Pros and Cons of Slate Roofing

Pros and Cons of Slate Roofing

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If you are planning to replace or reconstruct the existing roof of your house. Then the first option that will pop up in your mind will be the asphalt shingles roofing idea. Almost 75% of all roofs are made from asphalt shingles nowadays, but they are not the only roofing idea. There are tons of other roofing options also to choose from like cedar shakes, wood shingles, slate, clay or cement tiles, or even metal roofs.

One such option to consider is slate roofing. This type of roofing is quite popular in few countries. Because of its amazing aesthetics, durability, natural finish and overall cost-effectiveness. Many old churches and castles have this material on their roof, and even today, it is familiar as a premium roofing choice.

Slate is a fine-grained metamorphic rock that can be cut into shingles and available as a roofing material. There are three types of slate roofs. Natural Slate (typical slate derived from the slate rock itself), Man-made Slate (a combination of ground slate and synthetic resin) and Fiber Cement Slate (made from cement, fiber and mineral additives). Slate is a wonderful roofing option for homeowners, but it has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the slate roofing option below.

Pros of Slate Roofing:

Slate roofing offers a unique set of benefits. Some of them are below:

  • Aesthetically Pleasing: Every homeowner likes the slate roofs because of the aesthetic appeal they add to the home. It has a beautiful rustic look that we can not compare it with any other roofing material. It is available in a variety of colors (gray, green and red), thickness and width. which means you can easily customize them to give life to your vision of home.
  • Long Lifespan: Slate roofs are last for years to come. While most of the asphalt shingle roofs need to be replaced every 15-30 years, wood shingles last 20-30 years. And metal roofs also do not last more than 30 years, but a slate roof is made to last quite well over 100 years. Isn’t that great? That’s why slate roofing is a great long-term roofing option for your “forever” home.
  • Energy Efficient: Slate roof is a very energy efficient option also. As it is very heavy and dense, it helps to keep your home cooler in summers by preventing hot air to enter your home. That also prevents warm air to escape from your home in winters. In both cases, it helps you save on your heating and cooling bills.
  • Durable and Low Maintenance: As slate roofs are made from natural stone, they are best at handling adverse weather conditions such as high winds, high temperatures and even hail. Slate is non-combustible, which is why slate roofing also helps in preventing any potential fire incidents. Being highly durable and long-lasting, it requires very low maintenance. As it doesn’t absorb water, there is no risk of the development of mold and mildew.
  • Environmentally Friendly: While asphalt shingles get ready by using fossil fuels. Slate is get from natural slate rock by mining, so it doesn’t affect the environment in a negative way. It also lasts far longer than asphalt shingles that further reduces the effect of transportation and manufacturing emissions on the environment.

Cons of Slate Roofing:

In spite of all these great benefits, there are some reasons why the slate roof isn’t useable that much.

  • High Cost: Slate is one of the most expensive roofing materials in the market. A fully installed slate roof will cost you two or three times more than an asphalt shingle roof. While it comes out to be cheaper in the long run. But the up-front cost of installing a slate roof is quite high.
  • Extremely Heavy: Slate roof is not a good roofing option unless your home is strong and structurally sound. Slate weighs 360-700 kilograms per square whereas asphalt shingles weigh only 90 kilograms per square. In order to install a heavyweight slate roof in your home, you need to reinforce your home structure quite well which is going to add on to the overall project cost.
  • Special Installation: Slate requires special contractors for its installation who can ensure that your roof is strong for last. As it is not used much these days, it’s hard to find the right contractor for installing a slate roof to your home.


Overall, slate roofing is a wonderful option for any residential roof. If you are planning to live in that home for at least more than 50+ years. While it has a high initial investment and some other peculiar features, it is certainly going to outlast any other roofing option that you may consider and finally turn out to be the best long-term investment.

By Zoe Sewell