Why do slate roof tiles slip out and can they be re-secured?
The most common reason for slippage is that the original galvanised nails that were used to nail the individual slate to the timber battens have rusted. This is particularly true of slate roofs built in Melbourne 60 or more years ago. Unfortunately, once this starts occurring it will be ongoing. However, the deterioration occurs over quite a long period of time and with regular inspection and maintenance the original roof can often be kept for many years, provided the slate themselves are sound. Using specialist slate tools we can re-secure slipped slate using copper tags and copper nails. We can replace broken slate and will use good quality second-hand slate of the same type and size so they blend with your original roof. The re-secured and replaced slate, having been secured with copper, will last longer than the original roof. We also provide a free annual inspection and report on these slate roofs to let the owner know what repairs are required.
Can the lichen or moss on old slate and tile roofs be safely removed?
Yes. Heritage Roofing Melbourne have carried out many projects in removing lichen and moss from old slate and tile roofs, with no pressure cleaning required.
If the metal valley on the roof between the roof faces is showing surface rust, does it need to be replaced?
Often the valley will deteriorate more quickly than other parts of the roof due to trapped leaves and debris in the valley. We can replace valleys and can also repair them. Repairs can include cutting out rusted sections and patching these with metal patches of the same type of metal, removing surface rust, applying industrial strength rust converter, priming and painting or coating the valleys with a UV resistant flexible resin-based waterproofing membrane. Old valleys on slate roofs are particularly difficult to remove so we can often repair and waterproof the valley so that it will last as long as the rest of the roof. We can provide a free inspection of the valleys as part of an overall quote and will provide the best option.
What is re-pointing of ridge capping?
Ridge cappings are the individual concrete or terracotta tiles that are at the top of the ridge of the roof or that cover the join between two roof faces. They are often shaped like an upside down “V”. These are concreted onto the tiles on a bed of mortar (thus ‘bedding’) and then afterwards a coloured mortar mix is applied to blend with the colour of the tiles and fill in any gaps (pointing).
Originally, pointing was made from sand and cement, and oxide was used to colour the pointing mix. Over time this cracks, comes loose and breaks away with the thermal expansion and contraction of the roof. Nowadays flexible UV-resistant pointing products are available with a range of colours to match the cappings as closely as possible. We can re-point the ridge and hip cappings with a flexible coloured mortar mix such as Flexipoint which will help keep the cappings secure to the tiles, fill all small gaps to keep out wind-driven rain and consequently help keep dampness and leaks out of the roof space.
I can’t afford to replace my slate roof with new slate. Can I replace it with tiles or metal?
This depends on a number of factors. First, if there is a heritage listing on the house, street or suburb it may be difficult. We always recommend that the owner gets approval in writing from their local council before changing slate to another product.
Assuming that there are no council regulations prohibiting it, then the next step is to look at how it will affect the house generally. Concrete tiles and terracotta tiles are significantly heavier than original slate and the roof framework will need to be able to support the extra weight. Colorbond steel is much lighter than slate so the roof weight is not a factor when replacing slate with Colorbond.
The next step to look at is how changing the roof material will work around chimneys, gables, eaves etc. The original flashing system for these was designed for slate and often a new flashing system will need to be provided because tiles and Colorbond sit significantly higher on the roof frame than slate.
Another important factor to consider is whether changing from slate to tiles or Colorbond will lower the overall visual impact of the house and consequently lower its value. Some houses, particularly Federation look great with slate but may look less so with other types of roof product.
Sometimes, the roof faces that are visible from the ground can be kept in slate – either new slate or having the existing slate re-nailed with copper nails onto new battens – and the faces that are not seen can be replaced in Colorbond. This is often a much cheaper option than replacing an entire slate roof with a new slate roof while maintaining the original appearance of the house.
Are new slate roof tiles still available?
Yes. There are excellent slate tiles imported from Wales and Canada available to re-roof your house or to roof over an extension. There are also slate tiles from other countries of varying quality. A major cost of a new slate roof are the materials required, such as the new slate, new oregon battens, sarking, copper nails, cappings, rubbish costs, labour costs etc. It is often worth spending that little bit more to get a high quality slate instead of a cheaper slate as the other factors mentioned (other materials and labour costs) remain the same.
If I build an extension to my existing slate-roofed house, can I use second-hand slate for the extension to match in with the original house?
Yes. We often have large stocks of good quality second-hand Welsh slate that we have salvaged from houses getting demolished or that we have salvaged when the owner has decided to put on a new roof. Provided the slate are available at the time, we can roof the extension with new battens and sarking and secure the salvaged slate with copper clouts with new cappings and flashing. If there is currently Spanish slate on the roof, we would recommend new Spanish slate for any extension. These can be recognised by their very dark grey or black colour.
If I cannot afford to re-roof the whole roof now, can I re-roof part of the house now and the rest later?
Yes. We can replace part or all of a roof and suggest options to minimise costs on your roofing project.
I am not sure what is best for my roof. Can you offer different options?
Yes. We will personally inspect your roof and explain to you what is found. With 30 years experience in roofing on all types of roofs we can offer a variety of options to suit your budget and roofing requirements.
Does Heritage Roofing Melbourne only work on Heritage buildings, and do you do all types of roofing?
While we are specialists in the maintenance and roof rectification or roof replacement of older buildings in Melbourne, we can carry out all aspects of roofing works on all types of roofs. Whether it’s a new roof, roof repair, metal, tile or slate roof, chimney and parapet walls repairs and waterproofing, skylights, flashings, polycarbonate roofing, roof maintenance, roof cleaning, leafguard installation, and so on. We will provide a free quote with a fixed price for what is needed.