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Schenectady Roofing: Article About Slate Roofing

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There are few roofing materials that can match the beauty or the timelessness of natural slate, but before having a slate roof installed, it is essential to understand the special techniques and care that will be needed in order to get a perfect roof. Hiring a GAF certified Schenectady roofing professional can help ensure that the work is done correctly and that the roofer will stand behind their work. To gain a basic understanding, read about some of the most common problems associated with slate roof installations below.

Slate is a natural product that is found throughout the world, but keep in mind that not all slate is created equal. The best slate for roofing generally comes from North America, though Spain and Great Britain provide some good slate as well. Careful research and a knowledgeable contractor can help property owners ensure that they are getting the best quality slate for their money.

Even the best slate, though, will not last if it is installed incorrectly. Slate installers must undergo specialized training so that they do not damage the tiles as they are placed on the roof. A very common error that untrained roofers make is either under or over nailing the tile. Either condition can cause the slate to crack and potentially let water in. A well installed slate roof should not leak. Not leaving enough head lap is also a common error.

The expert roofers at Ideal Construction of Schenectady can answer any questions you have regarding insurance claims or windows.

Slates should overlap a minimum of three inches on most roof slopes, but on some, two inches is acceptable.

Some contractors may suggest heavy duty underlayment, but no underlayment is needed for a true slate roof installation. It is OK if there is an underlayment already present, but there is really no need to add one if there is not. It is necessary to have a reinforced, solid decking material, however. Most roofers recommend decking wood be yellow pine, which is both strong and durable. Slate can last over a hundred years, so the decking must be able to hold up that long as well.

It is also important that slate not be walked on either during installation or afterward. Slate tiles that are walked on may develop hairline cracks that may not show up for years. Qualified slate installers have the equipment and installation techniques to allow slate tiles to be installed without putting weight on them.

Like any roof, a slate roof needs to be inspected at least annually and after major storms. Most roofing professionals will provide this service on a contractual basis for a reasonable fee. Using common sense and doing the research ahead of time will ensure that a slate roof will retain its beauty for many, many years.

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