Frequently Asked Questions

What are Stone Slate Roofs

Stone Slate Roofs are a popular feature of houses in the pennies giving a distinctive skyline. Originally stone slate was the only alternative roofing material to using the more traditional thatch type of roof. Stone slate roofs are distinctive and cannot be replicated easily with modern materials meaning they are pretty much here to stay. However in some cases modern materials have been used.

Stone slate roofs are particularly hard wearing and with regular maintenance should last well over 100 years. A full re-roof is rarely required and often you can reuse much of the original material. However this obviously varies from roof to roof top.

Local sandstone and slate as well as slate from further afield such as Wales and West Moorland have been traditionally used.

Tips

Ensure you check your roof at least once a year for minor problems such as loose slates, loose ridges on the outside and look for damp patches especially on roof timbers internally. If in any doubt get a specialist slate roof repairer in to check, not all cracks, flaking or changes in colour necessarily mean the roof requires repair.

Keep on top of any vegetation that starts to grow in the roof or gutters and remove moss debris and anything that may hold water or prevent it from flowing off the roof. Watch out for ivy as this can dislodge slates the higher it grows.

Hiring a roofing contractor with specialist and proven experience in working with stone slate roofs is advisable. It is common sense to check that they can show you local examples of the quality of their work.

If you are in doubt a structural engineer can give a professional opinion and possibly recommend a specialist slate roofer. Only a prolonged period with a lack of care can cause such problems to develop.

Try to find replacement stone slates locally as should have the same proportions as the existing slates, your local specialist roofer should be able to help. Agree with your contractor and ensure that this agreement is observed.

Reclaimed stone slates can be a suitable alternative but only if you can be sure that they are from a genuine source, such as a demolished building all to often such stone for roofs has not been legally obtained.

Traditionally stone slates are fixed using oak, treated softwood, or copper pegs, or copper nails. Stainless steel nails or galvanized nails should be used in the main roof structure.

Before any work starts photograph the roof this is then a record of the original detail which can be used for comparison and as a guide to ensure the work is going according to plan.

Do not leave minor problems, as they will invariably lead to larger and more costly problems over time.

Whilst you can turn over stone slates this is not always advisable. The topside of a slate may have been treated or be naturally more weather resistant than the underside and if turned over the underside can rapidly deteriorate when exposed to the elements.

An irregular shaped stone slate roofs maybe more water tight as it has settled during its first few years, the uneven shape of the ridge is a common feature. Trying to make the roof more regular may be costly to achieve effectively.

Do not bed stone slates in mortar. The mortar can draw moisture between the stones and into the roof, and also damages the stone.

Do not seal the stone slate roof with any coating including tar. This can seal in moisture and cause fungal attacks and many other undesirable affects on the slate and roofing timbres.

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What are Roof Trusses?

Roof Trusses are the timbre frames that roofs sit on. There are a wide variety of systems and configurations on the market and a more detailed description of Timbre Roof Trusses can be found here

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Why convert from a flat to a pitched roof?

There are a number of reasons why you would want to do this from the aesthetic to the practical. The work involved in changing a flat roof into a pitched roof is a simple and will no doubt alter the look of your home for the better.

Once the pitched roof timber work is complete the pitched roof can be slated or tiled in the same style as the rest of the building to ensure it looks consistent and blends in well with your property and your neighbours.

Assured Roofing have been altering flat roofs to pitched roofs providing a professional high quality service from start to finish.

The benefits to you of converting are as follows:-

  • Lower maintenance and naturally rain run off
  • Appearance blends in with the rest of your property
  • It is a permanent repair that lasts
  • In some cases it can Increase the value of your property

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What are soffits and fascias?

Soffits are underside of an architectural structure such as an arch or overhanging eaves. A fascia is usually a wooden board or other flat piece of material covering the ends of rafters or other fittings on the roof of a property.

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Gutter Maintenance

Defective gutters can be the source of many sorts of damp problems in a building, therefore maintaining your gutters is an important aspect of maintaining your home.

The guttering and associated pipe work are there to carry rainwater away from a building, if they are blocked or broken, water can run down the outside wall or (other areas), which as well as looking unsightly will eventually damage the area that is getting wet. Parts of your property can get damp, have mould and rot. Problems are only really noticeable when it rains, so you should always notice anything odd and take action before problems set in.

Autumn is the best time of year to maintain your gutters as all the leaves have fallen and the weather is still mild enough before the winter sets in to resolve any issues that have arisen.

Typical maintenance tasks include:-

  • Removal of Gutter blockages
  • Clearing downpipes
  • Correcting sagging guttering
  • Repairing or replacing Corrosion and cracks on metal guttering
  • Cracks in plastic and cement guttering
  • Repairing Leaking joints
  • Replacing sections
  • Painting guttering (not suitable for all guttering)

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What is roofing slate?

Roofing Slate (also called roofing shingles), can be installed by a slater or experienced and qualified roofer. Roof Slate has two lines of breakability known as the cleavage and grain. These make is possible to split the stone into thin sheets ideal for slating roofs. Slate retains a natural appearance while at the same time remaining relatively flat and easily stackable and therefore ideal for roofs.

Slate is particularly suitable as a roofing material as it has an extremely low level of water absorption which also makes it extremely resistant to frost damage

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What are plastic verges?

Plastic verges provide a cheap alternative to the more traditional mortar verges, in some cases they look better but it really depends on circumstances. Assured Roofing can advise the most suitable type to fit to your property at highly competitive rates.

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Re-Roofing or Re-slating a roof

The process of re-slating a roof is as follows:-

  • Firstly the existing slates need to be stripped off and stored it makes sense to store them sorted by length, size and thickness thought this is not necessary.
  • Next you will need to re-felt the roof - felt is a breathable membranes and is essential to allow water vapour to dissipate due to natural air movement to move through which also reduces wind pressure on the underside of the slates.
  • The roof may need re- battening by using softwood attached to the roof rafters
  • Re-slate the roof
  • Re-fix lead flashings and any chimney aprons
  • The last two stages are the "Dry fix" (replace any dry verges, hips and ridges) and the "Wet fix" (verge pointing, verge fair ends, bedding and pointing of slate at the gable ends and the ridges with mortar)

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