Assessing a slate roof

21 Jul 2010
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Weymouth, Dorset
United Kingdom
Looking at a 1925 chalet bungalow to buy, with slate roof.
Several slates have slipped and been put back with hooks, one of two are looking crooked so may need hooking back.
My guess is that the roof is original, so what else should I be looking for to assess whether it will need immediate replacement, or replacement in five years?
I can see the advantages of replacement, new felt in latest materials, new battens, copper nails, possible upgrading of insulation in the areas where the upper room ceilings are part of the roof.
Then I have read scare stories about renovating slate roofs, seems it's quite a skill to get it looking good.
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What "beams" are being referred to?

good roofers will do a good inspection and report, and do good work if necessary - bad roofers will do the opposite.
Why not post pics?
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Hey guys and roofers, here are pics as promised! Difficult to get a real side on shot from the road...unless I started trespassing...
But I could see some shifted slates, slates that had lost the odd corner. Quite a few slates with copper hooks.
It's funny because the owner is a builder by trade and the inside is immaculate, he repointed and that looks very nice work, but seems he has largely avoided anything major on the roof. Without checking the loft, it's impossible to say if it has been re-slated at some time. The next door house does look like it's had a re-slate, the slates look cleaner, more regular and no clips visible.


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From 1925 you probably have at least 100 more years life in the slate

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