Very few roofing materials can match the longevity and natural beauty of a slate roof. There is a reason it is one of the most popular roofing options. With the ability to last more than 100 years, it is one of the most durable types of roof materials as well. However, if you wish to keep it sustainable for more than a century, you will need regular maintenance and inspection by slate roofers. Therefore, let us look at how you fix/replace a broken roof slate if a similar situation was to arise in the future.
Accessing Your Roof Safely
The first and the most important thing when it comes to fixing/replacing a broken roof slate is accessing it safely. The area should be clear of any items or objects that might create an obstacle while performing the installations. Furthermore, slate roofs also require implementing several safety procedures in order to complete repairs safely.
One of the first things you need to remember about slates is that since it is a natural product, moss will most probably grow on its surface. Plus, it will also become more slippery under both snow or rain conditions. Therefore, take precautions when inspecting the roof and make sure that the surface is cleared from any growth and remove any ice or snow that might cause you to fall or slip. When the surface is wet or covered with snow, walking on the slate is not safe and recommended.
The second thing you need to consider is that slate does not support foot traffic very well. Therefore, it is suggested that you do not step directly on it. Instead, you should completely avoid it. If you wish to repair or replace the slates, it is better that you use a chicken ladder or any other type of equipment that supports your weight. As you are fixing the slate roof, make sure that you do not further damage the roof system. Therefore, take your time and consider all the necessary safety precautions.
Materials, Tools, And Skills Required
To complete the roof repair project correctly, a slate roof requires several specialized tools and equipment. These tools and equipment allow you to be safe and effective, which will enable better quality repair.
Remove Damaged Slate Tile
The first step towards fixing/replacing a broken slate tile is removing the damaged or broken ones. Furthermore, you will have to remove the remnants as well such as nails, which is the second step. Before installing a new slate, make sure that the area is cleared of any remnants.
To remove a slate, use the slate ripping tool and place it under the bottom edge of the slate tile or into the location where the slate is missing. The tool is designed to catch the nails, therefore, as soon as you detect one, using a hammer, hammer it down. This will cause the nail to be either pushed inside or rip it out. Afterward, using the slate ripper, lift the slate and slide it from its position.
Verify Replacement Slate Tile Size
Once you have removed the slate, put the new slate in the same area to confirm the size. Chances are that you might need to trim the slate using a trim cutter. If you are able to retain the slate that is being replaced, you may use the slate for the new replacement slate. Overlay the original slate onto the new one to confirm the slate size matches the slate being replaced.
Install Replacement Slate Tile
The last step is installing the replacement slate tile. While installing, remember that you should use copper roofing nails and not overdrive the nails. It will simply break the slate. Then, move it into place by applying pressure if required. If it requires a lot of pressure, you might want to clear the area using the slate ripper. Once the slate is in place, insert a copper slip. It helps to shingle the water over the nails onto the exposed slate portion.
Replacing a roof slate is a sensitive task. You need to be careful at every step, otherwise, you will keep creating holes in your pocket by breaking the slates. It is better to hire capable roof repair services to get the job done properly.