Slate is a fantastically long-lasting roofing material. Depending on the composition of the minerals in the slate you use for a home, your roof could last for as long as two-hundred years. The longer a roof lasts, the less you have to worry about the high cost associated with replacing a roof. While you may never have to deal with replacing a slate roof, you may have to repair your roof because individual tiles can get damaged. The key to a good slate roofing repair is to use a slate hook.
What Does a Slate Hook Look Like?
A slate hook is nothing more than a piece of wire bent into an S shape. One end of the S will be straight and sharpened at the very end so that you can easily hammer it into your roof. The other end will have a hook that will just slip around the edge of your slate tile. You can find slate hooks made from a few different metals. While you might be tempted to choose a galvanized-steel hook just to save some money, you will get a longer life—and thus a more permanent repair—from a stainless steel slate hook.
How to Make Your Repair
You will only need a hammer to place your slate hook. As for how to wield your hammer to make your repair, it's easy:
1. Use a straight edge such as the side of your roofing tile to place a mark where the bottom edge of your new tile will rest.
2. Line your slate hook up so that the hooked end hangs just barely below this line.
3. Hammer the slate hook into your roof.
4. Slide your new tile into position.
5. Make sure the slate hook slips over the the bottom edge of the tile.
In five steps, you are done with your repair. The trickiest part about repairing damaged slate is to make sure that you don't damage the other slate on your roof. You will want to step on the bottom edge of your slate where the upper layer of slate rests on the underlying layer. Stepping on the middle of a piece of slate can cause it to crack. Still, if you are careful where you step, you have a head for heights, and you are reasonably good with a hammer, you should have no problems repairing your slate roof on your own. Otherwise, contact a local company, like Conrad Roofing of Illinois, for repair advice.