What is The Lifespan of a Slate Roof?

Lifespan of a Slate Roof

Among all our materialistic belongings, our home remains the most precious. While talking about a safe and secure home, everything remains incomplete without properly installed roofing. Your home’s roof protects you from adverse weather conditions like the summer sun, thunderous rain, snow and so on. When it comes to roofing, a slate roof shines as the best material option packed with durability and longevity. Nonetheless, there is always a hot debate on the lasting years of slate roofs.

The life of a slate roof varies from 75-100 years, and with regular maintenance and upkeep, you can expect it to last even more. Due to its long life cycle, it is often said that when you install slate roofs, your grandchildren don’t need to worry about the roof above them! When considering weather, fire, temperature, and water resistance, slate roofing is the perfect solution for your home.

Let’s dive in and shed a bright light on the number of years it can last.

Top Factors That Affect The Longevity of a Slate Roof

Several factors add to the longevity of your slate roof. Here are some of the crucial factors:

Quality of The Slate Chosen:

Quality materials contribute significantly toward the influence on the longevity of home roofing. Higher quality slate, sourced from reputable quarries, are more resistant to the external factors and can be longer lasting.

Quality of Installation:

Professional installation of slate roofs is extremely important. It requires an experienced eye to detect minute imperfections. Attention to details, like secure attachment of the roof, may extend the roof’s lifespan by a long run. Improper installation of the tiles may lead to compromised structural integrity. Slate is extremely durable but, if not handled properly, it can crack. It is extremely important to make sure that the tiles are properly secured and aligned, as slate is an extremely heavy material. Insecure attachment may lead to compromised structural integrity of your home and may even lead to the roof collapsing.

Maintenance on the Slate Roof:

To extend the longevity of a slate roof, regular maintenance is extremely important to help identify smaller areas of improvements and repair. Although the roof is the crown to our homes, it is easily the most neglected part. Often, we go long periods of time without repairing or taking care of the roof. This may lead to extensive damage of the roof without you even realizing. Regular checkups and repairs, like debris clean up and replacement of damaged slate tiles, can prevent premature damaging of slate roofs.


The weather in the USA is diverse and distinct. Some areas experience extreme heat while some experience extreme cold. Although slate is an extremely durable material, environmental factors may speed up the process of wear and tear. Quick variations in the weather like temperature fluctuations, extreme humidity, and sunshine may lead to degradation in the quality of the roof. The sun’s UV rays make the material brittle and crack, whereas constant rain or snow makes the moisture content high and may speed up the weathering process of the slate.

Also Read: Best Season To Replace Your Roof

Foot Traffic On Your Slate Tiles:

You might have heard the term “footfall” for events and parties. But what does it mean for our roof? We generally don’t walk on our roofs. But, over the years due to maintenance and other activities like cleaning, you might need to step on it. Although slate is extremely strong and resilient, too much foot traffic on your roof may make the tiles structurally weak, and create points that can fall through when experiencing extreme weather. To extend the lifespan of your slate roof, it is advised to reduce as much foot traffic as you can.

Structure of Your House And Roof:

As said previously, slate is an extremely heavy material. The shape of your house and the roof structure may or may not be suitable for installation of slate tiles. You need to contact a professional before committing to this kind of roofing project. Without proper guidance and structural integrity, the heaviness of your slate roof may make it fall through and collapse.

Why Install A Slate Roof?

Amongst the various options of materials, slate is a popular choice for an array of reasons. Slate is a natural stone material which is grayish in color. It occurs from the metamorphosis of fine grained sedimentary rocks composed of clay. It occurs in several areas of the UK, USA and Spain.

The following are the reasons why slate is the best choice for roofing:

  • Exceptional Durability: Slate in itself is extremely durable. A slate roof which has been taken care of, may last for centuries. It is often said that if you get a slate roof, your grandchildren don’t have to worry about the roof above their heads!
  • Fire Resistant: Being composed of clay, slate in itself is fire resistant. Amongst all the things it survives being exposed to, fire is also included. It adds a layer of peace to homeowners mind by providing safety and comfort to them and their loved ones.
  • Low Maintenance: Slate is one of the materials which requires low to absolutely no maintenance. It is resistant to not only extreme weather and fire but also is not affected much by water damage. Due to its insensitivity to almost all naturally degrading factors, it has a strong resistance against mold, rot and insects. It has a smooth surface which enables effective shedding of dust and debris on it.
  • Environmental Sustainability: With earth slowly being poisoned with pollution, it should be our first priority to switch to environment friendly alternatives. Slate, a natural material can be reused and recycled at the end of its life. Constant roof replacements cause harmful environmental impacts. Due to its long life, the need of replacing slate roofs decreases and hence reduces wastage.

What Can Be The Issues of Installing A Slate Roof?

Just like every candle casts a shadow, the installation of slate roof also has some its own downsides. Some of them are as follows:

  • Cost: Although slate roofs have an extremely long lifespan, it is extremely costly. The material in itself is extremely costly, and on top of that, it requires specialized installation. It may be a one time investment, but the cost may make it unsuitable for homeowners on a budget.
  • Weight: Slate, being a natural rock material is extremely heavy. Without proper structural support, it might lead to damage to your home.
  • Fragility: Slate is extremely durable in general. But, if manhandled during installation or maintenance, it might become prone to breakage or even crack.
  • Availability: High quality slate may be available in extremely specific areas. Sourcing them may lead to longer waiting time and larger transportation costs.
  • Installation Complexity: Slates can’t be installed as easily as other materials. They require extremely specific skills due to their weight and low availability. Not all contractors have that experience, potentially leading to compromised installation and reduced structural integrity.

Final Words

From fire safety to environmental sustainability, slate roofing material provides generations with peace-of-mind and protection. Although the initial investment is high, the benefits provided by slate roofs are unmatched. For installation of a slate roof, choosing an experienced and reputable contractor like Advantage Home Exteriors is a must.

With years of experience in installing slate roofs, we bring meticulous skill, attention to minute details, and the best craftsmanship you can ever imagine. Our team of outstanding professionals understands the common issues and complexities of working with slate, and will provide you with the best of results. Contact us today at info@advantagehomeexteriors.com