Roofing with British Slate

British slate is a fantastic material for your roofing projects, not only is it a tidy finish but also extremely hard-wearing. Slate is quite a tricky material to work with and requires a certain amount of knowhow to ensure it is fixed correctly to avoid leakage and to adhere to building regulations.

Slate Roof

British slate is tested against British Standards ‘BS680’ and therefore against the likely weathering to be experienced under the British climate. The slates are tested for low water absorption (linked to longer life), carbonate content (linked to discolouration) and how they perform with repeated freezing and thawing – each of these variables being extremely important when matching to the climate your building is to be placed in.

If you look to import slate, this may be the cheaper option, however, the slate rarely performs to the correct level four our climate as it is more suited to the climate of the continent and the standards seem far more variable. If you are looking to import, just check the slate conforms to the European Standard ‘BS EN 12326-1’ to ensure you are getting a good quality. Ultimately, the best option will be British slate, well known for its durability and excellent quality and well worth the cost with slates very much being the quality you pay for!

Three simple tips for working with slate:

1)      Storage – keep the tiles dry to avoid discolouration from efflorescence and staining when water accumulates between the surfaces. Air needs to be able to circulate around the tiles even when covered outside to keep the stacks dry.

2)      Ventilation – keep to Building Regulations to prevent condensation within the roof. Several measures of construction can be adopted to fit the regulations such as slate vents and eaves and ridge ventilators. Bear in mind that ventilation of a ‘Warm Roof’ will require further construction.

3)      Fixing – slates should be laid with a broken bond, in regular horizontal courses with tails aligned. The standard fixing sequence should start with slates for first under eaves course followed by the second under eaves course. Next move on to the first full size slate course and then work across and up the roof.

For full details on fixing slate, please see our fixing guide document here or give us a call for some top advice!

We also have a fantastic offer on quality slate at £679 per 1000 tiles!