Fixing the Slate Roof

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Fixing the Slate Roof

Post by Lacan07 » Sat 17th Jul, 2021 8:10 am

Hi all

My neighbour and I have erected scaffolding around the Oast House we share in preparation to re-slate the roof which is looking rather worse for wear. Initially we thought we would retain as much of the old slate as possible to reuse and incorporate new slate when necessary, but now we wondering if it might not make a cleaner job to just re-slate it all with new. The new tiles are Spanish, apart from the expense is there any reason to incorporate the old? I have this thing in my head that old is often better than new but the old slate will have multiple holes in them and we're worried about future breakage and slipping, etc no matter how thoroughly we check them. The Oast house is pretty inaccessible and any slipping or loose tile can only be fixed with a scaffolding tower erected.

Any experience of this would be much appreciated.

Thanks. P

a twig
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Re: Fixing the Slate Roof

Post by a twig » Sat 17th Jul, 2021 8:50 am

The only time we re-used slate in a past house was where we had 24 x 12s which cost a fortune and are harder to get hold of.

If you are redoing the whole roof then yes - from my point of view just crack on and do the whole lot with new.

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Re: Fixing the Slate Roof

Post by MatthewC » Sat 17th Jul, 2021 7:07 pm

On my house, I was advised that we should allow for (IIRC) 15% - 25% of tiles to be not re-useable. In fact, the total was more like 50%! So if you do re-use any, be prepared for the number you have to buy to be rather more than expected.

Personally, I think you should either use just new ones which are all the same, or else re-use what you can and make up for the missing ones with reclaimed tiles. If the former then you can sell the good ones to a reclamation yard. I think new ones mixed with old would stand out.

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Re: Fixing the Slate Roof

Post by Lacan07 » Sun 18th Jul, 2021 7:48 am

Thanks for the replies everyone.

We're not planning on mixing the old and new at this point so if we re-use the old we'll have to phone up some reclamation sites.

I'm veering towards using the Spanish tiles which is easier in terms of work ad time, but Tim, who's doing the bulk of the work, isn't convinced.

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Re: Fixing the Slate Roof

Post by CliffordPope » Sun 18th Jul, 2021 8:54 am

Slates don't last forever. Even undisturbed on the roof held by undecayed nails they gradually erode and split under the influence of wind, cold, sun, rain, frost, snow, moss, lichen and birds. If yours are already perhaps 150 years old then they are already a long way through their lives. The strain of removing them and re-nailing will further weaken them even if apparently undamaged.
On an easily accessible roof this might not matter - you'd just have to climb up and replace them occasionally. But if the roof needs scaffolding just to replace a single slate then I'd fit new.

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