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The Home Depot

5 Things to Consider Before Installing a Slate Roof

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Roofing > 5 Things to Consider Before Installing a Slate Roof
5 Things to Consider Before Installing a Slate Roof

Natural slate roofs are often found in moist weather regions because of their durability and weight. Because of their ability to withstand most of what mother nature can throw at it, slate roofs are often found in the south where it can get quite cold in the winter, quite hot in the summer and there is always tons of moisture in the air. This means finding something that can stand up to the water is very important.


Places like the National Park Service and the Slate Association can help you find out information about the history and current uses for slate roofing. You will notice there are many colors and options when it comes to the overall look of a slate roof.


When you are thinking of installing a natural slate roof, there are a few things you need to consider. It is often advisable to hire a professional, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do some of the work on your own or even all of it if you are brave.

  1. 1.Consider the Thickness of the Slate

    It might be tempting to just get the thickest slate on the market, thinking that it is best. The thicker the slate, the harder it is to cut and work with. While it might be rated for longer, you may also be installing your roof for a much longer period of time.

  2. 2.Do Your Homework, Know the Slate that Works for You

    Make sure you study all your options when it comes to slate. Some slates leave red streaks or discoloration when exposed to lots of water. Some slate is not meant to last for many years. You need to know what slate you want and what type of rating you are looking for before you get started.

  3. 3.Use the Right Tools

    Slate is stone so you need to consider that when you are installing your roof. It means you need to get the correct tools such as a slate hammer and ripper. This allows you to pound in nails or pull out nails without damaging the slate, an important step in installation.

  4. 4.Take Slate from Multiple Pallets

    You will likely have to get a few pallets of slate and during the installation, you want to take pieces from the various pallets. If you only work from one at a time, your roof may look splotchy in the end because the coloring is never going to be 100% the same.

  5. 5.Don’t Walk on the Slates During the Install

    As strong as slate is, until it is fully in place, pressure can break the pieces. You should never walk on the slate during the installation process as you will likely crack the pieces.


    Slate roofs are gorgeous when complete. You are definitely walking into a roofing situation that is more complicated and takes a little more time, but the look and the longevity factor often make slate roofs the right choice. Don’t be intimidated by the medium, you should have the roof you want as you will likely be looking at it for years to come.

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