How do I know if my slate roof needs maintenance?

Freezing and Thawing Damages

Use binoculars to see what's going on in the fall, before the freeze/thaw cycles; in the spring, see what the freeze/thaw did to your roof, checking for loose, cracked or missing slates.

Check for Leaks

It is also important to look in the attic for evidence of leaks, and to make sure gutters and downspouts are in good working order. If there is a leak, it is often the metal flashing at the seams, valleys and ridges of the roof is the real culprit. Slates usually outlive their flashing. Even copper flashing, the best in the business, typically lasts only 60 years (a spry and youthful age for most types of slate). Often, slate and wood shingle roofs are removed because of problems with flashings.


Sindelar, who coordinated a City-sponsored workshop on slate and shake shingles in 2001, cautions that before replacing a slate roof with something else, "You have to look at the economics of it." Because building codes prohibit putting new roofing material over a slate roof, the existing slates must be removed before their replacement may be laid down. That cost should be factored in.

Show All Answers

1. Can you recommend a contractor or repair person?
2. How do I start a home construction project?
3. A contractor took payment, but failed to perform the work. What should I do?
4. How do I find property maintenance standards?
5. How can I find someone to repair or replace original materials on my house?
6. How do I find the Ohio Building Codes?
7. Do you have the plans for my home?
8. How often should chimneys be cleaned?
9. I’m concerned about a property in my neighborhood and would like to file a complaint. Do I have to give my name?
10. I’m concerned about lead in my Shaker home?
11. What are the construction hours?
12. What color may I paint my home?
13. What if water washing is not appropriate for cleaning my historic masonry?
14. What shingle colors may I use on my home?
15. How do I know if my slate roof needs maintenance?
16. How do I know when my slates are beyond repair?
17. Why should I preserve my home's slate roof?
18. If I do decide to replace windows, which is better, wood or vinyl?
19. Several of my windows are showing signs of wear and tear in various places. Does the entire window have to be replaced?
20. With the vast array of window styles available, how do I know which is the most appropriate for my home?
21. Are licensed contractors recommended or vetted by the City?
22. I received a sidewalk repair notice?
23. Does my project require permits?
24. Should I get utility line protection insurance?
25. Why is my water discolored?