roofing contractor norfolk va

3 Natural Slate Questions Answered: What, How and Why?

natural slate roof questions: What How & Why

Choosing the correct type of roofing material to place on your home is a big decision. You have to make your choice based on factors like appearance, budget, and longevity. There are many types of roofing materials available in the market today, and rather than going with the option you currently have, you might want to consider a unique, longer-lasting roofing material: slate.

Natural slate is a unique roofing material that is often overlooked because most homeowners are unfamiliar with its capabilities and benefits. Slate has been used on everything from homes to cathedrals to castles for many centuries. This timeless material still demands respect as the most desirable roofing product in today’s modern world. 

Here is an all-encompassing rundown of natural slate roofing.

What is Natural Slate Roofing?

Natural slate roofing is made of metamorphic rocks and represents one of the earliest roofing 

materials. Slate is a 100% natural, fine-grained metamorphic rock comprised of minerals like quartz, chlorite, hematite, muscovite, and plagioclase. 


Slate typically develops as shale through the slow geologic process of metamorphism. Over time, fine clay accumulates deep in the earth’s crust and is compressed by heat and the weight of the planet, solidifying to form a layered rock. 


The different stages of compression form layers that allow slate to be sawn or split into shingles and tiles of different thicknesses. The thick, dense material is harvested in large slabs and then sawn along the layers until the desired dimensions are reached. 


Slate roofing shingles come in a wide range of colors, depending on the mineral composition and size of mineral grains contained in each piece. Some have more chlorite, which produces green highlights, while hematite gives the shingles a purple hue. Carbon gives the slate its grayish-blue color.

How is Natural Slate Beneficial?

Here are some of the benefits of natural slate as a roofing material:

  • Longevity

Durability and longevity are two areas that favor slate roofing. As a natural stone product, slate outperforms other roofing materials. 

As long as slate is installed correctly and there’s no significant impact damage to your roof, you can expect your slate roof to last for at least 75 years. This roof can even last for a century! For the sake of comparison, you’d have to replace an asphalt roof about six times during the same period.

  • Natural Insulator

Slate has excellent insulation properties. Because of its relative hardness and density, it’s nearly impossible for warm or cool air to get through a slate roof. This will help keep your home more comfortable in all seasons and also reduce your electric bill.

  • Performance and Safety

Slate is waterproof. This means that as long as it is installed and maintained correctly, moisture cannot penetrate. Also, slate performs better in terms of wind resistance than most roofing materials. If your home is in a hurricane-prone area, it will fare better with a slate roof.


Natural slate is one of the few materials out there that are inflammable and non-conductive. It protects a home from fires caused by embers or sparks landing on the roof. It also delivers sure protection from electrical hazards and lightning threats.

As a stone, slate is also impervious to insects such as carpenter ants and termites. 

  • Distinct Visual Beauty

One of the primary reasons homeowners are drawn to slate is the natural aesthetic factor. The look, color, and texture of the natural stone are things that modern materials cannot fully duplicate. While many asphalt shingles try to mimic the look of slate, there is no substitute for the real deal. 


The unique look and texture of natural stone will provide elements of beauty and charm to your home. Slate is offered in many colors, including gray, black, red, green, orange, or even purple. The material can also be dyed to produce nearly any color or pattern you want. 

Why Natural Slate Might Be a Good Choice for a Roof?

A natural slate roof is sometimes referred to as a “forever roof.” If you plan to be in the house for at least 30 years, natural slate may be the right roofing for you since the cost will amortize over that time period. 


A natural slate roof makes an elegant and timeless architectural design statement and increases the resale value of your home. What’s more, the roof will help keep you warm in the wintertime and cool in the summertime. 

Hire an Expert Roofing Contractor to Install Your Slate Roof

Because slate is not a popular roofing material these days, there are fewer contractors that know how to properly install the material. But this shouldn’t deter you from considering slate, as long as you’re able to find a roofing contractor with experience installing slate roofs. 

If you’re in Norfolk, VA, the name you can trust when it comes to putting on a natural slate roof is Stevens Roofing. We have the tools, skills, and experience needed to provide high-quality slate roofing repairs and installation. Our services are based on advising, honesty, and unparalleled workmanship. Contact us today to learn more about slate roofing.

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roofing company norfolk va