Slate roofing material can look quite beautiful on a home, which is why you may be interested in it as a homeowner. However, there are a couple variations of slate roofing material out there. It helps to know the differences between two popular types so that you can pick the one that is best for your home.
Natural Slate Material
Many homeowners immediately think of using natural slate roofing material on their home because it's the real deal. The material is made with the natural rock itself, which means it is not manufactured. By selecting natural slate, you don't have to worry about the material fading over time, since it is incredibly durable and will last a lifetime.
Since it is natural slate, the costs can vary greatly due to the class and grade of the slate that you select. It is possible to find slate at a variety of price points, depending on your specific needs and preferences. One thing to keep in mind is that natural slate can be heavy, which could require spending more on the installation due to needing roof reinforcement.
Fiber Cement Slate Material
Fiber cement slate material is a manufactured version that uses a combination of resin and ground-up slate. It will look like natural slate but is more consistent in its color and pattern. Be aware that it is also very lightweight, which cuts down on the installation cost due to not needing reinforcement and it being easier for roofing contractors to handle. This also allows fiber cement slate to be used on a greater variety of roof types, since it can be installed on higher pitches where the roof is steep.
The biggest difference you'll find with fiber cement slate is its durability. The material has a shorter lifespan than natural slate. While natural slate roofs can last up to 100 years, fiber cement tops out at around 50 years. While they are both going to be the last roof you likely install on your home, many people have concerns about using a material that will end up in a landfill faster when it is done being used.
Are you having a difficult time deciding between these two types of slate roofing material? Reach out to a local roofing contractor for assistance with your roofing installation project. They will make a recommendation based on your budget and the type of roof that you have.