and are also incredibly lightweight, weighing around 170 pounds per square foot. Because of this, they will not require any additional structural support like slate roofing. Best of all, synthetic shingles are virtually maintenance-free.

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As beautiful as slate roofing may seem, it is not the perfect option and comes with countless problems. CeDUR's synthetic shake shingles are an equally durable option that has virtually no issues and is maintenance-free. They will last beyond the lifetime of the home without ever needing replacing. CeDUR's shingles are also environmentally and eco-friendly, adding to the benefits of choosing them compared to other roofing options.

See why CeDUR is a better alternative to slate roof tiles, request your free samples below.