Grand Rapids Roofing: Article About Slate Shingles
According to Grand Rapids roofing professionals, slate shingles are among some of the more popular roofing materials used in the United States today. Slate is a rock composed of clay or volcanic ash. During the 1870s, Europe experienced a slate boom, as slate tiles were manufactured for the first time. Since then, slate has been used as a building material for both public and private dwellings.
Slate shingles are a great option in roofing materials due to their many benefits, which include their durability and long lifespan. Slate is easy to stack and remains flat, making it an ideal material for shingles. It also retains a natural appearance and has a very low water absorption index, meaning that it virtually waterproof. Its properties, by extension, give it the ability to resist frost and breakages in response to freezing temperatures. For environmentally conscious homeowners, slate can be a good choice, as it requires minimal processing. Out of all the choices in roofing materials, it has the lowest embodied energy.
Slate is preferred by builders and homeowners due to its natural beauty and innate durability. Homeowners appreciate that slate requires little or no maintenance and that it is long lasting. In fact, in Europe, some slate roofs have been noted to have a lifespan of 80 to 100 years.
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Many slate manufacturers offer a 100 year warranty on their shingles. In addition to being fire resistant, natural slate shingles are also energy efficient, which can decrease the cost of a home's energy bills.
Slate shingles are used in conjunction with nails or hooks to hold them in place. Many slate suppliers recommend using hooks instead of nails because they can provide better support and weight distribution, eliminating areas of weakness on the roof. Hooks also allow narrow tiles to be used in certain roofing areas, such as domes or valleys. Hook fixing can be extremely beneficial in areas where the wind is an issue for homeowners because the lowest edge of the shingle is secured. A drawback to metal hooks, however, is that they are visible and can be an eyesore.
In addition to hooks or nails, slate roofing shingles are set on mortar and grouted at the seams. To improve their appearance and increase their durability, slate shingles are often coated in a chemical sealant. Homeowners with slate tiles should be aware that they are extremely slippery when wet, so extra caution should be used if the homeowner chooses to access his or her roof.