Things to Consider When Replacing Roofing Slates
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Published by TOP4 Team
Slates vary in size, shape and thickness. When new ones are fitted to a roof they must be the same as the existing slates to ensure that the roof is watertight. If the exact size required is not available buy the nearest larger size but the same thickness and cut them to fit .
It may be difficult to match colours accurately when replacing only a few slates. If the must have a matching slate, and one is not available, remove a slate from an inconspicuous part of the roof for the repair and replace it with the used one.
Roofing slates are not widely used because of the high cost; however, they are still common on older homes. Some slates were made in Australia, but many have been imported from overseas localities such as Wales.
Slate roofs suffer from two main problems. Firstly, slates become loose and slip down the roof. This occurs because they are only held in place with nails which, over many years, have rusted. Some slates are only held in place by others pressing down on them. For this reason climbing a slate roof can be extremely hazardous.
The second problem is that some slates weather and need to be replaced because of ‘ rotting away ’ or breakage.
As slates have an overlap of at least 2.5 times, they are not easy to lift, so replacement is done with a handmade clips which hold individual tiles in place. A strip of galvanized iron or lead is fixed up and over the next rafter and nailed into place with the nail with the tail bent over the bottom until it is flush with the face of the tile holding it in place. It cannot slip sideways because of the neighbouring tiles.
If whole sections need fixing, then reslating all of the roof is worth considering, with the slates that are not damaged being put aside for future use.