Slate is a widespread choice of roofing material for a large number of homeowners today. It is made from fine-grained sedimentary rocks and is very widely used in construction. Given its sturdy composition, slates tend to have a prolonged life compared to other types of shingles, which is part of why they are so popular. On average, your slate roof will likely last 75 to 100 years and will be highly weather resistant. However, poor installation or persistent neglect might weaken the integrity of your slate roof and lead to minor leaks or make it necessary to have an entire slate roof repair job. When this happens, you might need to hire a Auburn, WA slate roof service, or you might decide to attempt a repair on your own.
Auburn DIY Slate Roof Repair
If your slate roof damage is not too extensive, you might be able to do it yourself. While this will help you save some money, it is generally not advisable for homeowners to do their slate roof repairs on their own, as there is a high chance you may cause even more damage. If you decide to proceed, however, here are the steps to follow:
Before you get started: Accessing your roof safely should be the priority. In order to complete an effective repair to your slate roof system, you must safely gain access to the area of the roof where the repair needs to be made. Slate roofs present peculiar safety obstacles that must be addressed in order to complete repairs safely. You will need to take some peculiar precautions by clearing any growth from the surface of the slate as well as removing any snow or ice before attempting to walk on them. Slate roofs also require specialized tools and equipment to complete the required project correctly. The better tools you have, the better the quality of your work. A list of the necessary tools includes; ● Hammer ● Flight pry bar ● Slate ripper ● Slate cutter ● Caulk gun ● Chicken Ladder ● Tin Snips
Step 1 - Remove the Old Slate
The first step in DIY slate roof repair is removing the damaged slate. To do this, you will need to know the exact area where any leaks might be coming from within your home. Sometimes finding a leak is not straightforward, and if you can’t find the precise spot where your roof has been damaged, you should stop and call in a professional Auburn, WA roofing repair contractor or company. If you do find the cause of the damage, use the slate ripper to extract the nail attaching the slate to the roof. If you do not have a slate ripper, a pair of wire cutters would do.
Step 2 - Repair
You have two options when it comes to repairs. You can make a temporary repair by applying some roof tar to the source of the leak. This is a common choice during periods of bad weather when you might want to make an emergency repair until you can get some professional help.
DIY Permanent Slate Tile Roof Repair
If you feel confident enough to attempt a complete repair job on your own, here are the steps to follow: ● Cut the nails attaching the damaged slate to the roof using a slate ripper or wire cutters. ● Determine the size for the new slate: measure the gap left by the extraction of the slate, multiply it by two, and add an extra three inches. This is so that the new slate overlaps properly over the slate beneath. ● Slide the slate into place ● Create a countersinking. This is when you punch a nail through the back of the slate rather than the front. The point of this is to allow the slate to lie flush within the gap. ● Using a copper nail, nail the replacement slate into place. ● Lay a copper bib over the nail, by sliding it under the overlying slate.
Slate Tile Roof Maintenance
Repairing your slate tile roof can be easy but also technical and the best move would be to simply ensure that you conduct regular maintenance to prevent serious damage. You will get the most service life out of your roof system if you inspect and repair it on a regular basis. Here are some easy slate roof maintenance tips that you can easily apply on your own:
1. Annual spring inspection
Most of the damage to your slate roof might occur in the harsh winter weather. This is why it is advisable to have an annual inspection of your slate roof during the spring. This will help uncover fresh damage that can be repaired before it becomes serious.
2. Trim any trees
If you have trees too close to your roof, their branches may frequently scrape your slates and eventually cause some damage. You should regularly trim any such trees to prevent damage to your slate roof. Trees and bushes can also be a source of moss and algae which could provide moisture that is capable of weakening your gutters and other parts of your roof.
3. Clear your roof regularly
Aside from trimming nearby trees, you might also want to get up on your roof once in a while, to clear any debris such as twigs, or any algae or moss growth.
How much does slate roof repair cost?
Slate roof repair is generally not as cheap as other types of roof repair. On average, you might expect to spend between $700 to $2,000 depending on the extent of the damage.