How to Repair a Slate Roof With the Copper Tab Method

How to Repair a Slate Roof With the Copper Tab Method

A slate roof is one of the best investments you can make for your home. Not only is a slate roof very attractive, but it is also almost 5 times more durable than an asphalt roof. An asphalt roof will last 20 years, while a slate roof can last almost 100 years.

Even with the amazing durability of a slate roof, it does, at times, need repair. Whether it’s a branch that falls on your house, or a clumsy satellite dish installer, every now and then a slate will get damaged. This damaged slate needs to be repaired, otherwise the waterproofing that a slate roof can provide will be compromised.

It can be tricky to repair a slate roof. The pieces of slate are very rigid, unlike asphalt shingles, so the easy fix of simply lifting the shingles next to the damaged shingle is not an option. You have to follow certain steps to fix that shingle, and here they are:

1 – Disconnect the damaged slate. You’ll have to hold the slate to keep it from sliding off the roof and potentially hurting someone, and then cut the nails behind it to get it loose. There are usually two nails in the back of a roof slate.

2-Choose the right slate to replace the damaged slate. If the blank space left by the missing damaged slate is 10 inches long, the replacement slate should be 23 inches long. This is because the slate should be twice as long as the opening, plus 3 extra inches for that attractive lap over effect.

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3-Place the slate. Use the space between the row of slates above the row you’re working on to mark where the holding nail should go.

4-Counter sink the nail. Punch a hole in the slate from the back so that the hole in the back is clean. It’s OK for the ragged side of the hole to be on the front of the slate. Insert the nail head into the clean hole on the back of the slate

5-Nail on the replacement slate. You might have to cut off the edges of the nail head to get it to pass through the upper shelf of slates.

6-Cover the nail hole. You’ll need a copper bib for this. Slide it up under the upper course of slates to so that it covers the nail hole and extends up under the upper course. Make sure the top of the bib extends over the nail and under the upper slate. You can slide it up so far that you can’t see it anymore.

Following these steps will help keep your slate roof looking wonderful for years and years. It may seem complicated, but it’s actually quite easy to do. Taking on home improvement projects on your own will save time and a lot of money, but when in doubt, make sure to contact a professional to consult, or to even do the job for you.