Since slate roofs are the most expensive and rare type of roofing material, specialized slate roofing contractors are hard to find. They work on mostly residential buildings, unlike flat roofing contractors, who work mainly on commercial structures. While brittle to work with, slate lasts for a very long time. They do require, however, great care to be taken during installation.
The high cost of slate roofing makes finding a properly qualified and trained slate roofing contractor even more important. Because slate is quite brittle, it can be easily broken during installation. An expert contractor is needed to prevent costly wastage of materials, which can cost up to ten times more than composite roofing materials.
When installed correctly, slate roofs can last over a hundred years before needing replacement, and require minimal maintenance. This immense durability is partly what makes slate so expensive. Because slate requires such specialized knowledge and experienced workmen, installing slate roofs is also more expensive.
In addition to being licensed by the relevant local authority, a contractor should be a member of a professional slate roofing organization. This will mean that the contractor is up to date on the latest techniques, materials, and standards of work, and is able to maintain a high level of professionalism. This gives you peace of mind that the contractor can do high quality work. Also enquire about the sort of safety training the contractor’s work crews have, and how often this is updated. Make sure you are clear on what sort of on-site supervision there will be, and how often you will receive updates on the status of the work. Also ask for a list of references from previous clients, either from the organization or the contractor themselves, so that you can see for yourself the quality of past work and the satisfaction of former clients.
It is also very important that the slate roofing contractor is able to provide proof of insurance showing that both the contractor and any workmen used are covered for the entire length of the project. The insurance policy should also provide worker compensation for any worker who is injured on a job. This will protect you from liability should anyone be injured during the work. Also enquire about the sort of safety training the contractor’s work crews have, and how often this is updated. Make sure you are clear on what sort of on-site supervision there will be to prevent any errors during the work.