When shopping for roofing materials, you may find yourself confronted with the decision between synthetic slate and real slate. This is a tough decision to make but one that you’ll come to regret if you don’t weigh all of your options carefully. The price of roofing material can really put a strain on a household budget. Fortunately, there are some great roofing materials out there that cost less than $5 per square foot, so if your budget is tight, this may be an option for you.
Synthetic slate roofing tiles resemble the look of real slate tiles but are lighter in weight and cheaper in price. Because synthetic slate roofing is easier and lighter to transport, the cost tends to be much lower. It also is resistant to fire and storm damage as well as to heavy impact and wear. In fact, artificial slate roofs are extremely attractive. It’s easy to see why it’s quickly becoming the roofing of choice for many consumers.
Real slate roofs are made using slates that are harvested from old buildings. They are hand quarried and many companies use a process called sanding to smooth the rough surface of the slates. Once these slates are smooth, they are painted with lead sulfate so they will resist mold, fungus, algae and rot. Although these roofing materials cost more than synthetic slates, they are longer lasting. You won’t have to replace them as often.
Many architects prefer the look of natural slate, but many consumers also choose artificial slate roofing because of its sustainability. Although many companies still source the raw materials from the same quarries where it is grown, many install the shingles from recycled asphalt that was previously used for parking lots, streets, driveways and sidewalks. Since asphalt is recycled, you can also help the environment by reusing asphalt and paving over again. Another benefit of using asphalt shingles over natural slate shingles is that these products are low maintenance. Since asphalt is high quality and low density, it is very durable and can withstand some amount of wear and tear over many years.
Because there is no manufacturing process or special cleaning processes required, artificial slate roofing is low maintenance. With this low maintenance, homeowners can enjoy an attractive roof for many years to come. Since it can be installed on any flat surface, homeowners are able to choose from several different designs and colors. Homeowners can create a unique roof design by combining real slate tiles and artificial slate tiles to create a uniquely personal roof.
Artificial slate roofs may be constructed with either full flashing or flashing only. Full flashing provides a solid shield against wind, hail, rain and other elements. Unfortunately, flashings are not always the best choice because they do not offer the same level of protection when it comes to ice, snow and moisture. In fact, flashings can actually damage certain materials more than they can protect them.
If you have decided to install artificial slate roofs over your existing roof, there are some basic materials that you will need. These basic materials include concrete and paver blocks, tar paper, weather stripping, joint compound, roofing nails or shingles, and two colors of stain. Although you can find these products at hardware stores, your best bet is to purchase them online from vendors specializing in slate roofing materials. You can save money and get more options when you shop online.
Another advantage to shopping online for slate roofing materials is that you can browse through a wide variety of designs and colors before making your decision. The reason for this is that synthetic materials do not require the extensive treatment that natural slates do. If you are looking for a roof for your business or home, do not worry about the maintenance required. You can choose between asphalt shingles, wood, metal and synthetic-slate roofing slate materials and rest easy knowing that you have made the right choice.