One of the great joys of thinking about
buildings is that you tend to remember to look up. So many of our
high streets are regarded as being the same these days, but a glance
above the signs that carry the all too familiar names and you will
find a wealth of architectural interest. Keep going up and you will
notice that many of our older houses have one of two main roof
coverings: slate or tiles.
When the buildings were originally
designed and built they would generally have been covered by slate.
Most of this came from the quarries in North Wales of course and the
history of this industry still covers large swathes of Snowdonia
However the modern day knock on from
this is as follows. The roofs were originally designed and built to
take the weight of this material. The industry, of course, does not
stand still and soon cheaper alternatives became available in the
form of cement and clay tiles. As with most things in the industry
these cheaper alternatives were quickly taken up and applied to roofs
everywhere. Unfortunately this has meant that older roofs, that were
designed for slate, find themselves with the much greater task of
supporting these heavy tiles. It is therefore quite common to see roofs bend and
buckle under this weight. So if you are looking to replace a roof
please think about the weight of the structure as well as the look. Note that if you do have a sagging roof, you will also need to check for rot in the timbers, damp ingress, movement in the wall plate, wall movement etc.
Thankfully, if your budget doesn’t stretch as far as real slate there are a wide range of artificial slates that are available now that look
like the real Welsh slate, but are in fact made from recycled