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Stamford Roofing: Article About Stone Roofing Techniques

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Stone is among the oldest and most durable roofing materials available, and when installed correctly, it can endure for well over a century. The type that is most commonly used is slate, although limestone and sandstone are also viable options. With the variety of color and texture on the market, stone can form a roofing system that is both unique and stately. A rugged appearance can be achieved with sandstone, and limestone looks very natural as well. Slate, however, is a versatile material that can create a smooth, uniform presence or a graduated display. It is manufactured as tile and shingles so that contractors have access to the appropriate style for any pattern. Stamford roofing professionals can answer further questions about stone as a solid roof covering.

In order to construct an even roof surface, the shingles should all be the same length and width with a square tail. A traditional shingle pattern works for this type of slate roof. When the stone is delivered in pallets, the slates should be blended together for even coloring. A rough design requires the materials to differ in thickness and often size or color. If the property owner wants a graduated roof, then the large slates should be laid along the eaves, and the shingles should get smaller in size as they near the ridge.

A Dutch lap pattern, with a three inch overlap at the top and on one side, leaves a vulnerable, single layer of roof slates.

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This style requires top quality flashing. The French method of shingling also forms a single layer, but the three inch overlap reaches the entire perimeter of the slates. Overlap is especially important when the roof is not steep because more protection against water leaks is necessary. With small slates, the extensive overlapping and nailing makes a very heavy roof. As long as the building's framing is strong, small slates are acceptable. Some roofing systems use a 50 percent side overlap along with sufficient headlap to ensure that the structure is waterproof.

When a single lapping technique is used, the perpendicular joints may be sealed with chunks of slate bedded in mortar. This precautionary measure strengthens the water barrier by closing gaps. Thin slates may be placed under the largest, heaviest shingles and used in a manner similar to bib flashing. A double lapping system offers significant protection, since each row of shingles overlaps the slates at two courses below instead of one. Today, the shingles are usually nailed to sawn battens rather than top hung on split wood laths with wood pegs.

Every slate roof needs to be laid over substantial sheathing materials. The decking should outlast the roof covering. When it comes to roofing materials, only the finest materials compare to a well built, stable stone roofing system.

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