The slate roof has been called the 100-year roof . This reflects the durability of slate. In fact, a slate roof has a lifetime of 150-200 years.  Tiles are second to slate in longevity. The tile roof can last 15-50 years. Due to the longevity of these roofs it is easy to forget that they need regular inspection, repair, and maintenance.

Slate roof leak repair Long island services say slates need an annual inspection to identify cracked, loose, broken and missing slates. A slate roof can get leaky just like any other.  However, the biggest risk lies in having the repairs done inappropriately. Many repairmen are not familiar with slate roofing so you have to be careful with how it is done.


Weak link

Slate tends to outlive the material used for flashing. The most common materials used in flashing are lead sheets, galvanized steel, and copper, and terne coated sheet iron. These metals corrode over the years and wear away. This leaves gaps between the slate and walls creating leaks.

Identifying slate and tile problems can usually be done from the ground. It is hard to miss a broken or missing slate or tile. However, you will need to have a closer look for identifying cracks, slate slippage, and nails that have corroded.


You can tell if slates are nearing the end of their useful life by looking for flaking. This is also called delaminating. If the slate is showing powdering on the underside, it is nearing the end of its longevity.

Residential roof repair Suffolk county, NY experts say you can also do a knuckles test. This is where you tap the slate with your knuckles.  Slates that are in good condition return a clear solid sound.  Those slates that are not sound will emit a dull hollow thud.


Repairing slates is best done by replacing deteriorated slates with new slates when possible. This keeps the overall look of the house most of which are done in the classical styles.  Most experts advise replacing the entire roof if 20-30% are in a state of disrepair.

Handling weak battens and laths

Roof leak repair Long Island say that a big concern when repairing slate roofs is the weak laths and battens. This makes it hard to pull away damaged slates. The trick is applying the force along the batten. This by twisting the slate puller from the downward pulling position to as far right or left as you can. This has less pulling effect on the weak batten and does not damage it.

When cutting a slate with a hand cutter, mark the rear of the slate with a nail such that any spelching is on the hidden side. If you are cutting a slate thicker than 5 mm it is better to use a slate guillotine.

Making holes in the new slates or tiles is easier than it was before. There are affordable diamond tipped cordless drills that make it easier to make holes quickly and accurately