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Atlanta Roofing: Article About Slate Roofs

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Slate roofs are some of the most beautiful and enduring roofs available for home builders. They can last over 100 years if they are properly installed and maintained. Though slate is by far the most costly roofing material, it is also the perfect roofing material for almost any style home. With proper installation and care, a slate roof can provide superior protection and many years of enjoyment. A certified Atlanta roofing contractor can help homeowners make the best selection and avoid common mistakes.

Slate roof installations require a knowledgeable and certified roofer that is specially trained to install slate tiles. There are many critical factors that home builders should consider before choosing to install a slate roof, including the overall pitch of the roof, the type of decking and underlayment, the type of slate chosen, the amount of headlap needed to ensure optimal weather protection and where the nail holes are placed in the tiles.

The first thing to consider is the slope of the roof where the tiles will be installed. A slate roof is not suitable for low-pitched roofs because water tends to sit on flatter surfaces and because of the tendency to walk on lower-pitched roofs. The minimal pitch required for a proper slate roof installation is 4:12, but 8:12 or greater is even better. Slate roofs should never be walked on. This requires installers to stage the roof so that they avoid the need to walk on it and use scaffolding or roof ladders.

The roof decking is the next factor to consider. Solid wood is ideal in thicknesses of 3/4 inch, 1 inch or 1 1/2 inches.

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Homebuilders should avoid laminates or any other decking products that are glued together. Yellow pine is a top choice. The decking has to last as long as the roof is predicted to endure, usually a century or more.

Not all slate is quarried equally. North American slate has a great reputation and comes in a variety of styles and colors. It is important to get both the correct size tile and the correct thickness of tile based on the dimensions and the pitch of the roof.

The amount of headlap is a critical factor and one that is often neglected or calculated incorrectly. Headlap is the overlap of the shingles that is required based on the pitch of the roof and the typical weather conditions to keep water away from the decking. Incorrectly calculated headlap will cause a slate roof to fail more readily than any other factor.

Nail holes are drilled into the slate by the slate manufacturer and must be placed properly to ensure that there are enough of them and that they are not too close to the center or the edges of the shingles. Properly placed nail holes are placed from 1 1/4 inches to 1 1/2 inches from the outer edge of the shingle.

A slate roof is a considerable investment, but it will provide years and years of enjoyment to the homeowners. A qualified slate roofer will be happy to work with builders to achieve a properly installed, beautiful slate roof.

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