When picking a roofing material for your home or any other building, you will likely come across slate as one of your options. While slate is undeniably beautiful, it also comes with a few drawbacks that can give buyers pause. However, there is another option on the market that you may wish to consider. Synthetic slate (also known as composite) includes made of the features that have made actual slate a popular roofing material, but it attempts to cut back on some of the drawbacks. The following list will highlight some of the pros and cons related to this product.
Pro – Save Money
As you would expect, synthetic slate roofing is not nearly as expensive as the actual slate that it is imitating. The savings when you choose this product will likely come in two forms – both the purchase of the material itself, as well as the installation costs. Real slate is heavy and difficult to install properly, meaning you will have to pay an experienced team to do the job. With synthetic slate, you will be looking at an easier job and lower costs related to the install.
Con – Questionable Longevity
This point is not meant to say that synthetic slate will not last a long time, because it might prove to be extremely durable. The problem is that the question is still open. Since this is a product that has not been on the market for very long, there is uncertainty around how long it will last in practical application. It very well may prove to be true that synthetic slate is a durable material, but that has not yet been proven in the field.
Pro – Environmental Benefits
When actual slate is pulled from the ground, it obviously cannot be replaced. On the other hand, there are plenty of composite roofing products which are made from recycled materials. If you are someone who likes to make decisions based on their environmental impact, this is a point worth keeping in mind.
Con – Fire Rating Issues
When dealing with roofing, a Class A fire rating is what you want to see – this is the highest grade that is given to roofing materials. Unfortunately, some of the synthetic products on the market fall short of this mark. Should you decide that you are going to go ahead with a synthetic slate roof on your property, be sure to check on the fire rating for each brand that you consider.
Pro – Easier to Find Help
The number of roofing companies who are willing and able to install a slate roof is somewhat limited in certain areas. Depending on where you live, you may have trouble finding a qualified contractor to do the job. That shouldn’t be a problem when you pick synthetic. This is a product that is relatively easy to install, so most roofing companies will be happy to take on the job.
Con – How Does It Look?
This is a point that isn’t necessarily a con, but it is something that will be in the ‘eye of the beholder’. Some composite roofs look great and do an excellent job of imitating the real thing, while others look obviously fake – and cheap. You will need to pick a product that you feel does a good job of representing actual slate if you are to be pleased with the outcome of the project.
In the end, there is a lot to like about synthetic slate roofing, even if there are a couple of drawbacks to weigh. Take your time as you decide between synthetic slate and the real thing so you can be sure to walk away with a choice that you will be happy with for years to come.