Salvaged roofing slates

Does anyone know of an objective way to decide whether a salvaged roofing slate is in useable condition or not? I've got a whole pile of them in my basement, so they're free; if they'll last as long as a cheap-ass asphalt shingle, that's a win for me, because it means I don't have to replace the skip-sheathing with plywood.
--Goedjn
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Goedjn wrote:

If they are real slate their usable lifetime is measured in hundreds of years.
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Goedjn wrote:

Many older slate tiles contain asbestos, so maybe it's not the great deal you suspect...
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???
Commodore Joe Redcloud
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On Wed, 21 Dec 2005 22:53:11 GMT, Commodore Joe Redcloud

I'm not sure I beleive that slate tiles ever contain any measurable amount of asbestos. I do know that some asbestos tiles/shingles were CALLED "slates", but that's not really the same thing.
In any case, I seriously doubt that they've got more asbestos in them than my asbestos siding, or my vinyl-asbestos floor tiles.
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wrote:

Maybe he means composite shingles made to look like slate used to have asbestos in them. Even so, as long as you do not crush them, they are safe.
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If the edges are in good shape and they are not spalling or delaminating (splitting along the layers) and the nailing holes are intact, I'd say they are servicable.
Try soaking one in water and freezing in the fridge overnight to see how it stands up if they look porous (they should not).
Installed properly, they will last a heck of a lot longer than cheap ass shingles. Could be a big win for you.
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PipeDown wrote:

Good advice.
I will only add that there are many kinds of slate. The good stuff has a life span rated in centuries, while the cheaper stuff may be rated in decades. Even the cheaper ones last a long time.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

The life of the slate depends on the region the slate came from. The slate in my region usually lasts 75 to 100 years on the roof. Some slate belt's slate can last a few hundred years, but the hardware that holds the slates on the roof rarely lasts as long, so the roof would generally have the slates removed and re-installed after about 100 years. My slate roof is 75 years old and I expect it to last about another 25 years (according to a roofer who looked at it).
Rob
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Goedjn wrote:

Rap each one with your knuckles. The good ones will ring and the bad ones will sound flat.
r
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Does anyone remember during Katrina when they were doing that one rescue by helicopter of the people on the roof? Those diamond shaped slate roof tiles were blowing away with the propwash from the helicopter.
I have seen houses in the South with those old diamond shaped slate shingles. They looked like they did the day after installation, and they looked like they were good for another 500 years unless a helicopter landed on the roof, or a large meteor crashed. Unless you walk on them, I think they are indestructible.
Steve
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still on it! It's that greenish gray slate that came from somewhere in Vermontt.Since we bought the house in 1977 there has only been two problems with the roof. Once the roof started leaking in a certain area. The great thing about these roofs is you just look at it and see the problem. I could see a missing tile in the leaking area. I found the tile in the gutter and "sistered" it back in. Working up there was a bit of a pain because (as noted) you can't walk on the roof (used "chicken ladders") and the pitch is rather steep. Another time a "roofer" worked on a flat roof that was at the base of a portion of the slate. After the job was done the slate roof was leaking. I went up there and I could see where he had "helped me out" by mopping in the bottom few courses of slate with hot tar. I solved the problem by cutting the tiles lose again. There seems to have been maybe 30 to 40 repairs done on this roof in the 105 years it has been up. You can tell because previous owners apparently couldn't match the tile so they took tile from a portion of the roof you can't see from the street and replaced it with a non matching slate. Richard
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snipped-for-privacy@lycos.com wrote:

The New Hampshire/Vermont slates are said to be very long lasting slates.
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Rob wrote:

My mom owns a Timber Frame English Tudor built in 1829 in New Jersey and it has a Vermont Roof. It also has copper gutters, she has lost 1 slate in 50 years she knows of. Its a very steep roof and the snow never sticks to it.
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but you can\'t make them THINK"
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Rob wrote:

Vermont Structural Slate is one quarry. Gorgeous slate. http://www.vermontstructuralslate.com/stone_profiles.htm
I worked on one project (that unfortunately never got built) where the roof was a combination of the three different slate colors in the top row of the linked page above. The roof was designed so that the lower rows of slate were thicker and bigger and tapered off in thickness and size as the rows progressed up the roof. An exceptionally beautiful roof with almost a forced perspective look.
It kills me when I see a prime Vermont slate roof and some idjit patched it with some Pennsylvania ribbon slate.
R
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I used to live near Slatington, Penna. There were small pieces of slate lying around on the highway, and I figured if I looked down the smaller roads, at least the ones leading to the quarries, I could find enough good pieces to do my bathroom floor. Unfortunately I was a renter at the time, and my floor was fine.
Now I live near a stream that goes through a tiny gorge with a lot of slate. I've intended to ask if I could have some, or buy some, for flagstones, but I never get around to it.
It would have been much easier when she was selling and moving. Proably a new owner by now.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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I dunno that the slates actually ever die, just the nails rot away. Or the house burns out from under them[slate was so popular on balloon frames]
Bet a slate roof with stainless nails would last ferrrever
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Just demo'd a house with slate roofing nailed down with copper nails. Roof 90 years old, hemlock struts under like new. Lead valleys like new. This roof would have lasted another hundred years easy if the new devel did not necessitate leveling it. Amazing to see workmanship and materials so great even time can't destroy it.

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Please tell us some of that fine old material got salvaged for use elsewhere....
aem sends...
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On Thu, 22 Dec 2005 22:56:55 -0500, "Rush Limballs"

What did you do with the slates?
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