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Jacksonville Roofing: Article About Caring For Slate Roofs

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Slate is one of the oldest and most durable roofing materials in the world. It has been used for centuries due to its aesthetics and longevity. Slate roofing is heavy and expensive to install, which often discourages homeowners form considering it. Once installed, however, a slate roof can last a lifetime and then some. This reputation for longevity, however, may lead some slate roof owners to neglect the important task of maintaining their investment. Since slate roofs require specially trained installers, it is always a good first step to call a Jacksonville roofing expert and have them come out and do an inspection. Regular inspections by trained professionals will help spot problems before they become serious.

Most slate roofing problems are not due to the slate itself. Natural stone slate can last much longer than the other roofing materials, and leaks around the flashing is the most common issue. Metal flashing degrades faster than stone, and even more durable materials, such as copper and stainless steel, will break down eventually. The first signs of roof degradation that most homeowners will see are leaks in the attic or even water stains on the ceiling.

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Another common problem slate roofs suffer from is cracked or loose tiles. One of the main causes of cracked tiles is untrained individuals walking or climbing on the roof itself. Slate is a hard material, but when uneven pressure is applied, it can easily fracture. The likelihood of a homeowner or untrained roofer damaging a slate roof is very high. Inspection and repair jobs are best left to the true professionals. Any money saved using DIY solutions is nothing compared to the cost of having to replace the entire roof.

The good news is most slate roofs can be repaired rather than replaced. It is feasible to repair a slate roof with up to 20 percent of the tiles in some state of failure. Beyond this point, it is usually a better decision economically to go with replacement. This is especially true on roofs where older slate is showing signs of powdering or delamination.

Maintaining these classic and long lasting roofs is a must, and anyone with a slate roof should have regular inspections done at least yearly by a trained professional. Attempting to inspect or repair a slate roof without years of experience and training is not only bad for the roof but dangerous for the individual as well.

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