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How to Repair a Slate Roof

A slate roof is both beautiful and long lasting. A slate roofing system is capable of lasting for over a century if it is maintained and repaired on a regular basis.

If it is identified a slate roof is in need of repair you should contact a roofing contractor who is skilled and experience in working with slate.

Safely Repairing a Slate Roof

When the contractor comes to your property they will need to access your roof. Accessing a slate roof needs to be achieved in a safe manner. Slate will be slippery in wet, snowy and icy weather conditions and can also have vegetation growing on the surface such as moss.

It is best any vegetation is cleared from your slate tiles to prevent any chances of slipping. Also, it is best to go on to a slate roof on a dry day. The obvious reason is for safety as there is less chance of slipping.

Slate also does not support foot traffic very well. It is best to avoid stepping on the slate tiles whenever possible.

There are two reasons for this:

• The safety of the roofing operative.

• To prevent further damage to the slate roofing tiles.

The way to overcome this problem would be using a chicken ladder or a similar type of equipment which will support the operatives weight and take the stress off the slate roof tiles whilst the repair is being carried out.

Remove any Broken Slate Tiles or Unwanted Nails

When slate tiles have been damaged, they do not usually break perfectly clean from your roof. There is normally part of your tile remaining as well as the nails which originally fixed it to your roof. So, before the tile can be replaced any remaining pieces of slate need to be removed as well as any nails which were attaching the tile before it broke away from your roofing system.

To do this a slate ripper is placed under the tile or in the position it is missing. The slate ripper will hook on to the nails and as a hammer is hit against the tool rip or cut the nails this will remove both the nails and any remaining broken slate from your roof.

Find the Size of the Slate Tile which Needs Replacing

The next step will be to identify the size of the area where the slate tile or tiles need to be replaced. In most cases, there will not be a perfect fit with the slate tiles available to a slate cutter will need to be used to get the piece of slate down to the perfect size.

Securing the Replacement Slate Tile

Now the slate needs to be installed. This is done by using copper/galvanised nails to secure the replacement tile to the roof.

Once the slate is secured in place a copper slip is slid up to cover the two nails securing the slate tail. The reason for this is to cover the nails so any water runs down onto the expose part of the slate.

Getting the Most Out of Your Slate Roof

Slate roofing is a very durable and aesthetically pleasing roofing system. However, it is vital to keep your slate roof in great condition with regular maintenance it and making repairs when necessary. If you are in the Woking or Guildford area and need any slate roofing work or maintenance please get in touch today or call us on 01483 475141.