The slate roof tiles that are installed on homes are made of a heavy material that requires special structural designs. These tiles weigh more than asphalt shingles, which is why you will need to make some adjustments to your home if you want to use slate for your new roof. Therefore, you need to do structural improvements to support the weight of the heavy roof tiles. The following slate tile structural information will help you prepare your home for an elegant new roof.
Reinforcing Rafters for Slate Tile Roofing—The first areas where you are going to need to make improvements are the roof rafters. The rafters need to be wider to support the weight of the roofing. Some of the options to consider for reinforcing rafters for slate roof loads include:
- Adding beams beneath ridges, hips, and valleys
- Doubling rafters that are standard widths
- Adding wider rafters to the roof structure
These improvements are needed to support rafters for the extra weight of slate roof tiles. You may want to work with a residential roofing service and structural engineer for help deciding on the right changes to rafters to support the extra weight of tiles.
Upgrading Roof Bracing to Support Slate Weight—The roof bracing in the attic will also need to be updated to support slate roofing tiles. The improvements that can be done to beef up roof bracing include:
- Replacing purlins with an engineered beam
- Using timber posts to support purlins
- Reinforcing collar-tie wind bracing
These need to be done to reinforce roof bracing and support slate roofing materials. The roof bracing is what will carry the weight of the tiles down to the structure below.
Interior and Foundation Structural Improvements for Slate Roofing—The interior of your home is where you are going to need to begin improvements after the roof structure. First, you should make sure that all the point loads where roof bracing rests have solid blocking and posts that go down to the foundation. At the foundation, these point loads will also need to be supported with foundation footing beams or other support. All the structural loads of a slate roof should be carried all the way down to the foundation with footings or pier systems to support the loads.
With the right structural improvements, your home will be ready for new slate roofing. If you are ready to install slate tiles on your home, contact a residential roofing contractor to start discussing the structural improvements that you need to make first.
To learn more, contact a resource like Midwest Shake & Shingle.