Slate Roof vs Shingle: All That You Need to Know

by | Feb 27, 2023 | Roofing

The controversy between slate roofs and shingles has been around for centuries. If you’re thinking of replacing your roof, or if you’re building a new home, understanding the differences between these two roofing materials will help you make an informed decision. Here, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of slate roofs vs shingles to help you choose the right roof for your home.

What is slate?

Slate is a metamorphic rock, often created from shale or clay. It is highly durable, withstanding temperatures of up to -40 degrees Celsius and pressure of up to 130 pounds per square inch. This makes it an ideal roofing material, as it is resistant to cracking and splitting in harsh weather conditions.

In comparison to asphalt shingles, slate is often considered the superior material due to its longer life span, which can last up to 200 years. Though it initially has a higher cost, this cost is balanced out by its greater longevity, resulting in a lower overall slate roof cost vs shingle cost.
Another benefit of slate is that it is available in a variety of colors, sizes, and textures, making it more aesthetically pleasing than asphalt shingles. Synthetic slate roof cost vs asphalt is similar, so it can still be a viable option for homeowners looking for a more attractive alternative. Additionally, slate is also fire-resistant and environmentally friendly, as it does not contain any harsh chemicals.
In summary, slate is an excellent choice for those looking for a reliable, aesthetically pleasing roofing material. When comparing slate roof vs asphalt shingle, the higher initial cost of slate is balanced out by its long life span, making it a wise investment in the long run.

What is a shingle?

A shingle is a piece of material that covers the exterior of a roof, protecting it from the elements. Asphalt shingles are the most common type of shingle, but other options exist as well, such as wood, slate, and synthetic slate. Asphalt shingles are composed of a fiberglass mat that is saturated with asphalt and then coated with mineral granules.

When comparing slate roofs vs asphalt shingles, many people ask, “Is a slate roof better than shingles?” Generally speaking, slate roofs have a higher cost than asphalt shingles, due to their durability and life span. A slate roof can last up to 150 years, while an asphalt roof may only last 15-30 years. Although the initial cost of a slate roof vs shingle cost is usually much higher, when looking at slate roof vs shingle cost over time, the longer-lasting slate may be more cost-effective.

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In addition to traditional asphalt shingles, there are also synthetic slate shingles that are designed to replicate the look of natural slate. Although the synthetic slate roof cost vs asphalt is typically lower than real slate, they do not offer the same longevity or weather resistance. As such, it is important to consider your climate and budget when choosing between slate shingles vs asphalt shingles.

The Pros and Cons of Slate Roofs

One of the oldest roofing materials, slate roofs have been around for centuries and can last for over a century with proper maintenance. Slate is known for its attractive and timeless look, with natural colors that don’t fade and a classic aesthetic that is hard to replicate. Slate roofs are also incredibly durable, with fire resistance, water resistance, and wind resistance.

When it comes to cost, however, slate roofs can be expensive when compared to asphalt shingles. Installing a slate roof can take more time than installing an asphalt roof and requires skilled labor. In addition, the cost of maintenance for a slate roof is higher than that of an asphalt roof, as slate must be cleaned and sealed periodically to retain its long life.

When comparing the cost of a slate roof versus asphalt shingles, you should also consider that slate lasts much longer than asphalt. While a synthetic slate roof may cost more upfront than an asphalt shingle roof, it may save you money in the long run. With proper care and maintenance, a synthetic slate roof can last up to 50 years, while an asphalt shingle roof will typically last about 15-20 years.

In conclusion, when weighing the pros and cons of a slate roof versus asphalt shingles, you must consider not just the initial cost, but also the long-term cost of maintenance and replacement. Slate roofs are attractive and provide excellent protection from the elements, but they require more labor and maintenance than asphalt shingles. Ultimately, the choice between a slate roof and asphalt shingles depends on your budget and your home’s needs.

