How to Tell if You Need a New Slate Roof

Waiting until the obvious signs appear like ceiling stains, buckled walls, and chunks of wall and ceiling material falling would be the worst advice for detecting the need for a new roof. Visible damage means the things you don’t see have been a long time in the making and the “maturity” of that damage will cause deep wounds in your economic situation when you’re faced with fixing it.

Like pretty much anything else in life, early detection of the need for new slate is your best defense and least expensive option. If you suspect that your old slate may be getting tired, you can have a professional inspect it for you, but inspecting it yourself is an easy and viable option if you are able to access the underside inside the ceiling cavity.

Yes, it’s the underside of your slate tiles that tells the real story. Failing slate tiles will exhibit easily identifiable characteristics, including:

  • Delaminating, flaking, and peeling
  • White, powdery surface formation
  • Softness

Those visible signs are easy to see. You may even observe color variations that signal moisture penetration. The surest sign of leakage in the near future is softness. Good slate tiles will be firm and hard.

To check for softness, a standard screwdriver is an easy test. Apply a firm pressure as you drag a screwdriver across the underside of your slate roofing. If you can easily score the slate tile, you can be sure it’s time for new slate on your roof. It’s a good idea to perform this test in multiple locations.

There, if you thought that might be difficult, you can be pleasantly surprised. If your roof passes these simple tests, you have peace of mind on the structural integrity of your slate roof. If it doesn’t pass, some of the other information on this site and blog will help you find a reputable and experienced slate roofer.

Speak Your Mind