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Learn about Slate Roof Tiles

Slate Roof Tiles

A long-traditional roofing method using stone tiles of natural slate laid in horizontal rows from the bottom edge of a roof upwards, with each new row overlapping the previous one.

Slate is a foliated, metamorphic rock formed in ancient riverbeds. It is easily split into thin slabs making it a usefull stone for chalkboards, pool tables, siding and flooring as well.

Slate tiles are heavy, so the structural support of the roof must be strong enough to carry them. Also, slate tiles work for medium to steep sloped roofs, not for low slope or flat roofs.

Be sure to select fasteners that will last as long as the roofing. Copper nails are commonly used because they do not react with water (rust free!). They do, however, react with the atmosphere and the exterior layer will oxidize to create a greenish black layer of copper-oxide that will protect the structural integrity of the nails.

A roofing material that lasts for centuries, and is repairable. Slate can be reused or returned to the earth when the building is deconstructed. Slate tiles are also fireproof, so they can protect a home from forest fires that may sweep through an area.

Slate tile is considered to have the lowest embodied energy of any long-lasting roofing material. Embodied energy is the energy needed to produce the product, which in the case of slate means quarrying the stone and splitting and shaping it into tiles.

However, try to source it locally to avoid accumulating embodied energy from shipping.