Slate tile is one of the best materials for a roof because it is strong and lasts a very long time. While it is extremely durable, no material lasts forever. There may come a time when you need to replace some of the tiles because they have gotten damaged. Here are some tips for replacing your slate roofing tiles.
Keep Safety in Mind
Before you attempt to go onto your roof and replace the slate tiles, make sure you are taking the proper safety precautions. Never attempt to go on the roof in the rain or snow, or when there is ice on the roof, unless you are trying to shovel snow. In this case, wear sturdy boots and be very careful. Any time you work on your roof, you should wear shoes with good traction, and have gloves on. Use a ladder that is sturdy to get onto your roof.
Gather Your Tools and Materials
You will need a variety of tools and materials to remove the old slate tiles and replace them with new ones. Before starting this project, make sure you have the following on hand:
- Slate ripper
- Replacement slate tile
- Roofing nails
Remove the Old Tile
When you get onto the roof, inspect all of the slate tiles and slats, and make sure you remove any of them that are damaged. To remove them, use a slate ripping tool. There is a flat end of the tool that has a hook, allowing you to get under the bottom edge of the tile, and pulling it up and off the roof. The hooks attached to the flat end will help to pull up the nails, as you also need to pull these from the roof. If the ripper did not pull up the nails, try using the hook on your hammer. Remove all the damaged tiles and dispose of them properly.
Install the New Tile
You are finally ready to install your brand new slate tiles. Remember that slate tiles do not get nailed tightly to the roof's surface, but only enough to let them hang and not fall off. Copper roofing nails are the best ones to install them with. The nails should be pushed in just enough to where they are flush with the slate, but not so much where the slate is tightly against the roof. Looking at nearby slate tiles on the roof is a good guide for how they should be hung. Each slate tile should be installed a couple inches from the bottom of the one above it. If you need any help, make sure to contact a company like Bell Roof Co for assistance.