If you've chosen slate for your next roof, you can expect it to last you for a very long time, especially if you provide it with proper maintenance. Studies show that hard slate roofs can last up to 200 years, while soft slate roofs can last up to 125 years. Of course, a good maintenance routine is key to that longevity. To help your slate roof last as long as possible, here are three steps you should follow.
Keep it Clean
When it comes to your slate roof, annual cleanings are the most important step you can take to increasing its longevity. Dirt and mold can damage the structural integrity of your slate roof. When cleaning your roof, you should avoid walking on the slate. Instead, safely rest your ladder against your home, and use a pressure washer to reach the entire surface of your roof. First, adjust your pressure washer to a low-to-medium setting and spray wash the slate tiles. Avoid a high-pressure setting, or you could damage your tiles. Next, fill the soap reservoir on your pressure washer with roof wash. The detergent will mix with the water as it passes through the pressure washer. Apply the roof wash to the surface of your roof, using the same technique you used to rinse off the debris. Follow the washing with a thorough rinse and then allow your slate tiles to air dry.
Check for Leaks
Leaks can pose a serious threat to your slate roof. The best time to check your roof for leaks is after a rain storm. Once the rain has passed, check the ceiling inside your home for signs of leaks. It's also a good idea to look inside your attic, as well. If your roof is leaking, you'll notice wet spots on the ceiling. You should also check the areas around the metal flashing, and the edge of your home along the rain gutters. These are areas that are susceptible to water damage.
Get Ready for Winter
If you live in an area that experiences freezing temperatures during the winter, you'll need to weatherize your slate roof before the weather changes. The first thing you'll need to do is clean out your rain gutters. Leaves and other debris can clog the downspouts, which can cause water to spill out over the edge of your gutters. When that happens, the water can seep under the edges of your slate tiles. Once the water freezes, your slate tiles will lift away from the roof, leading to serious roof damage. For added protection, it's a good idea to install a heating cable along the edge of your roof. This will prevent damage caused by freezing temperatures.
Don't take chances with your slate roof. Use the tips provided here to keep your roof in tiptop shape. For other tips on how to prevent problems with your roof, be sure to speak to local roofing services.