Slate roofs are the finest roofs in the world and have been installed on homes for many centuries.
Here is a fun fact: Did you know the actual material started forming about 500 million years ago at the bottom of ancient seas? Various geologic forces, under great pressure, shaped the base materials onto what we call slate.
There are many color and size options available. Even different shapes and patterns can be placed into a roof.
Slate roofs are quite ingenious in their design, as their individual pieces may be removed, repaired and replaced without having to remove an entire roof to fix a leak.
Life expectation of a Northern Illinois slate roof system is about 80 to 100 years, although at that point the features that are in need of replacement are the copper flashings at various roof junctions. A vast majority of the roof slates are usually in such good condition that they will be reinstalled during a restoration project. We then bring in salvaged replacement slates and mix with the original for a seamless finished look.
Slate roofing requires special skills and specific equipment to restore these shimmering, rock roofs to their original condition. This type of work requires artistry, along with the mechanical skill set to produce the world’s finest roofing system.
In the top picture is a Vermont graduated slate roof, with snow guard and copper gutter installation. We were contacted by the owner of the largest construction company in Chicago. Even with all his industry clout, he did not know who to call for quality work on his weekend home in Wisconsin.
The work here was to replace sections of copper half round, highback gutter, due to ice sliding down the roof in winter months that caused damage. The original installer had placed small, inadequate snow guards on the roof that did not do a good job. “They act as speed bumps” was what the customer stated. Once again we are called upon to fix a mess created by the previous roofing contractor. The second portion of work was to install the proper snow guards to prevent future damage. The picture shows the new, heavy duty snow guards we installed. There are two sets of guards due to the extreme slope of the roof.
In the next picture is North Country Slate (unfading black), copper flashings and crestings. There are also new gutters, vents, finials and pockets. This job was a complete restoration due to baseball size hail strikes. The original slate roof and copper components had massive damage from the hail storm.
This home is in a historic district in Dubuque, IA. It was built in the Romanesque style, quite unusual for a residential home. The insurance company at first wanted to put some “nice” shingles on the home for a new roof, but we had to educate them as to the significant difference between the two materials. With our years of experience, we restored the roof to its former glory with numerous upgrades.
We recently put on a New Slate Roof for a home in Evanston, IL. We had to use Like In Kind Slate in order to ensure the roof maintained its appearance for a Historic District Necessity. The story is well documented and we encourage you to visit the page to learn more about our specialty.