How to Fix a Slate Roof

Written by barbara dunlap
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A slate roof is said to last for 100 years, but that doesn't mean you can go that long without repairing it. The slate tiles can suffer damage due to freezing temperatures and nails being pounded in too tightly. Replacing a tile isn't rocket science, but before you tackle it, you need some specialised tools and a good pair of non-slip shoes.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Replacement tile
  • Ripper to remove nails
  • 3-inch slate hook

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  1. 1

    Make sure that you have the right replacement tile. You want one that matches the size, thickness and appearance of the existing slate tiles.

  2. 2

    Use a ripper to cut the nails, which will be hidden under the old tile. The ripper is like an anchor that you slide under the slate, hook onto the nails and remove them. You will usually find two nails in each slate tile.

  3. 3

    Drive a slate hook into the empty spot. The hook should be centred from side to side and about 3 inches from the lower edge.

  4. 4

    Slide the new slate tile over the hook. The tile will catch and settle into place.

  5. 5

    Take your time coming down from the roof. The money you save by repairing the slate yourself won't be anything compared to the cost of a fall.

Tips and warnings

  • You can use copper tabs and nails instead of slate hooks, but many experts say that the hooks are more trustworthy.

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