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How Long Does a Slate Roof Last?

Close-up of slate shingles on roof

A solid roof can help you feel safe and secure in your home, giving you and your family peace of mind. This is one of the reasons why slate, which is known for its durability and resilience, is a popular roofing material. But how long does a slate roof last?

How Long Does a Slate Roof Last?

If you’ve ever had a roof installed, or purchased a home or business that required a roof installation, you’re probably aware of the benefits of choosing a slate roof. Slate is an extremely popular roofing material for good reason. Slate roofs are aesthetically pleasing, environmentally friendly, and even fire-resistant.

So why isn’t every roof a slate roof? Depending on the type of slate you use, materials can cost up to five times more than other roofing materials. For many, this is an automatic dealbreaker.

However, before you decide against a slate roof on cost alone, you should consider its longevity. A typical residential roof lasts up to 25 years before it needs to be replaced. How long does a slate roof last? It depends on the materials used, but if you’re building a home to last your family generations, or you want to enhance your home’s value, you may find it’s worth the investment.

A Slate Roof Is a Solid Investment

If you want a roof you aren’t going to have to worry about for a long time, slate roofing is the way to go. According to slate roofing experts, a slate roof can last for centuries! Of course, this depends on which kind of slate is used. A hard slate, such as a purple slate or a grayish-black Buckingham slate, can last 150 to 200 years. But even softer slates have a life span of 75 to 90 years.

So even though a slate roof might cost a little more to install, it can be an excellent investment. There are also ways you can cut the cost of installation significantly, such as using composite slate roofing materials. This is why it’s a good idea to work with an experienced roofer. They can help you get the roof you need at the price point you want.

How Do I Know If My Slate Roof Needs to Be Replaced?

Even the sturdiest roof will eventually need to be replaced. If you’ve inherited a slate roof through a home or building purchase, you might want to know how long it’s going to last. Roofing experts recommend these tips:

  1. Find a roofer who knows their slate. Some roofers who are not familiar with slate may not know how to treat the material or may recommend a replacement before it’s strictly necessary. 
  2. Keep in mind that slate shingles can and should be replaced as they get damaged. A damaged shingle here or there does not mean your roof needs to be completely replaced. If you’re unsure if shingle damage indicates a larger problem, call a roofer to check things out.
  3. Look for moisture damage in your rafters or attic space, or on the top floor of your house. This can be a sign that the roof is failing. 
  4. If leaks are detected, have a roofing professional examine the roof to find the source of the damage. It’s possible that another roof component, such as the flashing or a vent, has been damaged and needs to be replaced. This is much cheaper and easier than getting a new roof, so be sure to rule this out.
  5. Check the condition of the slate shingles. If you knock on the shingles and you hear a dull sound, it might mean the slate on the roof is too old to last much longer. If they sound sharp, the slate on the roof is probably still in good condition and issues can be addressed via another repair.


How long does a slate roof last? With any luck, a very long time. How long will your own slate roof last? That’s a question for a professional roofer. If you need to have your roof inspected, give us a call!

If you live in southwest Missouri, contact Taylor-Made Roofing for help with your roofing needs. With over 20 years of experience in residential and commercial roofing, Taylor-Made Roofing is a company that you can trust with all of your roofing needs. Our family-owned business offers quality services, a reassuring warranty, and free estimates. For more information, please give us a call at 417-326-8778 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!

Fully licensed and insured, Taylor-Made Roofing is ready to take care of your roof.
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