Slate Roof Woes: Signs Of Wear That Homeowners Should Never Ignore

Unlike most other roofing materials, slate roofing tiles are often capable of spanning an entire century or more. But this long lifespan can come with a price, especially if it lulls homeowners into believing their slate roof is impervious to wear from aging or damage from the elements. In fact, much like other types of roofing, slate tiles should be inspected periodically to ensure that they remain in good repair and are not allowing moisture to penetrate the home. If you own a home with a slate roof and would like to learn to recognize some of the signs that could indicate a potential problem, the following information will help.

Ancient or Poorly Made Repairs

The extensive lifespan of a slate roof means that your home may still be covered by the original roof that was installed when the home was built, even if the home is several decades old. Previous owners may have had repairs made to the roof during their ownership that may now need to be redone or corrected.

These repairs are sometimes visible as patches of roofing tar around vent pipes, chimneys, seams or where flashing is visible on the roof.  Even if no leaks are found inside the home from these aging repairs, homeowners should consider removing the old patchwork and having a more permanent repair made to avoid future leaks in these areas.

Cracked, Broken or Missing Tiles

When slate tiles are cracked, broken or missing, the underlying sheathing of the roof becomes subject to leaks and damage from insects and the elements. Left unrepaired, this type of damage can even create weak spots that can allow heavy tile roofing to sag and eventually collapse.

Since walking on a slate roof can damage it, homeowners can use their smartphone cameras to safely take photos of these areas from the ground or from a window in an upper story and then enlarge the photos on their computers to get a clear view of the damage. If cracked, broken or missing tiles are noted, they should be professionally repaired or replaced as soon as possible, to minimize further damage to the roof. 

Delamination of the Slate Tiles

Another often overlooked sign that a slate roof is becoming worn and subject to leaks and other issues is when the tiles show signs of softening, crumbling or peeling, a condition often referred to as delamination. When this occurs, entire tiles or groups of tiles can be subject to failure and will need to evaluated by a slate tile roof repair expert to see how extensive the damage is and whether the roof can be repaired or must be considered for replacement.

To learn more, contact a company like Legacy Restoration & Construction LLC