Slate Roofing Toronto — Royal York Roofing

Slate Roofing Toronto - Royal York Roofing

Why Slate Roof?

Slate roof is considered to be one of the most prestigious and also expensive types of the roof to have. It is aesthetically pleasing and extremely long lasting. Slate has been used for centuries as a roofing material lasting for decades and creating distinctive roofs, which sustain hard Canadian climate. Properly installed, slate roofs require little to no maintenance and will last up to 100 years and even longer depending on the slate grade and structure of the roof. It is not uncommon for slate roof to last in excess of 100 years.

Current Project — Mt Pleasant Rd & Bloor St E, Toronto

Recently Completed Project — St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church

Recently Completed Project — Bayview Crescent School

Recently Completed Project — Bayview Ave & Lawrence Ave E

Installation Tips

Slate roofs are about 3 times heavier than asphalt shingles and, thus, the roof structure must be strong enough to sustain additional weight. A properly installed and maintained slate roof usually lasts almost a century. Therefore, regular steel roofing nails and flashings are not suitable. Copper or stainless steel nails as well as copper flashings are strongly recommended. Slate is only installed using hand nailing technique, which is much more time consuming and adds to labour costs. High quality ice & water protection underlayment is required to get the most out of slate roof. Our company recommends installation of Grace Ice & Water Shield or Blue Skin over the entire roof.

Colours — Slate comes in a wide variety of colors, grain and textures. All slate colours could be broadly divided into 3 major categories: unfading colours, semi-weathering and weathering colours. Unfading black, gray, green and purple slate maintains its colour over years, whereas in semi-weathering colour slate, certain percentage of slate turns to different colour, which creates colour variation. For example, some of the slate pieces in semi-weathering green will weather to brown and buff, creating moderate colour variations, while maintaining primary green background colour (shown in upper picture). Weathering slate changes more aggressively and results in more colour variation. A custom blend of slate could be created by mixing different slate colour in order to create unique roof look.

Slate Roofing Toronto - Royal York Roofing

Size, Thickness, Pattern, and Exposure — Slate comes in a variety of thickness and size. Slate thickness may vary from 3/16 to 1 (standards to extra heavy). The most common slate thickness used in Ontario, however, is 1/4, which considered to be a standard. Slate size varies from as low as 12×6 (length x width) to as large as 24×16. Slate could be installed using different patterns. For example, one way of slate installation is to use the same slate width across the entire roofing surface, which will create regular pattern. Alternatively, slate shingles with varied widths could be mixed together creating very different roof look. Variation of slate colour, size, thickness and pattern allows for achieving desired look of the roof.

Another important characteristic of slate roof affecting the look is exposure, which is directly related to slate length. In some cases slate exposure could be varied along with thickness. Normally the maximum exposure is used at the bottom of the roof and then gradually reduced toward the top. This technique is called graduated slate installation, which often used for heritage building with slate roof. This unique technique makes the building to appear taller than it actually is. To increase this effect slate thickness could also be graduated. Bayview Crescent School roof over main building in Toronto is an example of such roof, which was successfully replaced by our company just recently. In this project exposure varied from 8.5 at the bottom to 5.5 at the top. The thickness varied from 1 at the bottom to 1/4 at the very top.

Synthetic Slate

Synthetic Slate is a cost effective alternative to natural slate that becomes more and more popular. While material and installation costs are considerably lower for synthetic slate, it provides authentic look, which hard to differentiate from natural slate. Synthetic slate is very durable and usually comes with the protection of a limited lifetime warranty (50-year) and high wind uplift rating. High quality synthetic slate usually has class A fire rating system, is UV-protected and impermeable, and would not fade, crack or curl with time.

Slate roof is an ultimate beauty, and at the same time is a great investment considering a century of life expectancy, with minimal maintenance. However, slate roof is one of the most complicated roof types for installation, thus, should only be installed by experienced professionals. Royal York Roofing is a number one natural and synthetic slate roofing contractor in GTA, with a vast portfolio of successfully completed projects.


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