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Newport News Roofers: Article About Slate Roofs

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While a slate roof has the longest life expectancy out of all roofing materials, they do eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Although the average lifespan of slate roofing is around 100 years, there are actions that a homeowner can take to extend this even longer. With professional assistance from trustworthy Newport News roofers, property owners can enjoy many more years of a beautiful and functional rooftop.

The most important way to preserve the lifespan of a slate roof is to keep up to date with preventive maintenance. This includes cleaning out the gutters on a regular basis and repairing any loose fasteners or strips of flashing. Periodically, homeowners should go into the attic space and check the battens or rafters for signs of warping, splitting or cracking.

Another way to make a slate roof last as long as possible is to replace any old copper flashing strips or rusted fasteners. Leaving these on the roof creates weak spots that may allow the slate tiles to fall off or become exposed to water. This is especially important in the roof's valleys and around protrusions such as chimneys or pipe flues.

Property owners can also look into the source of the slate. Slate from certain areas of the country and particular quarries may last longer than slate that is sourced elsewhere.

roofers from Jayhawk Exteriors of Newport News VA would be happy to answer any questions you have about roofing or gutters.

If it is known that a certain source of slate typically lasts for less time, then homeowners should start to watch for problems and replace tiles or the whole roof as needed. If a new slate roof is being installed, some research should be done about the longevity of the material.

If one tile cracks or falls off, it should be replaced as quickly as possible, even if an exact match cannot be found. This is because a missing piece of tile can allow water to penetrate into the underlay, wooden decking and support structure. Overall, the rate of failure for individual tiles is low, with a typical rate of 50 failed tiles in 100 years. These figures describe a roof that may have more than 3,000 tiles, which amounts to less than a 0.5 percent failure rate. When a tile is replaced, it should be fastened with either a slate hook or the nail and bib method. They should not be affixed to the rooftop with straps or exposed nails, as this can cause even more problems. While working on the roof, contractors and homeowners should avoid walking on the tiles, as the weight of a person may cause tiles to crack.

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