Slate Roofing

Canada's longest lasting roof!

Why Choose a Slate Roof?

 Slate roofing is an art form and is considered the most elegant and revered residential roof covering.  A properly installed slate roof has the potential to remain beautiful and waterproof for over 150 years. With a wide variety of natural colors and the ability to hand cut shape variations a slate roof is a masterpiece of craftsmanship and old world design.

 What is Slate?

 Slates are made from dense blocks of shale. They are hand split and cut to a variety of sizes and thicknesses. Nail holes are punched through the slate based on desired head lap. Slates are then packed in protective wooden crates for safe shipping. No batch of slates is exactly the same so all the pallets of slate must be sorted on the ground before the project can begin. Failure to do this may result in visible patches of color variations throughout the roof.

 North American quarries have been producing slates for centuries. These slates have proven the test of time and many slate roofs installed in the early 1800's are still in service to this day. Quality slate is still mined in Vermont, Quebec, Virginia and New York so there is no need to buy less reliable imported slates. Although they may be cheaper you should always go with a proven material when you have the choice. Slates from these regions are a combination of black, grey, green, purple, and red and are available in mottled, weathering or unfading color schemes.

 Advantages of a Slate Roof


Slate roofs are one of the most expensive roof coverings on the market. With this being said, in the long term a slate roof can actually pay for itself. With their extreme durability and resistance to the elements a slate roof can suffer years of abuse from UV rays, rain and snow, freeze and thaw cycles while experiencing very little degradation. In fact ,many slate roofs are carefully disassembled at the time of replacement so the slates can be reused on another home with many decades of service life left. Slate roofs require very minor maintenance and when installed with a combination of soldered flashing and traditional metal practices no real maintenance may be required for half a century. Some quarries even warranty their slates for 100 years! So roofing your home with slate is really an investment that will pay you dividends long into the future.

Environmentally Friendly

 Slate roofs are truly one of the greenest roofing materials in the world. Made of all natural materials and with such an effective life span, slate roofs leave little impact on the environment. Furthermore slate roofs have good insulation value and tend to reflect light, lowering the amount of energy it takes to heat and air condition your home 


Slates are canvases that can be sculpted to create an exceptional design and a truly original work of art. These roofs are either installed with a single size or random width slates and installed in rows that can be straight, staggered, semi staggered or graduated.

 With an amazing array of natural colors, countless combinations of length, width and thickness, through a variety of installation styles, a slate roof can be customized to compliment almost any architectural style.

 Some more traditional slate roofs replicate a fish scale pattern. This effect is made possible when a semi-circle is chipped into the exposed side of the slates. This is a very time consuming procedure as each slate has to be hand formed before installation can occur. The result is a classic and exquisite look that catches the eye and holds it there. Clipped edge and pointed slates are also available as attractive accents to your slate roof design.

 Crowning your slate roof with copper or lead flashings and eavestroughing is the final touch to any quality slate roof system and is truly the determining factor to the amount of years your roof will last before needing repair.

  This type of residential roofing material will greatly enhance the overall look of your property. 

Maintenance and Repairs

 A slate roof is a permanent roof. It is impenetrable by moisture and sheds snow rapidly. Slate roofs under heavy tree cover may require intermediate removal of debris from valley areas. Due to its construction slate roofing may trap vegetation on course edges. This is not an immediate threat to the health of your slates, although settled debris should be cleared to keep ice from backing up and allow your roof to shed rain quickly and efficiently. A slate roof is the Rolls Royce of roofing systems. A yearly tune up is recommended to keep running at its peak performance. 

Disadvantages To Slate

As all other roofing systems slate has its downsides. The number 1 issue with slate is its weight. The weight of a slate roof can vary significantly depending on the size, pattern, and thicknesses of slates installed and generally ranges from 700 to 3200 pounds per roofing square. An engineer should be consulted before installing a slate roof except in the case of replacing an expired slate roof with a new one. Reinforcing the structural components of your homes roof may be required before the use of slate roofing can be approved.

  A slate roof project can take many months or in the case of large estates even years to finish to completion, though what is to be said about the result is almost always something spectacular. Finding slate in your desired color, shape and size can sometimes be difficult on short notice. Most local suppliers only stock small amounts of slate in random sizes. Pre orders and generous lead times are to be expected.

 The price is usually the deciding factor in determining if a slate roof is the best choice for protecting your family‚Äôs home. Generally starting around $2000 a square for a basic installation (single size slates in even rows) up to $4500 a square for a graduated or diminishing slate roof design. Slate roofs installed with decorative patterns and shaped slates will also be at the higher end of the spectrum. High end metal finishings that coincide with the exceptional lifespans achieved with slate will add to the cost.

A slate roof is almost entirely wind, water, impact and fire proof.
 Peaks and Plateaus Roofing only installs proven North American slate.