Jacksonville Roofing: Article About Choosing A Qualified Slate Installer
Slate roofs are beautiful, durable and expensive. Investing in one of these roofs is a big decision for any homeowner. Spending this much money on a roof raises expectations for the finished product, so finding the right Jacksonville roofing specialist to do the job is the most critical step. Knowledge and experience are key qualities to look for when vetting potential installers. Having a bit of basic knowledge will help homeowners weed out the less appealing candidates more easily.
Established slate roofing installers will have a portfolio of past work to show their skill. Homeowners should always ask to see some examples of previous work. This is doubly true when dealing with specialty roofing such as slate. Most reputable installers will even provide the addresses of past work, so potential clients can see for themselves how a finished job will look.
Another important thing to ask about is the sourcing of materials. Slate is natural stone but can still vary in quality significantly. Most North American slate producers make good products, but many foreign companies have broken into the market offering significantly cheaper tiles. Many of these cheaper options are not made from the same high quality stone as their more expensive counterparts. Problems common to cheap imported slate include rapid discoloration and high pyrite content.
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Lower quality slates can change color dramatically in just a few years, and pyrite will cause the tiles to bleed rust and leave stains on the structure. Homeowners should make sure the chosen installer trusts their supplier and knows where the tiles come from.
The size of the tiles will have a huge impact on the overall cost of the project. Many homeowners and inexperienced contractors are enticed by the lower price of smaller tiles. The problem with this is the exponential increase in the amount of labor involved. The lower cost of smaller tiles almost never offsets the additional cost of labor. Homeowners should always choose the size of tiles based on how they want the roof to look, not the dollar cost per square inch of material.
Finally, quality slate roof installers understand the special techniques and requirements for working with slate roofing. Accordingly, they will only staff qualified workers. Inexperienced or unskilled workers are likely to damage the roof as it is being installed. When a homeowner decides to invest the significant amount of money a slate roof requires, they should only consider a lower bid when it is between equally qualified contractors.