Whether you choose natural stones or synthetic slates for roofing depends on your individual preferences, requirements, and budget.
Sturdy, durable, and attractive-looking, natural stones are a great choice for roofing. But if you are looking for a cost-effective alternative, you can opt for synthetic slate roofing. At times, a man-made material could turn out to be more functional than the natural alternative. Additionally, synthetic slate may suit your budget and purpose more than natural slate.
What Is Natural Slate?
As the name suggests, natural slates form naturally over the years as a result of sedimentary deposit and compression. These slates come with a wide variety of colors, shades, and attractive textures. Natural slates are resistant to fire and stains, and generally last for years. Applications of these slates are seen widely in flooring, landscaping, and cladding. These slates add a classic, rustic look to any home. You can choose from a number of color options, such as, dark grey, black, brown, red, and green.
However, it may not always be a good idea to use natural slates for roofing. The roof of any home needs to be strong enough to withstand heat, rain, hailstorm or any other harsh outside attack. Natural slates are often thinner and therefore may not be suitable materials for roofing. If not installed properly, natural slates may develop cracks and fail to protect your home in the event of a catastrophe. Hailstorms or flying materials may easily damage a roof made of natural stones. Alternatively, you may consider using synthetic slates for rock solid roofing. That way, you can retain the classic look of slate roofing, without compromising your protection and security.
What Is Synthetic Slate?
Synthetic slates are artificially made from a wide variety of materials. They look similar to natural slates, but are sturdier and difficult to break. These materials are a popular choice for roofing. Also known as composite slate shingles or composite slate roofing, synthetic slate roofing provides the look and feel of natural slate roofing, plus the benefits of a strong, highly durable roofing material. Some composite slates are made from polymer base, which contains UV and thermal stabilizers, and fire retardant. You will also find synthetic slates made from recycled plastic or cellulose fibers.
There are many reasons why you may choose synthetic slate roofing over natural slate roofing. Firstly, synthetic slates are highly durable, lightweight, and require no or very little maintenance. These slates are resistant to fire, stains, thaw, and are available in a wide variety of colors and sizes. Natural slates are known for their stunning looks, but synthetic slates are no less attractive. You will find them in different textures and widths. Natural slates are heavy, and so may not be suitable for all home structures. In comparison, synthetic slates are lighter and sturdier, and thus are an ideal option for use on both new and older homes. Moreover, synthetic slates require less installation cost and often come with a longer warranty period.