If you have a slate roof on your home, then you have one of the most durable and long-lasting roofing materials. Slate can last well over 100 years before it needs to be replaced. Some of the slate tiles are likely to break or crack well before you see widespread wear and tear though. These broken tiles should be replaced to retain the integrity of your roof. If you want to replace the tiles yourself, then keep reading to learn about some tips to help you with this.
Choose The Right Type Of Slate
Slate roofing materials come in a wide variety of colors and styles, and you must match the material properly to make a seamless repair. If your roof is a distinctive color, then this may be easy. If the tiles are a bright red color, then they are likely made out of New York red slate. Purple slate will be either Vermont modified purple or Vermont purple, and green varieties will be either Vermont green or Vermont sea green. The variation in the tone of the purple and green slate can help you figure out which variety you need.
If the slate is gray or black, then it may be a bit trickier to figure out which type of slate is on your roof. There are several different types of black and gray slate and it can be hard to tell them apart after years of fading. You should first try to figure out if the slate is soft or hard. Soft slate is more likely to crumble after years of wear, and hard slate will crack instead. Remove the damaged tile from your roof and inspect the edges. If you see whole piece of slate with distinctive cracks, then the material is likely a hard one. If you see crumbling edges or if the tile breaks into clumps and pieces when you place pressure on the tile with your hands, then the slate is likely soft. This means that the material is probably Pennsylvania black slate.
If you think the slate is a hard black or gray variety, then it may be peach bottom, Monson, or Buckingham slate. Take a piece of your slate to your local roofing expert so a distinctive identification can be made. Once the slate is identified, contact a slate quarry or a roofing specialist to order a new slate roofing tile. Keep in mind that you may need to identify the age of the roof when ordering slate. This will help to match the color properly, so try to come up with a rough estimate of age before you order your roofing materials.
Pick The Best Hanger
The easiest way to replace a slate roofing tile is by placing the new tile on a hanger. There are several different types of hangers that can be purchased. Steel and copper are the two most popular varieties. Copper hangers can be nailed through the seam or the tile that sits below the one that needs to be replaced. Once the tile is placed, the edge of the copper can be folded up and around the lip of the slate to secure it. Unfortunately, this type of repair is quite noticeable when it is completed, and the copper can easily bend out of place if snow and ice place pressure on the hanger.
To make sure that your repair remains intact, purchase a steel slate tile hanger instead. This type of hanger will have a great deal more strength than a copper one. The steel hanger will have a long and sharp end that can be secured in the seam underneath the replacement tile. To make sure the long end is placed correctly, gently place the hanger in the seam and set the slate tile on the hook so the bottom is flush with the nearby tiles. Adjust the hook so it supports the bottom of the tile. Remove the slate afterwards, hammer the hook end in the seam, and place the tile on the hook.
If you would like help with your roof repair, contact a company like A-1 Roofing & Siding for assistance.