Roof slates have been around for a very long time. Some older colonial homes and churches still have their original slates. They are more expensive than your regular asphalt shingles, but are still highly sought after for extravagant homes, churches, country clubs and other upscale places.
Slates are far more durable than asphalt shingles. They have a fairly long life span and require very little maintenance. Roof slates are virtually invincible to rot and insects, which are some common problems associated with regular shingles. The slates are fire resistant and can even withstand harsh weather conditions. Although they are quite pricey they are well worth the investment.
They offer a more natural and customized look and also come in a variety of sizes and colors like asphalt shingles. Although these slates are durable, they definitely have to be handled with care. They are sometimes heavy and will crack if too much pressure is applied to them or they are not handled with care. For this very reason, slate roofing should be installed and repaired by a professional who has worked with slates before. Slate tiles can be difficult and costly to repair or replace, so care should be taken at all times.
The slightest amount of pressure can damage slates and cost someone a great deal of money to restore. It may not be a good idea for one to attempt to repair or install roofing slates without having the knowledge and expertise of doing so. However, it is possible to repair the roofing without spending money for a specialist. Installing or repairing may be labor intensive, but you can do it yourself.
Locate and Remove Damaged Slates
Find any damaged slates on your roof. Cut the nails that hold the slates in position by putting a nail ripper under the slate and on the long end of the nail. Hammer the ripper until the nail is cut and repeat as necessary. You can also use a hacksaw to cut the nail.
Cut the New Slates to Replace the Old Slates
Mark a line on the back of the slates to guide you on where to cut. Using a hammer and nail, punch holes along the line of the slate tiles. Hold the slate at the punched line, even with a scrap board and lightly hit the slate with the hammer to knock off the excess tile. As mentioned earlier, slate is fragile so handle with care.
Install a Hook and Insert New Roof Slates
Hammer a hook between the roof slates to hold them in place. Make sure there is enough room for the new slate, insert it in the place of the old one and hook the lower edge into the hook.