Synthetic slate shingles are a modern improvement on a construction classic. Made from combinations of plastic and rubber, synthetic slate is designed to mirror the beauty and uniqueness of authentic slate without the expense of installation headaches, all while being a longer-lasting shingle. Synthetics are made by injection-molding petroleum-based materials into metal forms that are cast from authentic slate. Some brands of synthetic slate shingles are manufactured with virgin rubber or plastic, while other products incorporate recycled rubber or plastic, mineral dust, or cellulose fibers. Recycled content usually consists of high-quality post-industrial materials; only a few incorporate post-consumer recycled materials.
Here’s a look at the benefits that synthetic slate provides without sacrificing the aesthetic value of traditional slate:
Cost and Longevity
On a scale comparing costs of conventional roofing materials, the initial cost of installing synthetic slate shingles falls in the middle—it’s more expensive than asphalt and architectural shingles and less expensive than clay tile and authentic slate. Unlike less expensive asphalt shingles, however, synthetic slate roofs can last for up to 100 years, and the majority of synthetic slate shingles have 50-year warranties. The long life expectancy of this material means that a roof doesn’t have to be replaced in 15 or even 30 years, and also that fewer repairs are needed during the roof’s lifetime.
Safe and Energy Efficient
Synthetic slate is considered a “green” building alternative—even those that use virgin materials—because all types of synthetic slate can be recycled at the end of a roof’s usable life. Synthetic slate shingles are more durable than authentic slate, as they contain advanced ultraviolet inhibitors to reduce wear from the sun.
Safety is never an afterthought with synthetic slate. Synthetic slate typically contains impact modifiers to help withstand storm damage; in fact, most are certified by Underwriters Laboratories for Class 4 impact resistance, the highest level for roofing materials. Many synthetic slates also have a Class A fire-resistance rating, which means they’re the most effective against severe exposure to external fires, are not readily flammable, and do not spread the fire.
Smooth Transportation and Installation
Transportation and installation of synthetic slate shingles are easier and less expensive than other roofing materials. Synthetic slate shingles are lighter than all asphalt shingles and are only a quarter the weight of authentic slate shingles. Their light weight also means that a standard roof structure can support synthetic slate shingles with no special reinforcement, making them practical for mainstream residential construction. During installation, synthetic slate shingles can easily be field-cut with a utility knife and nailed into place with standard roofing nails and a pneumatic nail gun. These characteristics are in sharp contrast with those of authentic slate installation, which requires precision cutting and nailing of heavy shingles that chip and crack easily.
It’s easy to see how you can maintain the pleasing aesthetic of a traditional slate roof without having to sacrifice key features, such as durability or energy efficiency, and even save time and money while doing so! That said, synthetic roofing material may not be right for everybody or every roof. If you’re ready to see if synthetic roofing is right for you, contact Hero Roofing today for a free estimate. Our team is ready to help you take your roof to new heights, so don’t wait, give them a call!