As homeowners we all desire to keep a roof over our heads for as long as we live in our homes. We depend on our roofs to keep Mother Nature off of us and our walls to keep her out. She can put up a fight at times and we have to protect ourselves by maintaining our homes.

Depending on the geographic region we live in we can be subject to a wide variety of storms. In New England we have harsh winters, in the Midwest and Great Plains we are pounded by strong spring winds, hailstorms and tornadoes, in the West relentless heat and so on. What kind of damage can we expect when Mother Nature comes calling?

Storms can wreak absolute havoc on a roof. Strong winds, hail or even heavy rains can adversely affect a roofing system when it is not properly maintained. Slate and tile are extremely tough materials and very long-lasting. Hail can damage these surfaces in several ways. When the hail is large, when the slate has deteriorated or has become soft and thin or due to incorrect installation, the roof can become susceptible to hail damage. It does not take a lot of precision to find hail damage on any roof surface, it is pretty evident, usually it looks simply like a hole in the slate itself. Hail can either break or puncture the slate and can dent metal flashings. Where precision comes into play is in the repair of it. Hail can damage a slate roof but in the majority of cases it can be repaired. Repair in this manner replaces the damaged slates with matching slates. You must match the slates as close to the original as possible. This is to maintain the aesthetic value of the roof. Newer slates do not age the same as the older original slates and this can plainly be seen.

In repairing slates from hail damage the adjoining flashings have to be replaced also. Dented flashings can be a hidden source of leaks that can cause interior damage.

For the most part slate is wind resistant. The slate itself is too heavy and because of the angles of a slate roof it is very difficult for high winds to get underneath it and lift it free. But when it does the damage from heavy winds can result in the slate tiles literally being blown off your home. This can happen when the slate is not installed properly, or the wrong sized nails are used. The majority of wind damage on a slate roof is repairable. Very seldom does an entire slate roof have to be replaced. Replacement occurs more often with asphalt shingle roofs.

Some roofers and insurance companies have a tendency to replace an entire slate roof when it has been damaged. This is not required all the time. An experienced roofer can easily match and replace the broken or damaged slate tiles and restore your roof to its original integrity. They can work with the insurance company to repair only what is needed.

Only work with experienced and professional roofers on any roof, especially slate or tile roofs. A roofer needs special training and skills to know what they are doing to repair slate and tile. Repairing slate and tile roofs is an art that requires skill and craftmanship. Choosing the right roofing contractor is of the utmost importance when restoring, repairing or maintaining your slate or tile roof.

Installing a slate roof requires specific knowledge and skills but by following some basic rules and avoiding common mistakes slate roofing is also within the capabilities of non-professionals. To do it correctly, you should adopt the following practices:

1. General working practices

Do not walk on the slates during installation. Always work off roof ladders and roof scaffolds. This is to avoid slipping slates, i.e. slates that break or fall off after installation.

Chalk your slate courses. install every course along a permanent chalk line on the surface of the roof. Do not chalk on the slates themselves. The lines mark the top edges of the slates. Measure where to put your line from the bottom of the roof to ensure accuracy and consistency. Don't lay the slates without chalk lines as you can easily lose your headlap and ruin the roof.

2. Starter course

The starter course is one of the most important courses on a slate roof and you must install it correctly. First, nail a wooden or copper cant or shim under the bottom edge of the starter course. This will tilt the starter course so that it is at the same angle as all other slates. Then install the starter course with the slate face down and the back up. The starter course is the only course that is installed this way. All other slates are installed with the face up, exposing the bevelled edges.

install the starter course and the first course of field slates at the same time. Do not run the starter course ahead of the first course unless your starter slates are the same width as the field slates and only have nail holes on the top edge. This way you will have correct side laps and ensured that no nail holes in the starter slates in the joint between the first course slates can create a leak.

3. Side laps

Make sure you create the correct side slaps, i.e. the lateral overlaps between the side butts of the starter slates and the first course of slates. The side laps should be a minimum of 8 cm.

