roofing contractor norfolk va

Behind The Scenes Of Slate Roof Cost And Maintenance

If you’re lucky enough to have a slate roof on your home, you know its unique beauty is unmatched by other roofing materials. There’s plenty of reasons many historic homes and buildings have these roofs. Getting a historic slate roof restoration and maintenance means you will preserve the look of your home and function of your roof for years to come.

How Much Does Slate Roof Restoration Cost?

As with other roofing materials, there are certain factors which will always affect the cost of your slate roof restoration. The biggest factors are the size and pitch of your roof, how high your house is, the complexity of roof design, and the type of shingles. It’s probably obvious a larger roof requires more materials and labor than a smaller one. Here’s how the other factors affect the cost of your project.

Roof Pitch

Pitch refers to the steepness of your roof. The number indicates how many inches the roof rises for every foot of depth. A number like 4/12 would indicate the roof isn’t very steep, while a number like 12/12 or even higher, would indicate an extremely steep roof. As the pitch of the roof increases, additional safety measures are required, installation workflows can change, and working on the roof becomes much more difficult. Many historic buildings with slate roofs have steeper pitches as part of the overall aesthetic appeal of the building design.

Height of the Building and Roof Design

Although getting on the roof is never really easy and requires care, getting people and materials up to the roof level on a two or even three-story home is considerably more difficult.

In many historic homes, the roof design wasn’t strictly functional, it was part of the overall aesthetic. If the design of your roof is complex with lots of peaks, valleys, dormers, or multiple chimneys, it will take more time to get everything installed correctly.

Cost vs. Other Roofing Materials

Slates are much more expensive than asphalt shingles you’re used to seeing on a roof. They’re even more expensive than other traditional materials like wood or metal. They’re manufactured individually from natural stone, and with proper maintenance, will last generations. That’s five or even ten times longer than asphalt shingles. Because they’re stone, the installation process is very different from other roofing materials too. You’ll need a very knowledgeable contractor with lots of experience in historic slate roof restoration to get the job done right.

Other Factors Influencing the Price

Your roofing professional will also consider the current condition of your roof. Do you need a repair or a tear-off? Is there water damage underneath? If so, your estimate needs to include replacing any damaged wood which could compromise the structural integrity of your roof. Slate roofing is heavy and requires a strong support system underneath so correcting water damage is a must.  

The right roofing company will provide a complete estimate specifying what needs to be done to your home and what’s included in the estimate. They’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have. Your roof is such an important part of your home, so you don’t want to take chances with any company trying to hide information from you.

Slate Roof Maintenance

Slate roof maintenance is different than maintenance for other materials since any repairs will need to be done differently. But the basic steps you’ll take as a homeowner are similar. You’ll need to get your slate roof periodically inspected. Spring and fall are good times to have inspections done. In the fall, you can catch small problems before winter storms make them worse and in the spring the weather is getting better, making it somewhat less difficult to inspect the roof.

Some of the issues your contractor will look for are damaged flashing, missing, damaged, or deteriorating fasteners, storm damage, evidence of moisture problems, and cracked or missing slates. Your roofer can then perform any necessary repairs.  

Gutter cleaning is also a big part of roof maintenance. Making sure water can flow away from your roof and building is key to preventing water damage. When gutters are blocked, they will eventually fill up and overflow, allowing water to penetrate the structure.

Regularly having a qualified professional look at your roof is even more important for historic structures. When your contractor knows the installation methods used, the repair history, and other things specific to your roof, they’ll be able to make sure you get the best possible service.

At Stevens Roofing, we take our historical roof restorations in Norfolk, Virginia very seriously and are committed to helping you preserve the look and function of your slate roof for years to come. Contact us today for an estimate!

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