Slate is a fine-grained metamorphic stone that can be split into thin slabs or slates. It is waterproof fireproof resistant to weather extremes impervious to fungus and / or mould energy efficient and requires little or no maintenance.
So there’s no doubting that natural slate tiles offer both beauty and durability but today’s sustainable conscious home owners are also seeking assurance their design decisions have a minimal impact on the environment and their carbon footprint. Determining slates’ "green" credibility can appear to be a grey area; but slate roofing offers a number of environmental advantages despite being an ‘extracted’ natural resource.
Sustainable products must meet a broad range of requirements – from durability to external environmental impacts. Roofers considering slate need to weigh up the performance benefits against some not-so-green drawbacks to decide which roofing product makes the most environmental sense.
Slate is incredibly durable a best quality slate lasts anything up to several hundred years and certainly longer than the 30 – 50 years concrete or clay tiles typically offer.
However sustainability also considers the processes involved in producing and transporting building products. This means slates’ desirability may be influenced by the distance of its original quarry from the building site. Slate is heavy so transporting it takes more energy; so you should consider using slate that are sourced near to you or are transported in such bulk that better efficiencies are achieved. Some of the best slates are from UK and Spanish quarries minimising transportation from quarry to site. Every quarry aims to produce the highest possible proportion of best quality slates with the lower grade slates more keenly priced.
However it is important to note that any potential savings made from using lower grade slates may be offset by a number of factors:
• Increased time and labour charges involved in additional sorting and grading.
• Lower graded stone has the likelihood of considerably more wastage.
• Lower grade slates can have more impurities.
Slate offers durability minimal maintenance if fitted correctly and a beautiful solution to residential and commercial projects which in all likelihood will long out last the present owner and become a legacy to admire for years to come.
Source : www.Insightmag.co.uk