Slate can be made into roofing slates, which are installed by a slater, are a type of roof shingle, or more specifically a type of roof tile. Slate has two lines of breakability – cleavage and grain – which make it possible to split the stone into thin sheets. When broken, slate retains a natural appearance while remaining relatively flat and easy to stack. A “slate boom” occurred in Europe from the 1870s until the first world war allowed by the use of the steam engine in manufacturing slate tiles and improvements in the road and waterway transportation systems.
Slate is particularly suitable as a roofing material as it has an extremely low water absorption index of less than 0.4%, making the material waterproof. In fact, this natural slate, which requires only minimal processing, has the lowest embodied energy of all the roofing materials. Natural slate is used by building professionals as a result of its beauty and durability. Slate is incredibly durable and can last several hundred years, often with little or no maintenance. Its low water absorption makes it very resistant to frost damage and breakage due to freezing. Natural slate is also fire resistant and energy efficient
Installation of slate roofing is expensive and a very specialised job, here at Synergy Roofing Ltd we have slate installation specialists, we also train apprentices on the job to ensure the next generation of slate roofers have the knowledge and experience passed on.