Longevity of Slate Roofs: Do They Really Last Long?

11 June 2020

Every detail of your home must undergo several pros and cons assessment before they make it to the final list. This is absolutely necessary especially in choosing your roofing material. One of the features that you must consider is its longevity and lifespan. This is because having a long-lasting roof will significantly reduce repair and replacement costs and it will add value to your home should you decide on a resale or renovation. One of the most common roofing material is slate. Below is an overview of the longevity of slate roofs. Read on to know if they really last long.

Slate Roofs Basics

Most homeowners would claim that slate is one of the longest-lasting roofing options available on today’s market. In fact, slate shingles can last as long as 200 years in favourable environments. One proof of such is the fact that many homes built in the late 19th and early 20th century still have their original slate roofing intact. However, you cannot put your confidence on older homes with slate as the roofing material without further considerations. You must first carefully assess the classification of your slate roofing.

Hard and Soft Slate

Before anything else, you must know the two basic types of slate roofing — hard slate and soft slate. Hard slate is one of the strongest types of roofing available regarding weather resilience and fire resistance. Since it is made up of hard stone, slate will not absorb water or become warped from exposure to moisture. Furthermore, slate will maintain its composition and durability for decades on end. Shingles composed of hard slate can last anywhere from 75 to 200 years.

On the other hand, soft slate, as the name implies, is the less durable of the two. Even though it is still a stone, its overall composition lacks the near-invincibility of hard slate. Consequently, shingles made of soft slate generally have a life expectancy of 50 to 125 years. Granted, soft slate still has the same weather-resistant and fireproof qualities of its harder counterpart.

Slate Roof Warranty

Although the terms of a roof warranty will often depend on the manufacturer, this is an overview of what it probably looks like. Some warranties will cover the roofing materials against defectiveness for several decades, yet only hold the contractor liable for a few years from the completion date of an installation. Certain manufacturers will guarantee their roofing materials for anywhere from 75 to 100 years.

However, not all warranty policies transfer from one homeowner to another. Some policies do transfer, but only once. Therefore, if a previous property owner installed a slate roof a decade ago, and now the current owner wants to sell, the next owner of the property will not be able to inherit the warranty.

Policies on roof warranties can also depend on local law. In any case, when you set your sights on a home with slate roofing, research the terms of the roof warranty and whether it will be transferable to you. If the shingles were installed poorly or the tiles become damaged due to severe weather, it is best to know in advance whether any roofing expenses will be covered.