Repairing Or Replacing Your Slate Roof

Repairing Or Replacing Your Slate Roof

When hailstorms rip through your town unexpectedly, residential and commercial properties with slate roofs yielded damage that is both obvious, such as holes in slate tiles, and not so obvious, such as underlying damage causing leaks over time.

Instead of having their property fully inspected, owners simply file insurance claims against the damage, wait for their check, and ‘bandage’ their wounded property. Remarkably, and quite often, makeshift repairs by even reputable companies further damage the roof structure.

Homeowners find themselves in an annual cycle – spending what could pay for an Italian vacation on slate roof repairs, never completely fixing the problem.

The flipside of this is that homeowners think repairs are the only option, and wait far too long to address the problem, which leads to even further issues such as mold, rot and interior water damage. The reality is that if you address these problems early, you may be eligible for full roof replacement, eliminating these problems, as well as costly annual repairs.

Inspecting Your Slate Roof Appropriately

Because the cost and historical significance quality slate roofs have to neighborhoods, you should consider having a professional inspection done to assure all damage is detected. What you might find is that you may be able to replace your entire roof – and pay for an insurance deductible or finance through other means such as home owner financing – rather than continue to pay for costly and questionable repairs.

One method for finding a qualified inspector is to ask if they are HAAG certified. This certification requires a base level of experience and classroom education. What it means to the homeowner is a proper replacement. I had a homeowner recently tell me they submitted a claim and the insurance company was going to give her $19,000. With a more thorough inspection and properly submitted paperwork, she was able to have that adjusted to $80,000.”

If replacement is necessary, a professional slate roof inspection has a secondary benefit. It helps you maintain the historical integrity of your neighborhood. If you’re like most homeowners, the thought of spending $40,000, $50,000 or more over and above what the insurance company was going to give you, just to restore your roof back to the original, historical look is not possible.

Repair vs. Replace

It’s important to know that slate roof repair companies are just that — repair companies. They make their money on repairing slate roofs, not replacing them. And there is certainly a place for a company that can make emergency repairs to your roof. Uncovering all the underlying roof damage and submitting a claim for what can be a six figure roof replacement – is a different business altogether.  A proper roof inspection and claims submission requires detailed analysis and third party research to supplement the claim.

The inspection process takes about 45 minutes to an hour. Reputable companies will do the hard and risky work of actually climbing up a ladder to closely inspect the roof, rather than simply viewing it from the ground. After that, a report is prepared that outlines the damage, with recommendations on claim submission.

The bottom line is that if you do have own a home with a slate roof, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have your roof inspected by a professional specializing in slate roofs. If your roof is sound, then you will know for sure. And if it’s not, you may be eligible for a full roof replacement which protects your home, your family and a piece of history.


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