Slate roofing material is arguably the most stylish type of residential roofing material available. It is elegant, it exudes class and old-world craftsmanship. If your home is suited for slate, its addition to your home will add value and bring your home up in stature in your neighborhood. At Ferguson & Melvin, we know that a slate installation done right takes skill and patience – and with hundreds of slate installations over the last 35 years, we can offer you the best in the industry.
Genuine slate, otherwise known as quarry slate, is a natural product that is harvested from the ground. It is extracted from quarries, shipped to mining plants, and cut and sectioned for use on roofs, countertops, floors and the like. The traditional areas of the mines are in the North East of the US, areas such as Vermont in particular. And areas of Europe are renowned for their beautiful quality slate. And in more recent years, Chinese quarries have begun to produce a larger and larger portion of the slate that is purchased in the US market.
With quarry slate, you have a wide variety of colors to choose from – these are determined by both the quarry that it is mined from and also the area of that quarry. Since no two pieces are alike and because the slate will vary from mine to mine and month to month, it is important that when you place a slate order that you have plenty of slate shipped to your project. Going back after the fact means there’s more of a chance that what you get the second time may not match the product you got the first time. Also, because slate comes from the East coast, there are significant shipping costs to be considered. After all, slate is stone, and stone is heavy. And heavy means more expensive to ship. So, make sure your roofer measures twice before ordering!
Also with regards to weight, you’ll want to be sure how much weight your home is designed to hold on the roof. A traditional quarry slate will weigh somewhere around 10-12 lbs per square foot. This is significant. If your house was not built to handle that weight, you will have to either have some structural engineering and possibly some reinforcement done, or you will need to consider using a lighter weight version of the product.
There are various lightweight quarry slate options designed specifically for homeowners – our product of choice in this category is TruSlate by GAF (also known as Slate 2.0). On a traditional quarry slate roof installation, half of each piece of slate is never seen – tucked under the piece above it. The TruSlate system has replaced this wasted slate with a lightweight high-tech material, so durable it resists leaks even if a piece of slate is damaged or broken. And, when half the slate is removed, half the weight is removed – which means it can be installed on almost any roof. It is also far less expensive than traditional slate because there’s less material and it’s faster to install. But it’s real quarry slate, so it is just as durable and beautiful as a traditional slate roof. As your Ferguson & Melvin representative for a sample!
A third option for your slate roofing needs is a synthetic man-made slate roof. Our synthetic slate of choice is Symphony by Certainteed. Symphony is lightweight, just like the TruSlate. But it has another advantage – it is walkable. So if you need to be walking on your roof, to clean windows, skylights, or gutters, this is an option to consider. Because it is a composite material, not natural stone, it is stronger. It comes with a 50 year limited warranty and is rated with a class A fire rating. If budget, weight, and walkability are strong concerns, consider Symphony for your slate roof installation.
Whichever slate you choose, Ferguson & Melvin Co. will make sure that we guide you through the process and get the roof that is best for you. Rest assured that your new slate roof will be installed in the most professional manner!
Call our office today at (800) 974-ROOF to schedule or click here to request a quote.