How to Find Perfect Spanish Slate Tiles for Roofing

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The exterior appearance of a building or a home will be largely affected by the type of roof. As such, the ideal roof type should be chosen, both for aesthetic and pragmatic purposes.

Regarding Spanish slate, it has been used for over millennia as a reliable and safe roofing material.

That having been said, the quality criteria of Spanish slate may vary from quarry to quarry, which is why selecting the perfect Spanish slate will take some time. Here, our focus will be on the steps you should take to find the ideal Spanish slate tiles for your roof.

What is Spanish slate?

Spanish slate is a foliated type of rock. It is built from mud and sediments that have been compressed underground for millions of years. Over these millions of years, these sediments underwent some noticeable changes, hardening into the slate rock we use today.

Spanish slate consists of minerals that are part of the chlorite family. It also includes some quartz and sericite as well. Spanish slate is usually available in 2 different colours, namely gray and black.

Why should we go with Spanish slate?

Spanish slate is a very high-quality type of slate. It will last for over a hundred years if laid down correctly. If you want to replace your existing roof with Spanish slate, then you can do so without issue. Spanish slate can also be used to build a completely new roof for a your home or prebuild.

You won’t have to worry about the fallout of rain during a storm when you install Spanish slate. It will also protect your roof against other elemental forces such as heavy winds. It will also not expand or crack during cold winter nights either.

Most Spanish slate roofs are only vulnerable to human-based damage. For example, if a rotund person were to jump up and down on a Spanish slate roof, it may sustain some damage, requiring that some of the tiles be repaired by a roofer.

The protection of your internal building or structure will also be assured if you use high-quality Spanish slate for your home. It is strong and highly durable. It is also highly reflective, refacting sunlight 70 percent more effectively than other roofing materials, saving you money on temperature control during the summer.

Another benefit of Spanish slate is that it boasts low water absorption properties, significantly reducing the likelihood of flooding or water-based damage. As a result, maintenance is virtually zero when you choose Spanish slate as your roofing material.

Colour and Texture of Spanish Slate

When choosing roof shingles or slate, you need to have a precise idea about the colour and texture of the slate’s tiles that you wish to choose. Spanish slate will usually be available in varying degrees or shades of gray.

The colour and texture of the Spanish slate will be influenced by the specific rocks that fused together over countless years of compression.

Things to Be Considered When Selecting Spanish Slate

Delamination and oxidation are some of the red flags that you need to be on the lookout for when shopping around for slate for your roof. Pay close attention to the shape of the slate to determine if the slate has been affected by oxidation or delamination.

You should also check the slate for any visible pyrites. Pyrites are iron inclusions that you can see with the naked eye. They will glisten when exposed to sunlight.

Pyrites can cause your roof to degrade over time. Pyrites will react with the atmosphere and will begin to oxidize. They can also cause discoloration as well as rust to form over time. In addition, you should check the slate for hollow spots.

To do so, knock on the back of the slate very strongly. If you hear a dull thud, then you should avoid choosing it. What you should be hearing is a solid hard ring.

Moreover, dimensional consistency is something that you should pay very close attention to. That is, low-grade material will tend to warp or twist and should be avoided if you want your roof to last a long time.

The slate should also be CE marked, as it sets the standard for all slate products.

The supplier that you choose must also be reputable. They must have a proven track record of success. Avoid 1-man companies that promise the moon and underdeliver in spades. Ask a trusted friend or colleague if they can recommend a supplier.

The Choice of Kings

Spain is the largest producer of slate in the world. One company in Spain produces one-fourth of the globe’s slate supply, with 22 processing plants and 16 quarries. However, Spanish slate can vary quite a bit in terms of its quality.

Cheap Spanish slate will tend to be soft. Soft slate will weather down quicker than hard slate and contain iron pyrites that can cause issues down the road.

Pyrite forms when iron particles make their way into the slate. Conventional slate will form when clay undergoes intense pressure over many years. The resulting rock formation will contain many different microscopic particles, including, but not limited to, mica and quartz.

The slate that you choose should not have any pyrite in it, as pyrite will eventually rust. The result is your roof will have brown stains on it that will reduce the visual appeal of your roof and may even lower the real estate value of your home.

As mentioned, pyrite will glisten when exposed to direct sunlight. You can also test for pyrite by using x-ray diffraction.

In sum, you need to perform the necessary due diligence to find a high-quality Spanish slate. Premium grade Spanish slate combines elegance and reliability, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds.

A Spanish slate roof can last over 100 years before it needs to be replaced by a roofer, so it is a superb investment that will pay for itself in just a few years if you choose a high-grade variant.

Stephanie Alexander is a blogger. She is currently a blog manager, predominantly based in the Greater Toronto Area, managing content for a few different blogs for different clients with wildly varying information needs or topics of interest. She likes to research topics mainly related to home improvement. Most recently she graduated from the University of British Columbia with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Creative Writing with Honours.

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