You are building a new house and have invested time and care in choosing the best quality natural slate for your roof. Who are you going to choose to install it for you?
Tightening budgets during the recession have forced people to take risks with the installation of their natural slate roof. They have often been persuaded to use joiners, or other tradesmen, instead of qualified slaters in the hope of saving a penny.
This quick blog will hopefully explain why cutting corners is not a good idea and why employing a suitably qualified tradesman is money well spent. There is nothing that saddens us more here at LBS than our natural slates fitted badly! Slating is a highly skilled trade and takes many years to perfect. A good slater will tell you “each slate has a place on the roof”.
What are the benefits of using a qualified slater?
• Ensure that your roof is installed correctly and advise on the correct choice of slate.
• Minimise wastage and cost to you, by using damaged slates on areas of the roof that require cutting in. An unexperienced slater will likely discard such slates unnecessarily.
• Ensure that the slates are properly sorted and graded according to thickness to ensure a neat uniform fit on the roof. It is a time consuming process, but failure to do this is likely to result in an uneven fit, unsightly shading, and leaks that will manifest themselves within a relatively short period of time. The misconception that pre holed slates are already graded ready for fitting is a myth.
How to select a qualified slater? An experienced, qualified slater should:
• Have a good working knowledge of the latest legislation and building regulations specific to slating. BS EN 5534:2003* (UK) ; ICP2:2002 (ROI)
• Have the correct company insurance in place
• Be a member of a recognised industry federation
• Be happy to provide you with examples or references of their previous work
Don’t take chances on your new roof. A few pounds saved in the fitting, may end up costing you dearly later. There is a slim chance that you will be able to make repairs to a badly fitted slate roof. It is more likely, however, that you will be forced to remove and replace the slates entirely.
Susan Burrows works for Lagan Building Solutions Lisburn Northern Ireland – she has 15 years experience in both the concrete roof tile and slating sectors.
LBS have cultivated a network of highly experienced slate roofing professionals. We would be delighted to recommend a professional for your job. Furthermore, because LBS supply the finest Welsh, Spanish and Brazilian slate products, we can supply you with top quality slate for your new roof that not only looks great; it stands the test of time. We can happily recommend your nearest slate professional, or discuss your materials options. GET IN TOUCH
LBS are owners of the Penrhyn Bangor Blue quarry in Wales and are Ireland’s largest independent supplier of natural slate and clay roofing products. They have offices in Lisburn, Dublin and Belfast and have a helpful friendly team of technical reps covering all 32 counties.
*BS EN 5534 is due to be updated summer 2014