Natural Slate is the best roof slate material in the world and has been used by man for thousands of years. Not only will good quality roof slate outlast other roofing materials, but when fitted properly, it will frequently outlive the lifetime of its building. The healthy market for reclaimed slate and second hand slates bears this out. Good quality roof slates retain their colour and although slate may weather with age, it will not fade. Slate is also an environmentally sound product, producing lower carbon emissions than other ‘cement based’ roofing materials. In addition, roof slate is non-combustible and is compatible with all other building materials. A slate roof is easily maintained, making it an economical choice, and it is available in a variety of sizes, colours and textures.
The Geology of Slate
Slate is a metamorphic rock that started life hundreds of millions of years ago as muddy rich sediments or volcanic ash which were deposited on the sea floor via streams and rivers. Over millennia these sediments, which comprised of chlorite, micra and clay minerals, were compressed to form a sedimentary rock known as ‘mudstone’.When the tectonic plates of the earth moved to form the continents and mountains we know today, this sedimentary rock metamorphosed under intense heat and pressure, and was literally pushed up at right angles through the earth and into the mountains. This geological pressure forced the material to undergo fundamental changes in its chemical composition, and re-aligned the minerals, forming a whole series of parallel layers known as cleavage, along which the rocks splits easily (which makes it ideal for roofing slate).The age of slate ranges from the Cambrian era (from 600 million years ago when the first marine life dawned on earth), to the Ordovician era (500 million years ago), to the Silurian era (400 million years ago). Slates which come from the Cambrian era such as Bangor Blue Slates which are produced at our Penryhn quarry are generally accepted as the best quality slates due to the high purity of the original deposits and the fact that they have been ‘baked and cooked’ in the earth for an extra 100 – 200 million years longer than other slates, giving them a much harder and denser composition.
The LBS Natural Slate range includes:
- Welsh Slate
- Spanish Slate
- Burlington Slate
- Brazilian Slate
- Asian Slate
Each slate offers its own unique characteristics, adheres to BS EN 12326: Part 1: 2014, and comes with quarry backed guarantees ranging from 30 to 100 years.