Houston Roofing: Article About Choosing Substitutes For A Slate Roof

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Unfortunately, there's a time in every Houston roofing expert's career where a historic home's roof just can't be salvaged. Regardless of a roof's materials, if it is not cared for and maintained throughout its lifespan, it will not last as long as it should. If replacing a home's slate roof is not within the homeowner's budget, there are some manmade options to help the home remain architecturally sound.

Natural slate is very long lived, but if a home is particularly old, the roof may be at the end of its lifespan. New, quality slate isn't hard to come by, but it is expensive to purchase and install. Manmade substitutes give homeowners the option of having the beauty of slate tiles without the price tag. When homeowners are shopping for "slatelikes," they should ensure the product they're purchasing is both high quality and comparable in appearance to the home's original slate.

Fiber cement tiles are the original slate substitutes, dating back as far as the early 20th century. The newer versions, however, are made without asbestos, and instead consist of nonasbestos cellulose. These tiles aren't used only on roofs. They're also used on dormers and as siding. While fiber cement slates are very close in resemblance to real slate, the installation costs are almost the same, so homeowners benefit from lower material costs.

Roofers from Houston Restoration Services of Houston would be happy to answer any questions you have about remodeling or storm damage.

Clay tiles have been used for centuries, and they're slowly gaining popularity among modern homeowners. Clay tiles are very strong and aesthetically pleasing on most homes. While they retain most of the benefits of real slate, clay comes in limited colors and its edges are regular, unlike slate tiles. Clay is also high in material and labor costs to install, so homeowners should compare the two to see if there is truly any savings.

Concrete slate tiles have been in existence for quite a while, but they aren't very popular. They're almost identical to fiber cement tiles, and they don't have any cellulose fiber. Aggregates are added to the concrete to create thicker tiles that are heavy and durable. Concrete is not used often in old homes due to its significant weight, which can be over 1,000 pounds per square foot, requiring special structural considerations.

Recycled rubber tiles can be fashioned to resemble slate tiles. Rubber tiles are very lightweight and flexible, making them easy to install. The texture of the rubber tiles mimics that of slate and comes with chipped edges and fairly accurate slate colors. Their cost is significantly less than slate, and they're good for areas with high winds.

Real slate is typically the best choice for reroofing a home with an old slate roof, but when the cost is out of the homeowner's budget, a variety of manmade options can still give a home the stately look of slate without breaking the bank.

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