Slate Roof Resources For Homeowners

You are here because your home has a slate roof that may need repair, you are considering installing a slate roof, or you would like more information on what a natural slate is. These needs could include discovering what slate roof contractors are in the area, where you can purchase slate, or if replacement materials truly substitute for slate! The NSA is established to provide the information to make certain your slate roof protects your home for generations to come. By staying away from inferior materials, your slate roof will provide the long-lasting quality that you want for the home you want to grow in.

Benefits of joining the National Slate Association:

  • Fireproof, eco-friendly, long lasting, and aesthetically pleasing
  • Understand the historical nature of your slate roof
  • Learn about various slate types, patterns, and colors
  • Protect and maintain your home with the most trusted roof material
Slate Roof Resources For Homeowners in the USA


How can I tell if my slate roof needs replacing or just maintenance?
  • First, it’s important to note that all roofs will need to be maintained over the life of the roof system to ensure their performance and longevity. 
  • Small Isolated leaks, small quantities of missing / broken slates, water overflowing gutters, algae growth, are all signs of common maintenance items. 
  • Wide spread leaks, large areas of loose and / or broken slates, clogged drainage components are indications there may be some underlying concerns which may require replacement. 
  • You can expect a good quality slate roof system to last on average 75 years, some much longer depending on the type of slates used.
Where can I find the most reliable information to understand slate roofs?
What steps can I take to prevent damage to my gutter and landscaping during heavy snowfall?
  • The addition of snow guards is a great way to help protect your home from heavy loads of snow sliding off the roof. 
  • Snow guards are commonly installed at the roof eave in a 3 course pattern spacing 12”-24” apart, staggered horizontally and vertically. 
  • Snow guards are generally installed on the course of slate that is directly above the exterior wall, this assures that the weight of accumulated snow will bear on the wall, not on the overhang.
  • Always refer to the snow guard manufacturer’s spacing recommendation based on your region. 
  • Splash guards (diverters) installed on the gutters at valley locations are also a great way to keep snow from sliding off. 
  • Introducing Heat Cables may be a good option for those in heavy snow areas. The heat cables can be installed at the roof eave in a repeated “V” pattern as well as inside the gutters to reduce the weight of ice and snow that accumulates over the winter season. 
Is it necessary to hire a specialist for installing a slate roof?
  • Hiring a specialist will help to ensure you have the right team for the job. 
  • Roofing companies that specialise in slate have many years of experience and knowledge and will be better prepared to assist with slate installation and / or repairs. 
  • There are special tools and install methods necessary to install a slate roof.
  • Slate specialists will generally provide a better warranty. 
  • Always check to be sure the Roof Contractor is licensed & insured. 


Instructional Videos

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National Slate Association’s Mobile Field Guide

mobile.slateassociation.org is available free of charge via an internet browser on your smart-phone* or tablet when an internet connection is available.Or you may also scan the QR code here with your QR reader.

Click here to download the Mobile Field Guide press release.

*The NSA Mobile Field Guide is best viewed on iPhones, iPads and the newer Android phones. Windows® smart phones are not supported at this time. The mobile site is not intended or formatted for desktop computers or laptops.