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When It’s Time for a Slate Roof Repair: 4 Signs to Watch Out For

Slate is an outstanding roofing material primarily known for its longevity. When properly installed and maintained, slate can last for up to a hundred years and more. Just take a look at the many wonderful heritage properties and buildings in Sydney and around Australia that continue to proudly showcase their slate roofs.

But as history taught us, even the mightiest can fall too. Slates don’t last forever and can deteriorate sooner due to a host of factors. That’s why spotting early signs of damage and knowing how to take care of your roof is essential to maintain its beauty and integrity.


But how will you know if your slate roof needs fixing? Here are tell-tale signs to watch out for.

  • Leaks – Leaks are the most common signs of roof damage. Aside from compromising the quality of your roof, leaks can also stain your walls, wallpapers and carpets. Common causes of leakage include faulty copper, metal or lead roof flashing; broken or missing tiles; corroded valleys; and failure of underlay. Because some leaks are difficult to detect and will only be evident in certain weather conditions such as windy rainstorms, calling on professionals to conduct regular inspections and maintenance is advised.
  • Misaligned slate tiles – Misaligned or missing slate tiles may not be a cause for alarm during dry weather. But if you do nothing about it, more serious problems will inevitably appear—from pest infestation to water penetration. As soon as you detect that some tiles have gone askew, get in touch with slate roof repairs specialists immediately. They may have to replace the fasteners that hold the tiles in place.
  • Dull thud – Another way to tell if your roof needs some extra care is by performing the “knuckle test.” Knock or tap on various sections of your roof with your knuckles or a slating hammer, and listen to its sound. If it produces a dull thud or buzz instead of a solid, deep sound, then it may be a sign of a roof defect.
  • Cracks – While slates last longer compared to other roofing materials, they may crack and fall off after a certain amount of time and exposure to the elements. Cracking is especially common in old, heritage tiles that have long been unmaintained. If you notice cracked slate tiles tumbling off your roof, get in touch with roofing experts right away. Your roof may still be salvaged and repaired if the damage is only less than 20%.

If your slate roof has lost its lustre and showing any of these signs, then it’s time to get help. Aside from giving your roof a new lease of life, getting your roof repaired may also improve the beauty and value of your property.