What are the Benefits of Natural Slate?
Similar to clay, natural slate offers a truly authentic look that cannot be replicated by manufacturers. For period projects, or properties that need to reflect the natural environment around them, natural slate is usually the preferred choice. It's lifespan goes beyond both clay and concrete by some distance and has even been known to outlast the structure of the very buildings they have been placed upon. In terms of performance, natural slate does not fade or deteriorate over time, which is reflected in how long it will protect the roof structure. Another great advantage this type of slate offers is its low maintenance, which means very little ongoing effort will be needed to keep them in good working order.
How Long Do They Last?
The properties of natural slate mean that it is extremely durable against even the harshest of weather conditions, which guarantees an extremely long lifespan. It can last anywhere up to 150 years, although there have been many occasions where it has lasted far longer.
How Much Do They Cost?
This section is intended to provide you with an idea of the level of pricing for natural slate which can range from approx: £1.20 to upwards of £2.50 per slate.
Much will depend on the type of slate purchased and, of course, the quantity required, as bulk purchases can help bring down the overall unit cost. Some types of slate are higher quality than others and so will cost more, such as imported Spanish slate.
The import of Spanish slate has grown exponentially over the past few decades due to its combination of cost-effectiveness and aesthetic appeal. SIGA is one of the leading suppliers of Spanish slate in the UK and offers warranties up to 75 years on some of their ranges.
What is BS EN 12326?
This is the European Standard that states the performance levels and quality of slate tiles. There are two parts to these regulations which came in during 2004. First is BS EN 12326-1, which details product specification, and second is BS EN 12326-2, which illustrates the methods of testing used to demonstrate the materials quality.
Why Does Carbonate Content Matter?
When purchasing natural slate, the manufacturer will detail how much carbonate content is found in the material itself. This is important because it reflects the quality of the slate you are purchasing. Slate with a high carbonate content, usually over 20%, can affect the colour in the short term, turning lighter slate tiles darker once exposed to the elements.