Choosing a roofing material for your upcoming roof replacement is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make during the entire process. While most homeowners choose asphalt or metal, there are premium roof systems that make your roof really stand out. 

One of the premium roof systems is a slate roof. But what do you really know about a slate roof?

Maybe you’ve done some research, or maybe you don’t know anything at all. Either way, we’re going to give you all the information you’ll need about slate roofing in one place so you can decide if it’s the right roof for you. 

Since 1990, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided high-quality roofing services on all roof types (including slate) in Nashville and surrounding areas. You can count on our expertise and workmanship to maximize your slate roof investment. After your new roof is installed, we’re proud to provide you with a lifetime warranty on our workmanship

By the end of this article, you’ll learn the pros and cons of a slate roof, so you’re able to determine if it’s the right roofing material for you. 

The pros of a slate roof

Knowing what you get out of your roof investment is crucial in the decision-making process. Below are the pros of getting a new slate roof. 

Slate roofs are long-lasting 

The biggest pro for a slate roof is that it’s one of the longest-lasting roofs on the market. 

As long as a slate roof is installed and flashed properly, it’ll be the last roof you ever put on your home. We even like to say your grandkids won’t have to worry about it. 

It’s hard to put an exact number on the lifespan, but there’s no reason a slate roof shouldn’t live 50 years or even close to 100. But some things can cause your slate roof not to reach its lifespan. 

To learn what impacts the life of a slate roof, check out this article on how long does a slate roof last? (& 3 things that impact the lifespan)

The curb appeal you get from a slate roof 

If you ask most homeowners what their dream roof would be, you’ll find most would say a slate roof. This is because slate roofs are beautiful and eye-catching from every angle. 

the curb appeal of a slate roof

Because of its aesthetics, shingle manufacturers even make asphalt shingles to mimic the look of a slate roof. Not only does it look great, but a slate roof also raises your home’s curb.

When trying to sell your home, the first thing prospective buyers will notice is the roof. Other roofing materials make great-looking roofs, but most don’t stand out the way a slate roof does. 

The cons of a slate roof

Now you know what you get out of your slate roof investment. But there are some things you need to consider when deciding if a slate roof is right for your upcoming roof replacement.  

Slate roof tiles are very fragile

A slate roof is a premium roof system made primarily out of natural slate tiles and other slate roofing materials. The slate itself is mined (mostly in Italy) and cut into square tiles that are installed on your roof one at a time. 

When getting a slate roof, every single individual slate tile must be handled carefully during the entire process because of how fragile they are. This is even true after your slate roof is installed. 

After your slate roof is installed, no one should be walking on it unless they know how to maneuver around without breaking one of the tiles. If someone walks on your slate tiles and breaks them, it’s going to lead to a leak, and it won’t be easy (or cheap) to replace them. 

It takes a really skilled roofer or someone that’s been trained properly to handle and install the slate tiles. Because of this, it’s crucial to hire a local roofing contractor that has experience installing slate roofs. 

Your home has to be able to hold the weight of your new slate roof

Slate roofs are incredibly heavy. Most homeowners don’t know this, but a house actually has to be built or framed to carry the weight of the slate tiles. 

This ensures the walls of your home won’t fall out and that your roof won’t cave in. If your home can’t withstand the weight of the slate the way it is, you’ll have to retrofit it so it can hold the weight. 

Retrofitting has to be approved by a structural engineer, and it must be done before the roof can even be installed. If you have to do retrofitting or new framing, it’s really going to add to the cost of your new slate roof. 

If you’re interested in a slate roof, it’s crucial to ask your roofing contractor about the weight factor and how retrofitting your home to handle the weight impacts the final price of a slate roof.

Slate roofs don’t come with a material warranty 

When you invest in a new roof, you’ll have two warranties. You’ll have one on the contractor’s workmanship and one from the manufacturer on your roofing materials.

Remember, slate tiles are naturally made. Since it’s a naturally mined roofing material, there’s no manufacturer warranty on the slate tiles or the roof. 

If there ever is a problem with your slate roof, you’ll only be able to rely on your roofing contractor’s workmanship warranty. Because of this, it’s crucial to hire a high-quality local roofing contractor that stands behind their work. 

A contractor’s workmanship warranty can be anywhere from a tail light warranty (as soon as you see their company truck’s tail lights disappear, your warranty is gone), to a two-year, five-year, 10-year, or even a lifetime warranty. 

To get the best slate roof possible, you should always look for a contractor that offers you a lifetime warranty. To learn more about roof warranties, read this article on what roof warranties cover.

Slate roofs are expensive

Remember, one of the pros of a slate roof is that it’s one of the longest-lasting on the market. But it’s also one of the most expensive types of roofing materials. 

You can actually expect to pay at least 4 times more for a slate roof than you would for an asphalt roof. If you’re looking for affordability, a slate roof is probably not the right type for you. 

But if you’re looking for a beautiful roof that’ll last and you can handle the cost, it’s going to be the last roof you ever install. To go more in-depth about the budget you’ll need for a new slate roof, check out this article on how much a slate roof costs (& the factors that impact the price)

Ready to find a great roofing contractor for your new slate roof?

Now that you know the pros and cons of a slate roof, you’re able to determine if slate is the right roofing material for you. If you don’t think it’s the right one for you, take this free 4 question Roof Type Quiz, so you’re able to find the right roofing material for your replacement. 

On the other hand, if a slate roof is right for you, you’re ready to find a roofing company. You already know you need to hire one that has experience installing slate roofs. 

But there’s still more you need to look for in a roofing contractor for your new slate roof. The best way to spot a great roofing contractor is by asking the right questions and getting the right answers back. 

Because we want you to find a great roofing company in your area, we’re going to give you the top 8 questions that every homeowner needs to ask potential contractors.

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has repaired, replaced, installed, and maintained all roof types in the Nashville area. We pride ourselves on giving you and other homeowners a rare experience in the industry based on advising, honesty, and high-quality workmanship. If you’re local to Nashville, don’t hesitate to contact us for any of your roofing needs. 

To spot a great roofing company out of all the options in your area, check out this article on the Top 8 Questions To Ask A Roofing Contractor.

which roofing material is right for you