Slate Roof

marquestSeptember 26, 2010

I love my slate roof but it looks dirty. Is it possible to clean and use stone enhancer on a slate roof?

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Here is a pic.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 4:10PM
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I think I'd leave well enough alone. The only way I can think of washing something that steep is with a power washer and there is no way I'd use that type of machinery on slate. You'd destroy the very thing you are trying to protect.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 5:18PM
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I'd recommend getting professional help with something like a slate roof.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 12:24AM
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Here's a link to the care and maintenance of slate roofs from the NPS Historic Preservation brief. Take a look....

Here is a link that might be useful: cleaning a slate roof

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 6:20AM
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I have a professional slate roof company. They come in twice a year. I have asked them about apperance cleaning and was told that is the beauty of slate.

I asked the question to see if others that have slate roof had gotten a different response or have had their roofs cleaned. Just curious.

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. Any others out there with suggestions are welcome.

As I said I love the slate I think it adds to the charm of the style of house I just think it could be improved if it was cleaned.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 12:42PM
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Based on your picture, I think it looks great. I'd leave it alone and appreciate it for its character. This falls into the category of: "If it's not broken, don't fix it."

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 9:41PM
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kudzu, you have a point Lord knows I have lots of issue that need to be done. LOL.

I will let it go for now and move on the the other one thousand things that need to be done.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 12:01PM
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Yes, I think it looks great too. It doesn't look dirty, it looks mottled and natural. It is "the beauty of slate" as someone said.

I wouldn't mess with it. Slate roofs last 80-150 years, depending on the kind of slate it is, and they're beautiful. Don't mess with a good thing.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 2:01PM
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"Slate roofs last 80-150 years, depending on the kind of slate it is..."

For dosme that is just getting started.

It also depends greatly on climate.

Freezing is hard on slate roofs.
Water can get into residual cracks between the layers of the slate itself and pop off the surface.

The fasteners can also corrode (faster for steel than copper).

The barrier layer under the slate can also fail from age.
Newer materials are often a great improvement over older ones (even of the same type).

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 10:40AM
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I grew up in a house w/ a slate roof, just N of Boston app. 1.5 miles from the ocean. The house faced ESE, 2 things that did a number was freeze thaw cycles and heavy wet snow. When shingles did come off it was a result of fasteners failing
(rotted nails)or papering only on the weathered side, never on the back. It was impossible to match the shingles ,but the difference was hardly noticeable. There are very many buildings in this area w slate roofs, yours looks no different.
An oldtimer once told me the why slate along w copper gutters was used. Fireproofing, most houses had cedar shingles and coal or wood burning stoves. One hot cinder on a dry day and you can guess the rest. The roof is 105 years old and still looks fine

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 11:39AM
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Our slate roof is from 1825 and still going strong. A few slates may need to be replaced each year but that's it. Our roofer came with the house - he has been servicing our roof for over 30 years.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 10:07PM
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