Slate roofs are considered by many to have superior beauty compared to other materials Slate roofs enhance curb appeal because of their attractiveness. They also enhance a home’s market value because of both their aesthetic and durability
Slate roofs require very little maintenance. Slate can be recycled after its end-of-roof life
Slate is a heavy material, weighing 1500 lbs per 100 square feet. Extra framing support is necessary to support the load, which can mean added construction costs.
Slate tiles can have leaks pretty fast if they are improperly installed, which is why hiring an excellent contractor is crucial. Slate tiles, while being very durable, can break if they are being walked on. That is again, why a contractor who has experience with slate tile installations should be the one doing the job.
How The Use of Slate Roofs Began
Evidence shows that Romans Quarried slate, and they invaded the Brits in 43 AD for the first time and then reached Wales five years later for the first time. The Roman fort called Segontium, the largest and most important fort in the entire area, featured a slate roof. Slate became commonly used on roofs of military buildings in the centuries that followed. Calder Abbey in Cumbria, created in 1134, feature a roof made of slate as did Conwy Castle, the place that King Edward I had built between the years 1283 and 1289, for 10,000 pounds, which is over 8.5 million dollars in todays money. In the year 1445, 130,000 slates were ordered to be sent from the Isle of Bute to fix Dunbarton Castle.
For centuries, it was only the wealthiest institution that could pay for the commodity that was slate, due to the dangerous and onerous process of the slate having to be dug from the ground with tools and of course there were no large trucks to lug around the heavy material once it was successfully dug out. The best that could be used was a horse and a wagon.
The first use of slate that was documented for a private home wasn’t until 1300 in North Wales, and it would be a good bet to stake that the homeowner probably wasn’t the poorest person in the world, quite the opposite.
Technological Advances Slate has become easier to get as technology for quarrying has improved gradually over the course of time. Interestingly gunpowder was to blast slate repeatedly into chunks that were easier to be moved somewhere else and split into thinner pieces. While this was a much faster method of extraction, it of course was a very dangerous task for the workers involved. The 19th century was when slate usage really began to take off. In Spain, the place that to this day accounts for 90% of the slate used in all of Europe for roofing, developed techniques to make quarrying slate a more efficient process than ever before. For the first time, slate was affordable to regular, ordinary homeowners. The rapid industrialization of Britain, which was followed eventually by the other large powers of Europe, spiked a demand for slate, and also made it easier to transport than ever. The steam engine facilitated an easy way for slate to be moved around Britain far more effectively and as a result slate roofs became a common site throughout Victorian Britain. This is why in the United States, Victorian houses frequently feature slate roofs.