Slate roof shingles can add beauty and sophistication to the exterior of any home. These shingles are very expensive and heavy, however, and can be difficult to install. With recent advances in polymer and composite technologies, there are a wide variety of slate roof alternatives that combine the beauty of slate with the durability of new materials.
Asphalt shingles have become very popular in recent decades due to their durability and relatively low cost. They are also lightweight, and come in the widest variety of colour options. The experts at BobVila.com explain that manufacturers now produce architectural shingles that mimic the look of natural materials, including slate. These shingles are constructed with asphalt, but mimic the rough variation and colour of slate. A special blending process is used to create the smooth surface of a slate tile.
Rubber and Polymer
The latest developments in rubber and composite polymer roofing shingles allow for the creation of durable roofing materials that mimic the look of slate. The Roofery, website that offers reviews of various roofing options, notes that these tiles are very lightweight and durable, and hold up to 30 or more years of weather and sunlight. Installation can occur at any time of the year, even in high or low temperatures, and the shingles are soft enough to cut with a utility knife for easier installation.
Resin shingles boast the longest life and best durability of these products, according to the DaVinci Roofscapes website. Where other slate roof alternatives are usually made from recycled plastics and other materials, resin shingles are constructed from new materials. They are pressed into a variety of different shapes to mick the variations of natural slate, and still weigh less than the real stone shingles. However, resin shingles tend to be more expensive than other slate alternatives.