Slate roof/ box gutters question

We have a leak in our roof and/ or box gutters and have been having roofers come out to give us estimates. I'm not sure I trust all of the information they are giving us though so if someone can tell me...
- Do slate roofs need regular maintenance beyond replacing broken/ missing slates? Is applying a waterproofer or conditioner a good idea?
- Our box gutters definitely need to be relined. What is the correct way/ material to use? Does the bottom row of slate need to be removed/ replaced to do this correctly?
We have gotten different info from different roofers, so I am just trying to figure out what's best. Thanks!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Christine Cato wrote:

You can't do research on roofing contractors from the comfort of your house. Get references, go take a look at their work and call some of their customers. Ask for references from recently completed work as well as some work that is at least a few years old.
Find out how the contractor works the roof. Walking on a slate roof is one way to damage it. The contractor working on your roof should be using hook ladders which hook over the ridge and distribute the weight of the worker and materials over a greater area. If the guy doesn't use a hook ladder the odds are good that he will damage good slate as he's repairing the other things. Your gutter work shouldn't really require the guys to work up on the roof as they're primarily dealing with the lower few feet, but the guy's approach to the basics is very important in sizing up potential contractors.

No. You don't want stuff growing on the roof, so that obviously needs to be cleaned off. The roof needs to be inspected regularly. One of the issues with a slate roof is that, depending on the type of slate used, the deterioration starts underneath the top layer of slate, so it's not always easy to determine the condition visually.

Not necessary, and it can cause more harm than good.

Copper with mechanically interlocked and soldered seams. At least one row of slate has to be removed. If you're in a cold climate it's a good opportunity to remove the first few courses and install some Ice & Water Shield to prevent ice dams. Some slate roofers consider the membrane an insult to their craftsmanship ("Our roofs don't leak, so we don't need no steenkin' membranes!") - I disagree with this stance. If your house is perfectly insulated and perfectly ventilated, you probably can do away with the membrane. Hint: your house isn't perfectly insulated and perfectly ventilated.

Here're some links to help you do your homework: http://www.slateroofers.org / http://www.jenkinsslate.com/neanderthal.htm http://www.cr.nps.gov/hps/tps/briefs/brief29.htm
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Are some roofers realy recomending a slate sealer, gee then I guess everyone around the world has been doing it wrong for a thousand years or so, no that guy I would throw out the door. Just keep broken tiles replaced. How bad is the leak, pinholes in copper happen, copper gets thin, but knowing the cost of your work, for just minor holes I would clean well-sand the area bright and silicone or solder for a few, to many years. For an honest opinion it might only be found from a non roofer, a home inspector who has a moisture meter and good camera to show you photos. You might save thousands.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Yes - some roofers have suggested a sealer. I thought that I had read that it was not needed, but he was quite convincing :)
I have called another roofer, based on one of the links another poster provided.
The trouble is, this house is only worth about $80k, so relining the gutters with copper may be a bit out of line. The gutters have been patched numerous times with silicon and roofing cement already, but eventually something more will need to be done.
I have had another roofer replace all of the broken/ missing slate, but he doesn't seem to want to call me back, so now I am back to having to find someone trustworthy.
Thanks to everyone for all the advise!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<snip>

Are you prohibited by code from installing regular gutters? Box gutters built into the roof (if that's what these are) have been deemed just a bad idea from what I've read and where ver possible, the thing to do is to remove them, slate over the opening and use regular gutters, which far much better. It's not that big a job, providing you can find suitable replacement slates. For an 80K house, almost anything will do, and it's about the same cost as repairing the built in stuff.

Hit the leaks with more silicone as a temporary fix and keep calling back the trustworthy guy. From what I've read in the slate roof bible, there are more hacks out there fvcking up slate roofs than can be belived. "Sealer for a slate roof" my ass.
John
--
Remove the dead poet to e-mail, tho CC\'d posts are unwelcome.
Mean People Suck - It takes two deviations to get cool.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
--On Monday, May 15, 2006 8:18 PM +0000 snipped-for-privacy@westnet.poe.com wrote:

I love box gutters. And, while it IS a $80k house, its an $80k house with stained glass, all original woodwork, 4 fireplaces, pocket doors etc. Regular gutters would ruin it. Thanks though.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Christine Cato writes:

It's a great idea ... but only for the contractor.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.