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Sung J. Woo
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 03:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I know this isn't a great picture, but if you had to make a best effort guess, how would you identify the roof on this house? I'm asking because we're about to buy this house and are concerned about the state of its roof.

http://www.yurple.com/sung/newhome_files/1.jpg

It looks like PA black slate to me, but I'd like to get some more opinions. Thanks!
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admin
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 03:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The photo is not good enough to be able to identify the slate. Where is it located?
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Sung J. Woo
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 04:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In Washington, NJ (Warren County). The house was built around 1844 (right on the Morris Canal), and it was a general store. Then it was converted into a Farmers Grange Hall in 1894.
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admin
Posted on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 02:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's probably eastern PA slate or New Jersey slate, but that's just a guess.
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Sung J. Woo
Posted on Friday, March 26, 2004 - 11:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just took some more detailed pictures this morning:

http://www.yurple.com/sung/roof/roof.htm

I'd like to get your official evaluation of this roof (the email consultation), Joe -- do you think you'd be able to do that for me with these pictures I have (I just want to make sure you'd be able to before I plop down the $100)? Thank you!

- Sung (sw17@cornell.edu)

p.s. If any other slate folks are reading this thread and wish to add their opinions, I'd be more than happy -- thanks...
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Walter Musson
Posted on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 07:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I hope you've left yourself with an inspection contingency in your purchase and sales contract.
From what I can see you have soft Penn. slate on this roof which is nearing the end of it's useful life.It has had some bad repair work over the years.The chimney needs to be reflashed,alum. ridge cap is bad,gutter straps have left some eaves slates broken.
I think the overall condition is poor.
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Sung J. Woo
Posted on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 10:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, Walt. Can you elaborate on some of these points?

1) What about the repairs is bad? Can you be more specific?

2) Chimney reflash and aluminum ridge cap -- how much do you think this would cost to repair?

3) What about the roof gives you the impression that the overall condition is poor?

We absolutely have an inspection contingency on our contract, so if the roof is shot, we'll need to inform the owners accordingly...

- Sung
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admin
Posted on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 11:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I clicked on the page, left the room, had breakfast, came back, and still only had a little sky in the photos. I can't seem to be able to downlaod the images here where we only have low speed internet.

Joe
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Walter Musson
Posted on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 11:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By the looks of what I can see on the South side photos the slates are turning brown on the ends which is indicative of water absorbtion.In my opinion the poor repairs,vents needing replacement,chimney redone,ridge cap replaced all point to redoing the roof,since the cost of repairs is high,and you're still left with a slate which is rapidly reaching the end of it's useful life.
My quotes probably would be lower than what you would get locally,since I live in Maine and our wage scale is most likely less than in N.J.
The roof is not that large so I would get quotes on replacing the slate,at which time vents and chimney and ridge could be addressed as new work instead of repairs.
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Sung J. Woo
Posted on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 01:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, Walter. I don't want to get rid of the slate roof...it's part of the house's rich history...but jeez, replacing it with another slate roof would be just too much money.

Joe,

I just left the roof and cut out the excess on this page:

http://www.yurple.com/sung/roof/lowroof/roof.htm

Let me know if that works out better...

- Sung
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Walter Musson
Posted on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 02:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Negotiate with the present owner once you have a written inspection report in hand.Ask them to lower their asking price perhaps to enable the work to be done.Not the whole amount ,but 50% to 60% of the subsequent estimates.
How large is the roof?
Perhaps salvage slate could be used to keep costs down a bit.
Hopefully Joe can get the pictures and respond.Maybe others will differ in my assessment that the roof is close to being worn out.
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slateworks
Posted on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 12:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If the building is as old as you have stated the roof that is on it now is not the original roof.You may find that it had a metal or wood roof ,before it was slate.It could of originally been slate,you just have to do some research,thru photos or following any paper trails that may be available.From Walter's assement you will have to do something with the roof or do alot of water damage repair in the near future.
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admin
Posted on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 12:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was able to view the photos. This roof cannot be restored or saved. It's a candidate for replacement. Don't waste money on it other than to do minor repairs. Save your money for a new roof, preferably slate, either new slate or recycled slate.

