Quarve Contracting
Monday 19 October 2020

Why We Don't Recommend Real Slate Roofs for Minnesota Homes (Metal Is Better)

Posted by at 9:00 AM

We recently shared some information on metal shake and metal slate roofing.  You might wonder why we prefer that to the genuine materials.  Well, there are a number of reasons we believe that a metal roof is a better option to protect homes here in the Twin Cities. These natural roofing options have some serious drawbacks, and in this article we'll address real slate roofing.

Slate Roofs - Not a Good Choice in the Minneapolis Area; Metal Is Preferable

Natural materials really appeal to homeowners in our area.  We understand that - living in a state with so much beauty around us, it's to be expected.  That's why you'll find earth-tone exterior color palettes on homes, wood siding, and roofs made from materials like wood or slate.  But just because it's natural doesn't mean it's the best thing for your home. Whenever you're evaluating a roofing material for your home, the first thing to consider is how well it will protect the house it covers.  After all, that's the main function of a roof.  A wise homeowner would choose roofing that stands up well to our climate. While slate roofing can endure our temperature extremes, it is known to be extremely brittle, and cracks can develop. Slate itself won't absorb water, but even hairline cracks can be problematic.  Those small fissures provide openings for water to get in. Snow falling on a slate roof might melt, and when it seeps into the crack and refreezes, that crack will only get larger.  Your home needs something that can withstand our freeze-and-thaw cycles in winter. What about hot summer weather?  Heat isn't an issue for the slate material, but the stone DOES absorb heat from the sun's rays, which can be transferred to the attic space.   In contrast, metal roofing actually reflects the rays away from the roof.  Metal roofing can keep your home cooler than other types of roofing, so it's a better alternative in hot weather, too. But what about other characteristics?  One thing about slate roofing that appeals to people is that it's extremely long-lasting; slate roofs can last about 150 years or more.  But it is brittle, and you cannot walk on a slate roof without potentially causing cracks.  That can make home maintenance in or around your roof difficult.  From time to time you might need flashing or vent pipes repaired. So how do you get to them without walking on the roof?  It's just one more reason why we don't recommend real slate. Another drawback to slate roofing?  It's extremely heavy, and your existing roof structure might not be able to support it. And then there is both the cost (it's one of the most expensive options on the market) and the fact that very few roofing companies in our area even install or repair slate roofing.  It takes specialized skills and equipment that most roofing contractors don't have.   And unless you're planning on staying in your home at least 30 years more, the up front cost is not worth it. If you like the look of slate, we think you'll like metal roofing that has the look of slate much better.  Shown in the photo below is Arrowline Slate metal roofing in T-Tone Blend.  photo courtesy of Arrowline/EDCO   We're proud to install Arrowline/EDCO metal roofing in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area.  Contact us to find out more about how we can install a slate-look roofing with all of the benefits of metal roofing and none of the drawbacks of real slate. Quarve Contracting/Metal Roofing & Siding of Minnesota is a licensed roofing company located in the Twin Cities and serving the greater metro area.