Should you repair or replace your slate roof

Should you repair or replace your slate roof?

Depending on who you ask you will always have two conflicting answers.

On the one side, you will have the slate roofing specialist telling you that servicing and maintaining the roof will cost you less and on the other hand, you will have the roofing company using concrete tiles and concealed sheeting telling you that replacing the roof will help you save on maintenance for years to come.

Both sides have valid arguments but we need to dive a bit deeper to help answer the question if your slat roof needs to be replaced.

Inspecting & repairing a slate roof.

The success of any slate roof depends entirely upon correct installation and the details of the finishes. Eaves, valleys, dormers, chimneys, gutters, ridges and fascias require the patient application of correct detailing to insure sound waterproofing. In addition, these details must enhance the overall beauty of the building.

If you have a slate roof you know that after a heavy storm or every few years you should undertake a complete, close-up inspection of the rooftop so that every fault is properly noted and addressed.

The restoration of a slate roof involves the setup of a special framework that fits over the slate roof allowing contractors to work on the roof without causing any further damage to the slate tiles.

Once the structure is in place the removal of all worn and/or damaged slates tiles can begin. Before installing the new slate tiles the under-lay is repaired at all points of damage. It is also important to replace all flashing and “trim pieces” which are designed to carry the flow of rainfall down the roof safely to the gutter.

How much does it cost to repair a slate roof?

Each roof has its own design and will, therefore, differ in price. On average the cost is between R400 and R500 per roof square meter for the tiles and material (timber/trusses not included), while installation cost is between R100 and R200 per roof square meter.

Does my slate roof need replacing?

Slate roof tiles are one of the most durable roof covers out in the market. Lasting anywhere between 75 to 200 years the longevity of the roof all depends on how well the slate tiles were installed and if damaged slate tiles were replaced in time to prevent bigger problems down the line.

Signs to look out for if a slate roof needs to be replaced

  • Flaking on the outside of slate tiles;
  • Powdering on the underside of the slate tile;
  • Constant cracked, broken, loose or missing slate tiles;
  • Large amount of fallen slate tiles;
  • The firmness of slate tiles. Must make a resonant sound and not a dull sound when tapped;
  • Water damage or moist areas on the inside of the roof;
  • Constant problems after heavy storms;
  • If after an inspection more than 20% to 30% of the slate roof has to be replaced.

These are general points and it is always wise to make use of a roofing professional to do a roof inspection for you. ECO Built has qualified roofing contractors that can help.

Replacing my slate roof with concrete tiles or sheeting?

When the times come that you have to replace your slate roof there are a few things to consider when choosing a new roof cover for your house. The three biggest things to look at are appearance, functionality, and cost of the new roof cover.

If you live in an estate you must adhere to the aesthetic guidelines and use the roofing materials specified. The functionality of the roof also determines the roofing material that can be used. On a low pitch, roof sheeting is advisable but it can also be used on higher pitch roof that’s traditionally covered with roof tiles.

Cost is also a big deciding factor and the design of the roof can have a huge impact on the overall cost of the re-roofing project. For integrate designs with many hips, valise and angles it is advisable to use tiles but for a long span, barn-type roof it would be better to look at roof sheeting.

Concrete Roof Tile vs Roof Sheeting

So what should you choose for your new roof cover, concrete tiles or roof sheeting? As it stands now the combination of timber trusses and concrete roof tiles will give you the most cost-effective roofing solution.

Roof tiles have a big selection of profiles and colours. It also has a longer life span than that of sheeting. Roof tiles are also more cost-effective than roof sheeting but sheeting costs less to maintain. In coastal areas, tiles are used more commonly because of its resistant to corrosion. The minimum roof pitch for a tile roof is 17.5⁰, anything lower the tiles will leak.

Roof sheeting is a better choice for low pitch roofs and the IBR and Kliplok profile is better suited for low pitch roofs. If correctly installed sheeting can withstand higher winds than concrete tiles. Sheeting is also more secure than roof tiles and doesn’t permit easy access to the roof. Roof sheeting is also considered to be a greener roof solution as the metal can be recycled and used again. Sheeted roofs are lighter than concrete roofs and also uses less timber for the roof construction.

So in short. Roof tiles can be used in residential and commercial roofing projects with short roof spans and roofs pitched higher than 17.5⁰. Roof tiles can also be applied and used to enhance the theme of a house. Sheeted roofs give you a more commercial feel, it is lighter and uses less timber in the roof construction. It can be used for residential & commercial projects with a long span, low and high pitched roofs.

How long does a roof replacement take?

Your house roof size and the weather are the two factors that need to be considered when asking this question. If everything goes to plan a 250 square meter house should not take longer 10 days to complete.

But with that said, every project has its own challenges like do you require a complete reroofing or will it be an extension of your roof. Does the roof trusses need to be repaired or replaced? Are keeping the existing tiles or replacing them with sheeting.

It would be advisable to get an experienced roofing contractor that has gone through the re-roofing process a few times to assist you in making an informed decision.

Should I stay home during roof replacement?

Depending on what you are planning to do it’s up to you if you want to stay or go but if you are doing a full re-roofing of your house it would be advisable to get out before they get started.

A lot of things are going to be happening all at once and if you are not a person that can handle noise you better get out because there is going to be a lot of noise!

If you have animals it is a good idea to consider removing or securing them. Preparing your house and yourself for a reroofing project is very important and the following things can be done to get your self ready.

12 tips on how to prepare for a roof replacement?

Here are 12 tips on how to prepare for a roof replacement

  1. Think about your kids – Send them to Grandma for a few days;
  2. Remove or secure your pets away from the construction area;
  3. Relocate your vehicles;
  4. Remove wall decorations;
  5. Remove anything valuable or fragile from your home;
  6. Move patio furniture away from the construction area;
  7. Move or cover garden post and landscaping features;
  8. Identify & mark power points contractors can use;
  9. Remove antennas or satellite dishes;
  10. Cut the grass around your property;
  11. Turn off the sprinkler system;
  12. Inform your neighbors.

How much does it cost to replace a roof?

Prices sourced from local roofing companies within Gauteng shows that the average price for replacing a roof with Concrete Tiles are from R550 per roof square meter and R650 per roof square for sheeted roofs.

This price is based on completely removing the old roof structure and installing new trusses and new roof tiles or sheeting. The removal cost of the old roof structure and material has not been included in this price and must be calculated for each re-roofing project based on the requirement and work to be carried out. For accurate pricing on roof replacements and new roofs, please contact us.

Do you need a new roof?

When you need a new roof on your house, make use of ECO Built and the roofing partners in our group. Contact ECO Built at 082 540 8464 or request a free quote at the top of this page. Visit our roofing section to find more answers on your roofing requirement.