Joe
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Sung J. Woo
Posted on Sunday, March 28, 2004 - 03:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, Joe. In your estimation, how many years are left on this roof? Are we closer to, say, 5 than 20?
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Jim K in PA
Posted on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 03:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sung,

I don't think any slater, with all due respect to Joe and the other very knowledgeable and experienced people that contribute here, could give you an estimate of life without seeing and touching the roof first hand. Based on your photos, my opinion as a slate roof owner and maintainer is that your roof should replaced in 5 years or less. No slate roof reaches a certain age or point in time and goes "BANG", and falls to pieces. It fails gradually. You may be able to ignore this roof for 10 years and not have a leak, but the deterioration still prgresses. Joe's point is that a large scale repair effort is not prudent, given that most of the roof is near the end of it's life. IF you buy the house, buy Joe's book, get some tools, and repair it youself when necessary while you save up for a full replacement. A portion of my roof is in worse shape than yours, and does not leak. However it will be replaced within the next year.

It is a great house. Best of luck.
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Sung J. Woo
Posted on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 08:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, Jim, and everybody else who've helped me out big time on this message board. Your information has been invaluable. We do love the house and hope it'll all work out...

- Sung
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K. Ernst
Posted on Sunday, April 10, 2005 - 08:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

We live in a New Jersey house built in 1901 with a slate roof - we had a contractor visit and said that he had never seen a roof without any decking. The slate is "cemented" onto 1 x 2s. Is this normal for slate roofs? Also, what is the life expectancy of a slate roof. We are thinking about selling and we need to know if the roof is going to do us in. It has some missing tiles, but not a lot. Any advise would be appreciated.
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Peter
Posted on Sunday, April 10, 2005 - 09:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi,

In my part of the world there is nothing wrong with the way your roof was fitted, in fact roofs with complete decking are the unusual here.

We call the cement you see "Rendering" it used to be done by the apprentice plasterers, I have a customer with a roof 150 years old and still working with a little maintenance every year.

The slates would have been nailed to the laths as well so it's not just the render that's holding everything together.

Kind Regards,

Peter Crawley, M.I.o.R.

www.crawleyroofing.com
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admin
Posted on Monday, April 11, 2005 - 11:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How long a slate roof lasts depends on the type and age of the slate. Without that information it is impossible to offer an opinion on longevity.
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Meg Holland
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 08:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am considering the purchase of a 65 year old home in PA with a slate roof. The person doing the inspection said that the roof should last 100 - 150 years. He only looked at a small portion from a second floor window that looks out over the roof covering an entrance of the home - he did not actually look at the main roof itself. The slate looks worn, is crumbling in some areas, and if I remember correctly, is not all the same color which has me worried that it may be absorbing water.

I realize that under each slate that I can see is a portion of another slate, however, if the top slate is worn, will the bottom slate keep the roof from leaking?

Should I ask the inspector, who I paid, to come back and look at the entire roof?

Before buying the house, should a roofer who specializes in repairing slate roofs come out to do an inspection?
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Anonymous
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 11:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes you need a true slate professional to inspect your slate roof. They are the only people on earth who will be able to project how much life is remaining. They should also be able to tell you what type of slate it is, why it is crumbling and the differant colors could be patched areas done prior. Also for some quick advice post some pictures of roof. Some of the professionals that visit this site may be able to tell you what type of slate you have, they should be good photos with veiws of good and bad areas, valley areas and ridge areas--if you can.
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Walter Musson
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 04:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Meg,
If you have soft Penn. slate on that house it may be near the end of it's useful life.
The clues you gave us have aroused your suspicions,so by all means call a qualified slate person to inspect it.
Tell your broker that you need time for a second opinion.
It will be money well spent if it's worn out and you can re-negotiate the asking price to reflect the roof cost.
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Anonymous
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 05:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Get a qualified slate roofer in to look at the roof. I just went through this with a house we were looking at buying. I was told by State Farm that the roof would cost $80,000 to insure due to the high cost of replacing a slate roof in the event of a loss (this is in addition to the policy on the actual house). I called in a slate guy and he found $15,020 worth of issues that the "home inspection" inspector missed. Needless to say, the sale fell through since the seller wasn't interested in fixing the problems nor giving any credit at closing.

I paid $150 for the roofer to inspect the roof, flashing, and gutters. Don't know if I paid high or low, so your milage may vary on cost - might even be free if you give the contractor the work if he finds problems, but that seems to be a conflict of interest, IMO.
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Anonymous
Posted on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 07:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Meg, What area of Pa. are you looking to buy a house?

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