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Checking the condition of a slate roof

Checking the condition of a slate roof

Should a roof be replaced?

If patch repairs are regularly necessary, it may be time for the roof to be re-covered. It is difficult for an amateur to judge whether a new roof is required. If you need advice about the soundness or safety of your roof, contact one or two builders for their opinion. Alternatively, pay a surveyor or architect for an unbiased report on its condition.

A contractor, who will guarantee the work completed, should undertake major roof repairs or replacement of sections. It is worth checking with your local authority to see if you qualify for a discretionary improvement grant. This will depend on the age of your property plus its rateable value. Planning permission is not required for roof replacements unless the building is a listed property or you live in a conservation area.

A slate roof is expensive and is often replaced with less expensive tiles. Slate is available and it is worth checking supplies with builder’s merchants, roofing companies or demolition contractors.

Simulated slates are available and are less costly than replacing the roof with real slate. Imitation Cornish, Cumbrian, Cotswold and Welsh slate are available in a range of sizes. Flat ones with nail holes are often suitable for replacement on a slate roof, but check the size, colour and thickness carefully. Not all simulated slate tiles are suitable for repairing a slate roof as they are made with nibs and interlocking grooves that would not fit on to an original slate roof.

The type and colour of the tiles can enhance or spoil the appearance of the house. If you live in a terraced or semi-detached property, consider the covering of the neighbouring roof, which can affect the overall appearance of your roof.

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