4. Head lap

Every slate must overlap the two courses below and you have to ensure that you install the correct head lap. Head lap keeps the roof watertight. If you get it wrong your roof will leak. The head lap for 8:12 and steeper sloped roofs is 8 cm. If your roof has a low slope (4:12 or 6:12) the head lap needs to be 10cm.

5. Underlay

Slate underlay should always be installed under the slates and never on top.

6. Ice-damming

Slate roofs do not need an ice and water membrane. If you're concerned about ice-damming, double the decking felt along the eaves. You can spread roof cement between the layers and increase the head lap along the eaves to 13cm.

7. Slate nailing

You have to get your nailing technique right or you will cause damage to the slates. Nails should only be driven to a depth where the nail head lies within the counter-sunk nail hole crater. Doing it correctly will ensure that the nail heads will not rub excessively against the overlying slates and wear a hole in them.

Do not over-nail or under-nail the slates. Over-nailing means the nail is driven too far and breaks through the slate, leaving it hanging on one nail or sliding out altogether. When the nail is sticking out of the nail hole this is known as under-nailing.

8. Flashings

You have to install flashings with the correct overlap or they will leak. Uphill flashing should always lap on top of downhill flashing. Corner flashings, e.g. chimneys, must either be correctly folded or soldered to prevent leakage.

Folded flashings can be used on positive slopes whereas soldered flashings are required when the slope is so low that the direction of the water flow cannot be controlled by gravity alone. Soldered flashings must be installed with cleats or expansion joints to prevent strain on the solder joints. Never solder with an open flame.

9. Hips and ridges

Make sure the field slates meet tight at the roof hip and form a straight, weather tight, close-mitred junction or install ridge tiles laid to a true line with the edges and joints solidly bedded in mortar. Alternatively, you can use metal roll on the hips and ridges.

installing a slate roof maybe slightly more difficult than installing other types of roofs. By following the advice above you greatly increase the chances of successfully installing a slate roof on your home.

When considering a new roof system, it may be helpful to understand the different types of roofing materials that are available. It is also a good idea to take maintenance costs in consideration, and not simply purchase based on upfront price alone. Many materials also come in a variety of color options that can be very aesthetically pleasing.

Asphalt shingles are one of the least expensive options when it comes to roofing materials. Although they require very little maintenance, they also have a shorter life expectancy than other materials. In most cases, when asphalt shingles have reached the end of their life expectancy, it is necessary to replace the entire roof.

Wood options include shingles and shakes. This type of material requires a lot of maintenance, but can also be a beautiful addition to a traditional style home. They are generally more expensive than asphalt shingles, but can last up to 50 years if they are maintained properly.

Metal roofs range from aluminum to copper to steel and can be a very energy-efficient option. They are usually available in a variety of colors, and can also be molded to look like shingles or shakes. They are very durable, and are also weather and fade resistant. They are less expensive than wood, and have a life expectancy of over 50 years.

Slate tiles come in a wide variety of colors, and are very durable. In fact, most slate roofs can last for over 100 years. One thing to keep in mind; however, is that these tiles are extremely heavy, and must have the proper support structure. They can be very expensive to install, and the individual tiles are very fragile.

Clay tiles are also a very heavy option that requires the right type of structure, but can be very aesthetically pleasing on homes that have a particular style, such as Spanish or Italian. Although clay tiles can be an expensive option, it is fire and weather resistant.

An eco-friendly option would be a green roof. Although this will depend on the slope of the roof, green roofs can offer many benefits if they are properly installed and maintained. These are known to improve air quality, and increase biodiversity, and some people have designed entertainment areas, or grown their own food on a green roof, which also makes it a dual purpose option. Green roofs can be an expensive option, and can require a great deal of maintenance. There is also a specific layering process that should take place when installing a green roof. Obviously, this is a more involved process, but there can be several benefits associated with installing a green roof.

When exploring the different types of roofing materials that are available, it is important to remember that the structure and style of the home can often be a factor. There are many alternatives that may be more expensive in the beginning, but also offer a larger variety of color and style choices that can last for a very long time. It may also be a good idea to speak with a professional roofing company to see which options would be the best solution for a particular home or building.

roof in - Designer: Douglas Bowman | Dimodifikasi oleh Abdul Munir Original Posting Rounders 3 Column