Roof Repair in DC: Securing Slate Roofing the Safe and Uncluttered Way

Slate tiles are a tough nut to crack. Their thickness and all-weather resilience make them the frontline choice of homes against the worst weather. When the tiles start to fall, however, they’re tough enough to crack your nut—your head.

Stow HillThis was the concern of a resident of a suburb in South Wales, in the UK. The old house next to his poses a serious threat to passersby with its falling slate tiles. Being near a primary school, a single tile falling from the house’s roof can leave more than a bump on the head of a preschooler passing by. If the injury is serious enough to warrant a claim, the victim might lodge a personal injury complaint against the owner.

Dilapidated houses with disintegrating roofs pose dangers to passersby not only in Newport, South Wales but in US cities like Washington D.C. as well. With many historical buildings in D.C. sporting slate roofs, a loose tile can spell a concussion, if not a simple injury.

Slate hooks offer a fail-safe solution in case the nails holding the tiles falter. Professional roofers say slate hooks are more reliable than nails in slate roof repair in D.C. and elsewhere. Not only do hooks keep the slate tile from falling, they’re also effective in helping fulfill the roof’s primary objective: to protect homes and buildings from the elements, especially dated, historical structures.

Some homeowners on DIY repair use traditional lead or copper clips (also called tingles) to secure broken or loose slates, since it would be difficult to lift the tiles and drive a fresh set of nails underneath. The problem with tingles is that they don’t really produce a neat effect on the roofing system—particularly if there were plenty of tiles to secure. A building inspector looking into the roof might declare it in extreme disrepair and recommend full re-roofing.

Lately, mastic or an adjustable nylon strap have been used as alternatives to create an uncluttered appearance in the roof, since these materials are virtually unseen on the surface. Reliable D.C. roofing contractors like Katchmark possess years of experience in installing slate roofs and can secure slate tiles in the safest and most orderly manner. For their part, homeowners and building managers should let roofing contractors inspect their slate roofs every now and then, to prevent disintegration and ensure safety in the neighborhood.

(Image and Info from: Stow Hill resident’s concerns over falling roof slates from derelict Newport house, South Wales Argus, and On the level: how should I replace broken roof slates?, The Telegraph)

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About Steve Katchmark

Katchmark Construction has been serving the greater Washington DC area for 25 years. For residential and commercial roofing, siding, windows, skylights, and more, Katchmark has been a highly-acclaimed local contractor.
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