Ribbon slates, Poughkeepsie NY (C) D FriedmanSlate Roof Colors - A Photo Library of Slate Roofs
     

  • SLATE ROOF COLORS - CONTENTS: Photo catalog of roofing slate colors & slate types - pictures of roof slate color choices: varied, green, red, ribbons, gray, black roofing slate. Photos of rust-stained roofing slates. Photos of green algae-stained roof slates. Photo Guide to Slate Roof Inspection. How does roof slate color or pattern affect anticipated roofing slate life? Roof slate colors and patterns can often identify the source or even source quarry of roofing slates
  • SLATE ROOF COLORS & SLATE CHEMISTRY - separate article
  • SLATE ROOF PHOTO LIBRARY - separate article
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about roof slate colors & patterns
  • REFERENCES

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Photo guide to roofing slate colors and slate types.

This slate roofing photo library shows various kinds of roofing slate, slate roof colors, slate roof patterns, and roofing slate defects. This photographic dictionary of roofing slates is a supplement to our detailed article (links at the "More Reading" links at the bottom of this article ) describing procedures for evaluating the condition of slate roofing.

How to inspect, identify defects, and estimate remaining life of slate roofs are addressed.

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Photo Guide to Colors of Roofing Slates

Multi colored slate roof in conventional staggered pattern

An online photo dictionary of roofing slate colors, types, and conditions

This article assists home inspectors, building buyers or building owners, and roofing contractors in evaluating the condition of slate roofs by providing photos of various slate materials, patterns, defects, and conditions.

Readers should also see How to Inspect & Repair Slate Roofs for a detailed "how to" article on inspecting, evaluating, and repairing slate roofs.

Colors: Varied slate colors, in good condition but with a suspect valley - note the roof mastic in the valley and the missing slate

Green Roofing Slate Photos

Green Slate roof that is probably ok but, in our photo at left, but look for failing fasteners - note the slates slipping down? Our second "green slate roof" photo (below right) demonstrates that algae growth on roofing slates can leave a green coating. This home was observed on Brookside in Mt. Kisco, NY.

Photos of green roofing slate, probably from Vermont Photos of green roofing slate, probably from Vermont

Red Roofing Slates in Good Condition, Photographs

Red slate roof, perhaps from the Granville NY quarry are shown at below-left. We don't know how long this superb material will last as we've never found one that was worn out on a roof in the U.S. but a rated life may be 300 years. Our second red roof slate photo (below right) illustrates a mix of red slates from the Granville NY quarry and ribbon slates on a home on Clinton St. in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Photos of red slate roofing material in good condition Photos of red slate roofing material in good condition

Rusty Red Roof Slates

Below we show red-looking slates on a home in Poughkeepsie, NY. Rust-stains on roof slates may turn some slates red below rusting steel flashings. Our second rust-stained roof slate photo (below-right,Putney VT) is quite clearly showing rust staining on roof slates from a rusting ridge cap. But other roofing slates are naturally rust colored as we show below at Rust-colored Slates from China

Photos of red slate roofing material in good condition Photos of red slate roofing material in good condition

Ribbon Slates, Photos, Patterns, & What is the Life Expectancy of Ribbon Slate on Roofs?

Ribbon Slate is roofing slate with linear colors running in stripes through the slate material. Often the "ribbons" are diagonal depending on how the slate was quarried.

References about slate roof durability, at least among home inspectors and some slate books, claim that ribbon slates were inferior and likely to have a shorter life due to their mineral inclusions. However in New York one of the authors (DF) has observed ribbon slate roofs which appeared to be in good condition after 80-90 years. The inspector needs to examine the specific roof to determine if the ribbon slates involved are deteriorating from mineral wash-out or alternatively if they are in good condition.

Ribbon slate example

Ribbon slates, Poughkeepsie NY (C) D Friedman

We were taught that "ribbon slate" was a cheaper product with shorter expected life than better quality solid colored slates from Vermont or Virginia.

But ribbon slates were sometimes chosen deliberately for decorative purposes, and not all of the ribbon slate roofs we've seen suffered from such a short life. This ribbon-slate roof in Poughkeepsie, New York was about eighty years old when we took the photos above and at left, and it remains in good condition.

Details about ribbon slates are at SLATE ROOF TYPES, RIBBON SLATES


Ribbon slate

This ribbon slate roof (photo at left) has been repaired at its lower edge by the installation of asphalt shingles - or perhaps metal roof edge flashing was replaced.

We would not guess the condition and remaining life of these ribbon slates without a closer inspection.

Rust-colored Slates from China

Rust colored slates, China, Baoding City Meijia Building Materials Co.,Ltd

The rust-colored roofing slates shown at left are produced in the Hebei Province, China.

Photograph of rusty roofing slates provided courtesy of Baoding City Meijia Building Materials Co.,Ltd

Minnesota Gray Slate Photos

Gray roofing slates (C) D Friedman

Pennsylvania Black, Vermont Gray, Virginia Buckingham Gray slates: photos requested.

how that this roof has not been maintained for a decade or more. Thin delaminated slates are worn out.

Pennsylvania Black, Vermont Gray, Virginia Buckingham Gray Slate Pictures

Gray roofing slates (C) D Friedman

Pennsylvania Black, Vermont Gray, Virginia Buckingham Gray slates: photos requested.

how that this roof has not been maintained for a decade or more. Thin delaminated slates are worn out.

 

Other roof slate colors, patterns, and stains are discussed at MINERAL INCUSION and at STAINING SLATE.

The main article reviews types of slate, common defects, inspection topics, and some repair tips.

Also see How to Inspect & Repair Slate Roofs for a detailed article about evaluating the condition of slate roofing and repairing worn or damaged slate roofs.

 

Continue reading at SLATE ROOF COLORS & SLATE CHEMISTRY or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.

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SLATE ROOF COLORS at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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