Slate is a durable material that can provide adequate weather protection and long-term stability when used on the roof. However, the material can deteriorate over time, making it more pliable. If you’re not sure whether the slate roof is safe enough to walk on, follow this guide on how to determine the condition of the roof before you step on to it.
If it has recently rained or snowed, you might be wondering can you walk on a slate roof? In this case, you should always wait until the roof has dried before stepping on to it. Slate can become incredibly slippery when wet, making it difficult to gain traction when walking on the roof during wet conditions, even with non-slip shoes on.
Signs of Damage
When slate roofs age they can start to soften and crumble. Some slates can also loosen and break off over time. If you notice any signs of damage like this, avoid walking on the roof and call a professional to deal with the roofing structure.
The Colour Has Changed
As the slate ages, it will start to turn darker, white-ish and even rust-coloured. This natural weathering process may be normal, but it can also indicate that the roof requires extra care and may be less stable than when it was first installed. If you notice a change in colour, it’s best to hire a professional roofing contractor to do the repair work instead.
Rotted Roof Sheathing
The thin sheets of wood underneath the slate can absorb moisture and eventually rot, especially in areas where the slate has cracked or deteriorated. If you see signs of wood rot peeking through, don’t get up on the roof. Call a roofing company immediately.
How to Properly Walk On the Roof
Slate is hard-wearing and durable but it can easily crack under pressure. That’s why professionals use hook ladders, jacks and planks on slate roofing. This allows them to walk on the roof without putting any weight on it. If you don’t have the proper materials on hand, it’s best to let a professional tend to the roof.
If you need a slate roof inspection, repairs or replacement, call us at Roofmaster today. Our specialized award-winning roofing experts are properly trained to work on slate, even during the winter and spring weather. We’re just a call away for all your roofing repair and maintenance needs.