In the world of home repairs, DIYers are usually willing to try their hand at almost any task around the house - including repairing the roof. In the case of a low-pitch shingle roof, that can be a reasonable project for an experienced weekend warrior. However, some roofs are not safe to walk on under any circumstances unless you are a professional with a lot of experience. A natural slate roof is the perfect example.
Why Natural Slate Is Dangerous To Walk On
Most roof repairs are performed in the rainy season when leaks become apparent. Natural slate tiles are relatively smooth and on a pitched roof they become slippery when wet. If the roof has aged, there has likely been mold or mildew buildup that makes it even more dangerous to walk on. Older slate roofs may have developed loose tiles as well as cracked and broken tiles, which can make the trip across your roof precarious. The bottom line is that repairs to a natural slate roof need to be handled by experienced roofers who have the experience, and gear, to safely perform the work. So why do people install slate roofing?
Slate Roofs Are Beautiful
Slate roofing has enjoyed a long and favored reputation for its beauty and durability and they cover many upscale homes in America and Europe. In fact, slate roofs are still in demand today:
- A slate roof adds curb appeal to your home.
- Slate is extremely resistant to fire.
- It increases the value of your property.
- Slate is durable, some roofs are more than 75 years old.
Natural Slate Is Expensive
There are downsides to real slate:
- Slate is 2-3 times the cost of regular shingles.
- Transporting slate is expensive due to its weight.
- A slate roof will need to have additional support added unless the home was originally designed for it, which can add substantially to the cost.
- Slate is brittle and can break if not carefully walked on.
- Natural slate must be installed by professionals with years of experience to ensure you end up with a professional-looking job.
- There are special tools and skills required to properly complete the installation.
- Maintenance is required and must be performed by the same installation specialists.
Alternatives To Natural Slate Roof Tiles
There are number of composite roofing alternatives on the market today:
- Solid plastic tiles. They do not perform well in a fire and generally only carry a Class C fire rating. They are normally manufactured with polypropylene which is subject to cracking and breaking in cold weather.
- Rubber tiles. In addition to a lower fire rating, some rubber roof tiles smell like tires when they are first installed. Color options are limited as well.
- Concrete tiles. Concrete is extremely heavy and will require the same additional roof structure support that natural slate will. Concrete is also porous and can absorb water. Colored concrete can fade as the tiles age.
Synthetic Slate Roof Tiles Provide The Best Solution
You can have the look of natural slate without any of the downsides. Composite slate roof tiles are manufactured from recycled material, are lighter than real slate, can be installed by most roofing companies and are readily available. There are also other advantages:
- They are less expensive than slate.
- There are more color options.
- Synthetic slates resists mold and mildew.
- They have a high impact rating.
- They require minimum maintenance.
Brava Old World Slate Composite Tiles Set The Standard
The ideal synthetic slate tile would perfectly mimic real slate, carry best in class fire and impact ratings and would offer unlimited color options. Brava Old World Slate Roof Tile meets those requirements and more:
- Manufactured from 100%-recycled materials, Brava roof tiles can be used over and over again, making them extremely eco-friendly.
- It is the only composite slate tile available in multi-colors.
- The color is fully blended throughout the tile, meaning that as it ages, the original color is always available on the surface.
- Cuts and nails easily - there are no special tools required.
- You can walk on the roof without breaking the tiles.
- Brava synthetic slate tiles carry a 50-year limited warranty.
- Has a 1” thick profile and the surface detail is taken from real slate.
- Energy is not wasted mining slate, extracting clay, or harvesting trees.
Brava Roof Tiles are available throughout North America, Europe, and around the world. Staying abreast of advances in technology, we are constantly improving our manufacturing processes in order to provide the best composite roofing products on the market. Our customer service team is available by phone, fax, or email to help answer your questions. Contact us today for free samples and to see why more homeowners and builders are choosing Brava to protect their homes.