Gorgeous, durable, and offering that telltale Old-World appeal, slate roofs definitely have a lot of attractive points. However, slate roofs are also some of the hardest types of roofs to repair, which is why it is important to only ever trust the task to professionals with ample experience. If you attempt to do slate roof repairs on your own, you very well could do more harm than good. Here is a look at just a few of the mistakes that are commonly made when DIYers try to attempt slate roof repair.
Mistake: Not using the proper equipment to get around on the roof.
Slate roofing materials cannot withstand a lot of pressure. If you simply climb up on your roof and step around on the slates, you could end up causing a lot of damage. Professionals utilize hook ladders that hook over the peak or ridge of the roof, and they maintain their footing on the ladder, not on the roof itself. You will see a professional move their ladder multiple times during the repair process, but you will rarely see them get off of the rungs of the ladder. This is because they are avoiding foot contact with the slates to protect the materials.
Mistake: Using tar or roofing cement to reattach loose slates.
When typical asphalt shingles work their way loose, it is fine to use roofing cement or tar to reattach them and hold them in place. However, this is not something that should ever be done with slates. These materials can actually be detrimental to the slate tiles; they can cause them to break down faster than they should.
Mistake: Using the wrong tools when trying to attach loose slate pieces.
It is bound to happen at some point. Loose slate tiles are probably the biggest reason for a call to a slate roof repair professional for help. It can seem like such a simple process to go up on the roof and reattach whatever is loose, but this can actually be a lot harder than it seems. Using the wrong tools to try to reattach a slate tile can lead to damage to the tile, or, even worse, it can lead to damage to several of the tiles. For example, if you use the wrong kind of hammer, you can hit a fastener with too much force, split the slate tile, and knock several other tiles loose in the process.
Contact a slate roofing repair contractor to learn more.