Need To Replace A Historic Slate Roof? What Are Your Best Options?

For years, patterned slate roofs were seen as the peak of style and quality. These solid slate roofs were impervious to rain, sleet, snow, and debris, and their ability to be configured in just about any pattern or color scheme made them incredibly popular among the well-to-do. But environmental changes like acid rain and the passage of time have left many historic slate roofs in rough shape. Are there any repair or replacement choices that can maintain the unique character of your slate roof without breaking the bank? Learn more about some of your best options.

Rubber Tile Roofing

If your slate roof is beyond repair but you hate the thought of losing its one-of-a-kind pattern, rubber roofing tiles may be the perfect choice. These roofing tiles are often made out of recycled rubber and can be produced in just about any color or pattern. You may be able to recreate your slate roof's pattern by using these durable, long-lasting tiles, ensuring hassle-free roof maintenance for the next few decades.

Most rubber roofing tiles are treated with UV-resistant chemicals, helping them avoid sun damage like fading, cracking, and shrinking. And as a bonus, these dense roofing tiles can protect against heat loss from inside your home, significantly reducing your winter utility bills. By buying a few extra boxes of roofing tiles when you have your home re-roofed, you'll be able to replace any damaged tiles over the next few decades without risking harm to your house or your budget.

Colored Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are ubiquitous, and there's a good reason why—these shingles are both durable and economical. But you don't need to bid your unique roof goodbye when you opt for asphalt shingles. These shingles can be custom-ordered in just about every shade under the rainbow, helping you redesign an eye-catching roof without breaking the bank. Most asphalt shingles are warrantied for 20 or 30 years or even longer, which means you won't need to worry about repairing or replacing your asphalt roof any time soon.

Replacement Slate

Depending upon the degree and extent of damage to your slate roofing tiles, replacing the broken or corroded tiles may be a much more economical option than replacing the entire roof. Because slate tiles, when properly installed, can last hundreds of years, this option may be the best way to preserve value and maintain marketability of a certified historic house. But slate tiles carry a significantly higher cost per square foot than other roofing materials, so this usually isn't the most economical choice unless the damage to your roof is somewhat contained. 

If you'd like to stay within pattern, it's best to work with a roofing company that specializes in slate and natural substances so they can help you source the perfect tile for your needs and budget. 

Other Factors to Consider

States, cities, and other local governing districts often impose strict rules on homes that are certified as historic or that are subject to certain tax breaks. As a result, it may be necessary to obtain official permission from your city, county, township, or village government before you remove, repair, or replace a damaged slate roof. You may be required to adhere to certain timing requirements or even to select from a pre-approved list of general contractors, suppliers, and other vendors. 

Even if it seems inconvenient or annoying to follow your local government's historic repair guidelines, it's important to know what's required of you. Violation of local historic zoning ordinances can subject you to civil penalties or even require you to undo certain work performed on your home. 

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