Slate Roofs on Texas Historic Homes

Slate is a very rare, natural roofing material in Central Texas that has been busy protecting Texas historic homes and buildings for over a century. Not many people go to the trouble or expense to install slate in today’s world but there are still some slate roofs around on historic homes. In my travels as a Central Texas REALTOR specializing in Historic Homes, I see the rare and amazing old slate roofs.

My inner hope is that owners of these homes will take the time to repair them if needed and not replace with a more modern and inexpensive roofing material. Slate roofs were designed to last a lifetime and some of these roofs have been on over 2 or 3 generations of time! If you do buy a historic home with a slate roof, you do not want to walk on it as this can break the slate shingles. Make sure your home inspector is aware that the roof is slate and knows how to inspect it. Slate roofs have been renowned worldwide for centuries for their unmatched durability and longevity so do the research to understand just what you have. I love our Texas Historic Homes and can recommend home inspectors who know about historic homes- their unique features and other attributes to my historic home buyers and sellers.

You can still buy a real, natural slate roof, a synthetic roof that looks like slate, or a kind of hybrid or composite type slate roof like TruSlate® by GAF. Traditional slate roofs are heavy and the new hybrids do not weigh as much. A new construction home has to be engineered to handle the load or weight of a natural slate roof. If your Texas Historic Home has a slate roof, then it should have been engineered and designed to carry the weight of a slate roof.

Most people do not want to spend the money for a natural slate roof anymore. This is too bad because slate has incredible natural beauty, longevity and unlike composition, cedar shake or cedar shingle roofs, is not flammable.

In the United States, natural slate has historically come from slate quarries located in the states of Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Virginia. Many United States slate quarries are still in business today and there are roofing companies skilled in installation and repair of slate roofs. Roof slates are available in various colors including gray, black, blue/black, green, red and purple. Being a natural stone, no two pieces are ever exactly alike.

In the United States, slate is graded by the American Society of Testing using ASTM C406 Standard Specification for Roofing Slate. Slate can be tested and approved for wind resistance in hurricane prone areas of the United States coastlines. Can you imagine getting a roof that has a 75-100+ years guarantee! I just love slate roofs and have photographed them in Texas but also in the United Kingdom in England and Scotland.

also see my article Central Texas Roofs



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Poultney, VT 05764
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Virginia Slate Company