The Pros and Cons of Shingles

Many individuals are lured to the price and adaptability of asphalt shingles in the discussion of slate roofs versus asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles are the most used roofing material in North America, and they are available in many colors and shapes.

1. Cost: One of the primary advantages of asphalt shingles is their low cost. Asphalt shingles are often less expensive than slate roofs, so if you’re searching for a low-cost solution, asphalt shingles are a wonderful option.
2. Durability: Newly-made asphalt shingles are better and stronger than before. The material they’re made of protects your roof against hailstorms and extreme weather.
3. Versatility: Asphalt shingles come in a variety of styles and colors, making it easy to match your roof to the look and feel of your home. Whether you want to go with a traditional look or something more modern, you can find an asphalt shingle option to fit your needs.
4. Lifespan: While asphalt shingles are more durable than they used to be, they still don’t last as long as a slate roof. Slate roofs can last up to 100 years, while asphalt shingles usually last between 15-20 years.
5. Environmental Impact: Asphalt shingles are made with petroleum-based materials, which can have a negative environmental impact when disposed of improperly. On the other hand, slate roofs are made from natural stone, which is much more eco-friendly.
6. Cost Over Time: While asphalt shingles may be cheaper upfront than a slate roof, they can become more expensive over time because you’ll need to replace them more often. If you’re looking for a long-term investment, slate roof vs asphalt shingle cost could be an important factor to consider.

Which One Should You Choose?

When considering whether to go with a slate roof vs asphalt shingle, there are several things to consider. From the cost of installation to the longevity of the roof, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option before making your decision.
If you’re looking for a traditional look and durability, then a slate roof may be the right choice for you. Slate is a natural stone product and can last up to a century with proper maintenance and care. However, it is important to note that a slate roof can be expensive to install and repair, and is more vulnerable to the elements.
On the other hand, asphalt shingles are often the more affordable option when compared to slate roof cost vs shingles. Asphalt shingles are more resistant to water, fire, and wind than traditional slate shingles vs asphalt shingles. The life expectancy of an asphalt roof is also generally shorter than a slate roof, with most lasting about 15-20 years.
The cost of a synthetic slate roof vs asphalt can be hard to calculate, as there are many factors to consider. Synthetic slate roofs have the look and feel of real slate, but with a longer life expectancy and lower cost. Although synthetic slates can be more expensive than asphalt shingles initially, they offer greater durability and will save money in the long run.
Ultimately, when deciding between a slate roof vs asphalt shingle, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Your decision should be based on factors such as cost, durability, climate, and aesthetics. Be sure to research the various options carefully before making your choice, and consult a professional if you are unsure.



Local Reviews
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Jacob's Ladder Roofing and Restoration Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars based on 7 customer reviews

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Highly recommend Jacob's Ladder

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LancasterKY40444 37.6225-84.5775

Professional, friendly, show up on time, great communication & worked with us with our budget. Roof on the house & separate garage looks wonderful, most importantly no leaks! Highly recommend Jacob's Ladder.

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On time and quick!

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As usual on time and work was completed quickly!

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The roof looks amazing

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LancasterKY40444 37.61-84.57

Everybody was professional and so helpful throughout the whole process of getting my roof repaired from the multiple wind storms we’ve had recently. And the roof looks amazing!

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Leaky roof in heavy rain

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My rubber roof was 10+ years old and started leaking in the heavy rain. I found the gutters on the ground and I needed dry-out assistance. Jacob's Ladder to the rescue!

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Missing Shingles

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LancasterKY40444 37.61-84.57

Noticed we were missing some shingles and found them laying in the yard. I was glad to get Jacob's Ladder out to see if I had a potential claim before we started having issues.

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Chimney Removal

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Review of Jacob's Ladder Roofing and Restoration
LancasterKY40444 37.715-84.66

Hugh at Jacobs ladder does amazing work and he always find a way to help his customers! He goes above and beyond your average roofer and GETS THE JOB DONE! Highly recommend Jacobs Ladder! Our roof is still holding strong!

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