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Lr1 (Lr1)
New member
Username: Lr1

Post Number: 5
Registered: 06-2011
Posted on Friday, July 01, 2011 - 12:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks a lot, Joe. And yes, I am working with a slate roof specialist here in Maryland. The roof is actually about 73 yrs old. Every time it rains, it manifests leaks in different spots. I have about 10 buckets sitting in the attic, and by now am tired of going up to the attic to spot new leaks so there are probably more. It's really strange, because just looking at it, the roof looks a lot better than many others I see in close by neighborhoods.
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Joe (Joe)
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Username: Joe

Post Number: 617
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 11:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

you need a slate roof specialist to look over the roof and fix what it needs. That will take care of it. It's PA Bangor slate with an expected lifespan of about 75 - 90 years. You can calculate how many years you have left.
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Lr1 (Lr1)
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Username: Lr1

Post Number: 4
Registered: 06-2011
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2011 - 08:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks so much for your suggestion. So really, do you think I can try and maintain the roof despite the inadequate headlap -- 2 inches for a slope that's no better than 6:12 I believe? My roofer also told me that several slates are sliding.

Sorry to keep pestering with that point, but just want to double check. I have a lot of pressure from family and friends to replace the back part with slateline shingles. But my roof does not have the ventilation system needed for asphalt shingles, just 2 vents at each gable end and a fan at one of those vents controlled by a thermostat + humidistat.

I really appreciate your taking the time to answer my questions. I am deeply distressed about the roof.
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Blue_sky_roofing (Blue_sky_roofing)
Advanced Member
Username: Blue_sky_roofing

Post Number: 50
Registered: 05-2010
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2011 - 02:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would definitly keep the roof. I would use 'extra wide' (maybe 7" wide) flashing (bibs) for any place where side laps are within 4" of each other. It would take a lot of flashing, but is fast, effective and easy. The only problem you may run across is 'hopping' over the nails when you slide the fashing up. Sliding slate rippers under both slates usually provide enough 'gap' under the slate to enable flashing to jump over a 'high' nail. Kink the top edge of your flashing up a little to aid in this situation.

Your roof looks beautiful compared to some of the PA ribbon slate roofs I 'have to' keep repairing around here. - like trying to prop up a dead horse! lol.
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Lr1 (Lr1)
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Username: Lr1

Post Number: 3
Registered: 06-2011
Posted on Monday, June 13, 2011 - 06:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for your response. So do you think my roof needs to come off, given the sidelap and headlap faults and flaking slates, some of which are sliding. Is it unwise to try and fix and maintain this roof?

I would really appreciate any advice, part of me wants to save this roof and another part says not to waste money over something that has fundamental flaws.
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Blue_sky_roofing (Blue_sky_roofing)
Advanced Member
Username: Blue_sky_roofing

Post Number: 49
Registered: 05-2010
Posted on Sunday, June 12, 2011 - 11:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It looks like you have a side lap problem. The 4th & 5th row up from the pipe look dangerously close to each other. Add in a little wind and I can see water getting from one butt joint to the other rows joint.
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Lr1 (Lr1)
New member
Username: Lr1

Post Number: 2
Registered: 06-2011
Posted on Sunday, June 12, 2011 - 10:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sorry, only one picture uploaded, having trouble posting others that might give more information.
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Lr1 (Lr1)
New member
Username: Lr1

Post Number: 1
Registered: 06-2011
Posted on Sunday, June 12, 2011 - 10:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just bought a 1938 house with a slate roof in Maryland. It's a gable roof. The back part of the roof is in much worse condition than the front -- the front is much more steeply pitched and is also more protected from the sun by the trees. The slate I believe is Pennsylvania black/gray slate.



The back part of the roof seems to have seen much foot traffic, and numerous types of repairs including tarred up vent stack flashings which even my incompetent home inspector could see had leaked in the recent past -- I had them repaired properly with lead flashings soon after the purchase of the house. I thought roof leakage problems had been solved since I saw saw no evidence of it on the second floor living space. However, upon the advice of my roofing company, I went up in the attic after a couple of heavy rains. First time, I noticed two leaks, a puddle and a smaller wet spot. Had those fixed. Two days later it rained again, and I saw another puddle, and numerous other wet spots on the loose wood boards on the attic floor. (The attic is unfinished.) About eight in all, over a pretty widespread area, but mainly in the central area of the roof.

My roofer suggested I consider replacing the roof as opposed to continue throwing slate at a roof which sooner or later will need to be replaced. He noted that the a good number of the slates are flaking, some slates seem to be sliding out of place -- here and there, and the biggest reason for concern of all -- the roof has been installed with a 2 inch headlap but has a low pitch -- 6:12 I believe.

I trust and respect my roofer and the company, and they are not pushing me one way or another. They are willing to work with me, either try and fix the current leaks now and monitor the roof for a bit longer, or to go ahead and get it replaced. And when it comes to replacing the back, I am faced with the very difficult choice of deciding what to do, go the devil's way and replace with something like slateline shingles, or spend a considerably bigger chunk of money to replace with slate and maintain the integrity of both my roof, and my own belief that slate is just superior from both a functional and environmental perspective -- thanks to the indoctrination after having read the Slate Roof Bible, this message board and David Robinson's book -- which I wish I had bought BEFORE buying this house/headache.

I would really appreciate any advice you all have. I would like to have a functional roof, I am single and have a job that keeps me at work a good 12-13 hrs a day so really can't afford to keep running up to the attic in the middle of the night and losing sleep over the roof as I have been. I am attaching some pictures.

picture

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