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Informed Buyer's Guide to Slate Roofs: Metal Slate versus Real Slate

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 by Paul Kazlov

Informed Buyer’s Guide to Slate Roofs: Metal Slate versus Real Slate

Whether for functional purposes or pure aesthetics, a renovation can be an exciting time. If a new roof is part of this year’s home maintenance, there are a lot of questions you’ll need to answer. For example, which roofing material is best for your particular home?

Consider Metal Slate Roofing over Real Slate

Although asphalt is the most popular roofing material due to its cheap price, it stains easily and doesn’t last as long as metal or slate. It’s also unhealthy for the environment. For these reasons, homeowners and construction companies are turning to metal and slate roofs for an upscale appearance and longer life.

A new style called metal-slate roofing is gradually becoming a staple in residential construction. It’s about one-third the cost of real slate, but it still provides a charming look.

There are four factors that most homeowners consider when choosing a roof material: budget, appearance, maintenance and durability. This article will examine these four qualities and how they relate to metal-slate and real-slate roofing.

Metal-Slate Roofing

Metal roofs are a growing trend among residential homes. They are attractive and sleek with a modern look. Metal-slate roofs imitate slate in color-pattern and shape, but they provide certain benefits that are unique to metal roofs. For example, they are energy efficient because the sun’s rays reflect away from the home, which reduces internal temperature and takes some of the burden off the air conditioner. As an added bonus, this lower energy bills, especially in warm, sunny climates.

Metal roofs require very little maintenance and seldom need repairs. Real slate can be fragile, especially cheaper, thinner slate. This increases the likelihood of weather damage.

Besides being a cheaper material, metal is easier to work with because it’s much lighter than slate. In fact, it’s not uncommon for slate roofs to weigh 40 to 100 tons!

Installing lightweight metal makes the job easier for roofers, which translates into lower installation cost. Also, you won’t need to invest in expensive roof support, which can save you thousands.

You can install metal on top of an existing roof. This eliminates the expense of removing and disposing of old roofing materials.

There are definitely some key benefits that metal-slate has over real slate, but consider these disadvantages:

• Metal roofs can dent, which can become an issue in places where hail is common.
• Rain can be loud on a metal roof, a noise that some homeowners might find annoying.


Real Slate

Slate offers a natural look that works well on older homes. Durable and versatile, slate roofs come in a range of colors and patterns. Different designs can last from 50 to 100 years, which is comparable to metal roofs.

But this look and durability comes at a cost. Thickness and grade are the two key considerations when working with slate. Thinner materials might be less expensive, but they may be more prone to cracking and slipping.

If you invest in a quality slate roof installed by a reputable construction company, you can greatly reduce the maintenance and repairs. This is important because repairs are difficult to cover on real-slate roofs, and poor installation can lead to delaminating and other problems.


Choosing the Right Material for Your Roof

Both metal-slate and real-slate roofs offer excellent fire protection and low maintenance. They are immune to rotting and destructive insects. Also, they don’t stain as easily as asphalt roofs.

Choosing between these materials, then, comes down to two factors: budget and appearance. If a slate roof is the perfect complement to your home, then don’t lose the chance to bring out its unique style. Find out if your home can support the weight and if you can afford installation.

If a sleek, modern look is more your style, a metal-slate roof might be the perfect fit. It’s cheaper to install, looks fantastic and can save you money on energy bills. Also, metal-slate roofs can last a lifetime with minimal maintenance.

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