Thursday, August 29, 2013

Slate as a Natural Sheltering Stone

Slate is one of the finest choices in roofs over fine homes, libraries, churches, government buildings, and universities. Often sold gauged, its back surface is ground for easy installation, which contributes to construction efficiency. Setup by slaters, these tiles are fixed either with hooks, shingles, or nails. In England and Wales, fixing is typically with double copper nails onto timber battens, while in areas like Scotland and Northern Ireland, these are nailed directly onto timber boards. Both these methods provide a long-lasting, weather-tight roof that can last for a century, which explains why the material garners consistent and insistent requests from engineers and architects.

The Rock that Built the Roof 

Slate quarried for roofing is of dense, sound rock that has an extremely low water absorption index, making it resistant to frost damage. Hence, roofing contractors in Staten Island often speak of slate roofs that have lasted a century, in contrast to other types of manufactured roofing that require frequent repair. Set on mortar and grouted along the edges, construction companies use chemical sealants to further improve appearance and durability, increase stain resistance, reduce efflorescence, and moderate surface smoothness.

Slate naturally has lines of breakability, which are the cleavage and the grain. Both make it possible to split the stone into sheets. Slate interestingly retains a natural appearance even when broken. It remains relatively flat and easy to stack, making the job easier for construction workers.

Versatility and Multifunction

Slate tiles are also used for interior and exterior flooring, walkways, and stairs. Providing a rudimentary, damp-proof membrane on walls, the small offcuts of slate are also used as shims to fill unevenness in floors. It is also conveniently used for building hedges, usually in combination with other kinds of stone. Some manufacturers create table coasters out of the same material.

Marketability and Relevance

Celebrated in all its functional properties, slate tiles and roofs were popular in 19th century United Kingdom. This is why slate quarrying areas remain relevant to this day, with many buildings constructed with pure slate. Roofing contractors in Staten Island, NY, offer natural slate roofing in different colors, sizes, and texture, making possible many architectural effects that contribute to the beauty of any building. Attentively providing detailed information and architectural services, they typically source this material from some two-dozen different quarries so they can offer options that attract interest from the market.