Slate is a fine-grained, foliated, homogenous metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock compound of clay or volcanic ash. Sounds technical doesn’t it! For our purposes slate is a natural, stone-like tile; a historical roofing product that can last 100 years or more and comes in a variety of colors. Slate tiles are frequently gray but also are available in green, red, cyan (greenish blue) and some other colors.
A turret roof is a pointed, almost projectile looking structure that was very common on old castles and can be found all over D.C. in Capitol Hill, Georgetown, Dupont Circle and many other sectors of the city. These roofs are beautiful, historic and add much charm to this city. There are very few cities where you can find these types of row houses.
For this special project, we have customers, Mike and Andrea who live on the 1200 block of E St. N.E. Most of the turret roofs in this block are still original, well over 100 years old. These old roofs, while beautiful, do eventually create serious problems for homeowners. They are many different ways for water to get into the house. Tiles disintegrate and expose wood to the elements or the connection to the underlying wood decays and tiles slide down below or onto the ground. Nails fall off, connecting seams erode and old repair work wears out. Below most of the roofs is a metal built-in-gutter (BIG) that collects the water that drains off the slate tiles. Over time the metal also deteriorates and has to be repaired and eventually replaced. We see a lot of these structures that have badly decayed wood underneath because of all the years of water seeping in.
For roofers, these are very difficult and dangerous projects to take-on. It’s not as simple as putting up a ladder and working on a flat roof. Special equipment is needed, including possibly scaffolding and very high level roofing expertise is required.