Repair Slate Roofing
When repairs to a slate roof become necessary there are a few things that you will have to do before you can start your actual repair.
- Check for cracks that are showing the sunlight as this will be an indication of the area of the roof that would require closer inspection.
- Check for water staining. If you find any water stains on the timber you should be able to trace the source of the stain
- Check for hairline cracks; look for any type of staining on the tiles. Inspect the Roof from the ground:
- Check the whole outside of the roof for disjointed or slipped slate against regular slate lines. Any change in color to a particular section is a possible indication that it is newly exposed and unworn.
- Check for any powdery or flaky surface, which is a sign that the slate is deteriorating, and will definitely need to be replaced.
- Check for gaps in the ridge of the skyline near the mortar joints.
- Check flashing especially around chimney stacks. Check for any loose pieces of mortar.
To make temporary roof repairs:
- You may be able to replace a slate tile to prevent water damage, by weatherproofing the slate temporarily. You will have to use wooden wedges to prop up the slates that are overlapping the cracked slate and then simple clean the surface around the crack with a brush.
- Coat the crack with flashing strip primer to ensure that it will bond properly once the flashing strip is in place. Make sure that the flashing strip is long enough that it will cover the crack completely. Ensure that the strip is in its proper location and roll over the strip with a roller to secure it into position.
- Inject the bituminous sealant along the entire length of the crack with an applicator gun.
Removing a damaged slate:
To remove a damaged slate you will have to use a slate ripper ( a tool with cutting barbs at the end) which slips under the center of the slate until it contacts with one of the barbs of the tip hooks around the nail in the roof batten. Once contact is made simply pull the nail out by pulling down on the tool.
Replacing the Slate:
- You will have to use a “tingle” which is a bent metal strip made from lead, zinc or aluminum to replace the slate. You will have to cut a 1″ wide strip to match the length of the slate lap then cut another 1″ wide strip about eight inches long.
- Nail the strip to the batten between the lower slates – the row below the slate that needs to be replaced, and then slide the slate into position so that it is at the same level as the other slates in the row. Secure the slate in position with the edge of the tingle. Repairing a replacing a broken slate:
- Remove the broken slate, and ensure that you have the right color, size and thickness replacement slate available. Measure the size and outline of the replacement slate and using a tile cutter score the surface as deep as you can and then use a trowel to cut off the edge of the slate and using the side of the bench as a guideline proceed to cut all the remaining sides of the slate.
- Once all the sides are cut you can now mark the position of the nail holes using a drill to cut out the holes and then nail them in position.