We created a post that explained how companies marketing synthetic material were naming their product “slate” and how this was not accurate and untrue. This post generated some lively responses that will mostly go unnoticed unless dug up from the comment section and Facebook and re-posted. Getting this information out there, and sharing real people’s opinions will help create a stronger bond among the industry. Hopefully the tradition of slate roofing will last another century as people continue to want to promote natural slate.
Fred of Fania Roofing – As you know “simulated” means “to look like”. From a far distance away it may look like slate but not to a discriminating eye. “Performs like”……no way. As in many purchases “buyer beware” applies and it is imperative that the consumer is cautious. These materials have not been on the roofs very long and problems are very evident.
Mike – As far as I have seen most imitation slate has become a class action lawsuit. The pressed mud flaps will not hold up but are close to the same per square.
Dave – As the synthetic material breaks down over the years and your rainwater is dumping into your garden and ground around your house will forever taint your property and health. While your at it burn a piece and watch what a horrible product it actually is. Real Slate is pure and simple and not at all expensive considering all these aspects. My big problem with synthetic slate is, the manufacturing process pumps toxins into the air and water which is something that has to stop.
Allan Parker of Natural Slate Roofing – As a second Generation Slate roofer with 37 years experience installing Slate roofs it is obvious to me that no roof compares to a properly installed quality natural Slate roof. Properly installed and quality Slate material being key! Out here in the West Coast there is way too much inferior imported Slate material and a real lack of qualified installers.
Steven – I agree with this completely, synthetics are not “slate”, but a lot of these manufacturers are out raising brand/product awareness and it’s catching on. I would love to sell/install slate ALL DAY-EVERY DAY, but that’s not an option in my region. If a builder or homeowner wants davinci or euroshield, I’ll price it, along with making other suggestions like slate.
Doug Gibbs of Gibbs Roofing – Synthetic is just that, a copy. I pride my self in installing the real product. Slate and tile. Installed with copper or stainless steel fasteners and flashings. I am happy with each project knowing I have installed a 100 year roof.
John Kobren – We live in a disposable society- point blank. Most people seem to be more interested in fancy packaging and marketing than quality and serviceability. Statistics show that the average homeowner currently only stays in a house for 7 years, so why would they care if a roof lasts 20, 50, or a hundred years? Most care first about price, second about appearance, and third about performance. Couple this with multi million dollar marketing companies that just so happen to produce roofing materials, and its no wonder cheaper, lower quality synthetics are outselling naturals. I am only seeing this trend grow here in the northeast.
I personally believe the solution is in the hands of us roofers- to stop going after the quick and easy sales (I am guilty of this). To properly educate ourselves and our customers of the many ways that natural slate outperforms, outlasts, and is a better overall value than synthetic or asphalt. To learn how to properly repair existing slate and stop giving owners the impression that existing slate roofs are a ticking timebomb because of subpar repairs and incorrectly diagnosed situations. Before you set foot on a slate roof- read the damned SLATE BIBLE! It’s really that simple.
I believe we are teetering on the edge of a renaissance in the construction industry, and it’s gonna go one way or the other here. Either we’re gonna keep feeding into the problem by selling our customers cheap products installed by untrained workers, or we do the right thing and make quality paramount to profit and take some pride in being ROOFERS.