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Slate Roofs: Looking Beyond The Visual Appeal

It’s easy to fall in love with slate roofing.  One look at slate and you’ll understand why it is considered one of the most visually appealing types of roof around. But what makes slate such a superb choice among today’s roofing systems?

A Long History of Durability

Slate roofs have been in existence for centuries, going as far back as 1287 in Europe, particularly in North Wales, England. Back then, slate roofs were used for castles and churches because of the material’s exceptional durability against harsh elements. Slate roofing was introduced in the United States in the 1600s around the Boston and Philadelphia areas, but its wide-scale production and use only started gaining traction in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Slate roofs can last up to 60 years, sometimes even more than a century, depending on the maintenance, installation, roof configuration, location, and the type of slate chosen. There are even some slate roofs that have been known to last over 200 years!

Timeless Look

Slate is a natural material, and therein lies its charm. Homeowners can rely on it to complement almost any architectural style. Slate’s appearance can be preserved for decades, if not centuries, and it is resistant to wear and tear.

As for its color, slate can be classified as fading or unfading. Fading slates usually change to a new shade or develop streaks over time after exposure to the air, while unfading slates retain their original colors for many years. It is important to remember that the permanence of the slate’s color does not in any way affect its durability.

Environmentally Friendly

Slate is one hundred percent natural. This means it does not contain any substances that can hurt the environment. Its long lifespan alone makes it superior to other materials in terms of being environmentally friendly; choosing slate means that less waste from roofing materials gets dumped into  landfills.

Style Versatility

Slate is available in a variety of colors, including shades of gray and green, as well as black, deep purple, and even brick red. What gives off the black/gray color is the carbonaceous matter in the rock, while the presence of iron is responsible for the colored slates.

Slate shingles are often shaped by hand, and homeowners can choose from a range of sizes and thicknesses that would fit their particular requirements.


Not only is slate long-lasting, it is also sturdy enough to resist fire. In fact, they are completely fire proof. This is not something other roofing materials can attest to, so slate scores major points in this category.

The undeniable resilience of the slate roof makes it a viable option for any home. Add its aesthetic appeal and wide style options to the mix and you’ll have one heck of a roof! Do not hesitate to ask a trusted roofing professional for advice on installing a slate roof on your home.


Author Bio:

Lyons Contracting was founded by Tom Petrilli with the idea that Northern Virginia homeowners needed a new, more customer-centric approach to roof replacement. Lyons Contracting offers a wide selection of traditional, contemporary, and custom roofing systems and our goal is always to meet the client’s vision for their new roof.


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