Warranty for a New Slate Roof

A particularly loaded question slate roofers get asked is, how long will the slate roof last, or, what is the warranty period?

One reason this is such a loaded question is the diversity among the slate roofers you would pose the question to. We of course can only answer that question for ourselves and not the other roofers. The short answer is we have a 50 year installation warranty. If you choose our highest grade Del Carmen slate tiles, the warranty is 100 years!

A slate roof should last you in excess of 150 years.

That’s the good news. It won’t surprise you that our statement about good news means we also have bad news. We’ve seen slate roofs fail in as little as 3-4 years. Not the ones we do, but unfortunately, anyone hiring a slate roofer can get burned if they take a warranty at face value.

We would never make an erroneous claim that a fair market price guarantees anything in choosing a slate roofer, but it is most definitely true that a low price is a major red flag and you are pretty much guaranteed to be buying a nightmare. Low price accompanies getting burned a whole lot more than often than not.

The roofing trade is high up the scale of industries prone to be populated by shady participants. It’s amazing how often and seemingly easily they find someone to rip off. The reason we call that amazing is that it’s fairly easy, and intuitive, to identify a qualified roofer.

Here are a few basic rules:

  • Length of time in business – One of the leading traits of a scammer is here today, gone tomorrow. Hiring someone without a demonstrated business history is a huge risk. For the record, Abardeen has been doing slate roofs since 1980.
  • Experience – Slate roofing takes years to master so experience is a must. Any company that hires slate roofers as a “summer job” should be avoided. This is a good place to mention most of our slate roofers exceed 10 years in their experience.
  • Specialize in slate roofing – Slate roofing is not something to “dabble” in and good slate roofers don’t dabble, they love what they do. If you don’t love it, you won’t want to do it. If slate roofing is a menu item on the list of services, you’ll do well to look elsewhere.
  • Reputation – A good reputation can’t be easily faked. The late former US President, Ronald Reagan, made the famous statement, “Trust but verify.” That’s good advice.
  • How the scaffolding is supplied – A serious slate roofer should own their own scaffolding. If the roofer needs to rent scaffolding, that signals a lack of business strength and opens you up to a couple of primary problems and risks. First, if they don’t complete the roofing on schedule, the rental prices escalate fast. You’ll pick up the tab. Second, renting the scaffolding naturally leads to taking shortcuts to reduce rental costs instead of taking the time to complete your slate roofing properly.

If you take this short list of intuitive steps to evaluate a slate roofer prior to hiring them, you can be confident any warranty they provide will be more than a worthless sheet of paper.

The Slate Roofing On Your New Building Project

If you’re the builder or the owner of a new building (or new home building) project, you realize how interdependent all of the contractors are on each other to keep everything on schedule. That would especially apply to having a new slate roof put on. Many of the contractors can’t complete their part of the project until that new roof is finished.

Here’s a brief overview of items you should consider when hiring a slate roofing contractor:

  • Experience – Slate roofing requires years of experience and practice under the apprenticeship of a master slater to truly acquire the skill needed.
  • Reputation – As already pointed out, contractors depend on each other to complete a project on schedule. You want to be sure your slate roofer has a reputation respected by other contractors.
  • Safety – Not only is the safety of workers on the roof paramount, extra precautions need to be taken to insure the safety of everyone working below them. If the roofing quote is temptingly low, safety shortcuts are almost certainly being taken because you may not think to question this in advance.
  • Framing – Be sure the carpenter or framer has been provided with the proper specifications for the slate roofing being installed. Having an experienced slate roofing contractor involved in the early stages of your building project is highly advisable.

A new construction project should be exciting for you. Having something as beautiful and enduring as a slate roof should add to the excitement. Look around some of the Melbourne neighborhoods at other “new” projects and you’ll see not everyone gets exciting results. That’s sad but it doesn’t have to be that way. These few simple guidelines will help you remain excited even decades from now.