What is Slate?
The Slate industry is being picked apart by bigger companies with deep pockets. The word slate no longer means “a fine grained rock”. Here is a list of exhibitors who are falling under the category of Slate at the International Roofing Show in March ’17:
There are only 2 booths on this list that fall under natural slate (Evergreen & SRCA). Tile is not slate. Synthetic slate is not slate. I noticed that a manufacturer of synthetic slate even had the gall to market their plastic as “Vermont Slate”. Of course a legal battle could ensue over what exactly is slate, but this will only feed the lawyers.
What To Do?
To own a slate roof is a luxury that most people under appreciate. The natural beauty and eco-friendly aspect of owning a roof that can last 100 years, with minor repair, sets the bar as high as can be for what a roof constitutes. Big business understands the value added to the superior nature of this type of roof and is using it as a marketing effort. The homeowner or architect may or may not know any better, but synthetic slate is flat out not slate. Slate is a rock that comes from the ground. Synthetic slate is a plastic or rubber that is fabricated in some factory. The difference is clear.
Natural slate is compromised because people believe it’s too expensive and it’s too hard to install. If you’re a short term thinker than it makes sense to come to these conclusions. Unfortunately the point that the long term benefits out weigh the short term costs is being muddled.
Organizations like the National Slate Association and Slate Roof Contractors Association exist to help promote slate and construct guidelines for appropriate installation. Slate roofs do not need to be removed for shingles for convenience sake. Architects, consultants, contractors, and even home owners need to be aware that slate does still exist and there is still a place for the finest roofing material available. That is until Elon Musk changes the world with his solar glass tiles…
If slate is your business this post should concern you. The saying strength in numbers holds true and your thoughts matter. Feel free to comment on this post, comment on the Facebook link, or email me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org.