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Repair or Replacement, What Does Your Slate Roof Need?

Even as slate roofing is expected to last a hundred years, sometimes, due to poor installation and poor maintenance, a few repairs or even a replacement is necessary. But even if the roof was installed efficiently and it was properly maintained, someone is bound to need at least one of these. But how do you know which of these two is currently what your roof needs?

Aged slate roof tiles close-up


An inspection of your slate roof would give you an idea if it’s due for a repair. Among the factors you need to look out for are: misaligned tiles and leaks. Check first from the ground for any visible defects. You can use binoculars for a general assessment of the roof to know which specific areas need a closer inspection. Upon identifying these areas, use a ladder or lift to take a closer look at the slate’s condition. Remember not to walk on the roof as this may be dangerous for you, especially if there are damaged slates. Also consider having a professional inspect your roof. As they have the eye to see even the small details that need attention, they would be the best persons to tell you if your roof is in dire need of a repair.

For cracked or broken slates that are isolated, have the tiles replaced immediately by experts. Make sure to get experienced and trusted professionals to do the job as poor repairs may do more damage to your roof.


If more than 20% of the slates are damaged, this calls for a major roof replacement. Just replacing the missing or broken pieces won’t do.

Among the other factors that would determine if a replacement is needed are as follows:

  • Damaged slates have not totalled to more than 20%, but remaining slates are in poor condition (flaking, powdering on the undersides)
  • Slates needing repairs are scattered on multiple slopes
  • Repair or slate replacement is needed in areas where it is difficult to access and may result to the damage of more tiles
  • Complex work needed for flashing problems

If all or any of the items above are evident on your slate roof, this means that a roof replacement is necessary. If however historic significance is a big factor you need to consider and you are dealing with heritage tiles, then the roof can be repaired. If availability of the matching slates is scarce, then you’ll have to make do with slate roof repairs too until the necessary replacement slates are available.

Knowing when a repair and replacement is needed for your slate roof is essential. This will allow you to spend only for what is necessary, but will also give your roof the attention that it really needs.