A Comparison of Traditional Slate and Synthetic Slate Roofs

Posted by Brett McCutcheon on Mar 8, 2021 3:29:15 PM

Slate Roof Comparisons

A new roof is a big investment and homeowners want to feel their roofing investment is worthwhile by seeing a beautiful and durable roof. Slate roofing can provide this. Slate roofs are among the most durable and long-lasting on the market and provide timeless beauty. Slate roofing has reemerged in popularity recently and is being considered by more homeowners as it complements any architectural style. Synthetic slate roofing has also been introduced as an alternative to real slate. Here we take a closer look at the advantages of both options that roofing contractors and their customers should know.

Advantages of Traditional Slate

Slate roofs are immediately recognizable for their timeless look and aesthetic appeal, and slate is available in a wide variety of natural colors and textures. With an expected lifetime of at least 100 years, slate roofing provides unparalleled durability and longevity when compared to more commonly used materials such as asphalt shingles. Slate is natural stone – therefore more durable than a man-made product. Slate is tried and true.

Additionally, when properly installed, your customers can spend less time worrying about maintenance, and more time enjoying their home. The durability of slate makes it essentially maintenance free because it is naturally waterproof, non-combustible, and impenetrable to fungus and mold. Of course, minimal wear and tear will occur, but slate’s overall durability makes it a marked improvement over other roofs which may need to be replaced every 10-20 years.

A home’s value also increases with a slate roof because of slate’s longevity, which is great news if your customers are thinking about selling their home in the future. For those who are conscious of the environment, slate’s long life greatly reduces the amount of roofing waste in landfills.

Exploring Synthetic Slate

Now you are probably asking: “With an advantage in durability and longevity, and a more aesthetically pleasing look, why wouldn’t a customer want to explore slate roofing?” Well, as you have probably already guessed, the answer is cost. Synthetic slate roofing is less expensive than traditional slate.

Additionally, while traditional slate’s durability can withstand harsh weather elements, slate cannot support the weight of a person walking on the tiles, making installation a job for slate roofing experts. This contributes to keeping roofing installation costs down because you do not need to rely on the specialized tools or training required for traditional slate shingle installation. Each of these factors comes together to create a cost savings advantage for your project.

Synthetic slate is made from rubber and plastic, which can be walked on, making installation easier, and since rubber and plastic are recyclable materials, synthetic slate is considered to be a “green” building alternative.

Synthetic slate roofing can be an excellent alternative to traditional slate roofing and provides many benefits. However, be warned, synthetic slate products are relatively new to market so there is little reliable data on long-term durability. Since rubber and plastic are flexible, curling and cracking could occur with synthetic slate.

The Best Option

Choosing the best option truly depends on homeowners’ preferences. Consideration should be given to how long the homeowner intends to keep the house and if they want the resale value that comes along with traditional slate. Another consideration is maintenance and replacement. For a lifelong roof that won’t require replacing, traditional slate is the better option. If your customer has chosen a traditional slate roof, be sure you are knowledgeable about the installation process, and rely on the BECK Slate Hook System to make the job fast and safe.

Quality Tools by Trusted Brands

Construction company owners, builders, and installers alike know how difficult it can be to install a traditional slate roof. The BECK Group’s patent pending Slate Roofing Hooks, when paired with the pneumatic powered FASCO® (a member of the BECK Group) Slate Roof Nailer, make installing traditional slate shingles easier and more efficient than ever before. BECK Slate Roofing Hooks’ precise diamond point guarantees consistent driving capabilities, providing for beautiful consistency in each slate tile installation. Additionally, slate tile replacement is made quick and easy. Find out more by downloading the slate roof eGuide.

Download the Slate Roof eGuide: Proper Techniques for Installation

Topics: Slate Roofing


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