Slate roofing in Central Pennsylvania is a common sight in many neighborhoods. Central Pennsylvania and the surrounding area have many homes that still to this day have slate roofs.
Slate roofs are both durable and visually appealing. That can last well over 100 years and because of slate’s low water absorption, it is essentially waterproof, making it ideal for roofs.
There is a good reason that slate was so commonly used for roofing in Central PA. Pennsylvania is part of what is called the “slate belt” and is one of the few states left in the United States that is still actively mining slate. There are various types of slate native to Pennsylvania including Pennsylvania Black Slate, Bangor Slate, Ribbon Slate, Chapman Slate, and Peach Bottom Slate to name a few. Slate can vary in life expectancy from 75 years to over 200 years in age.
These life expectancy estimates are just that, estimates and can vary greatly depending on the slate’s source. For example, some sea green slate will begin to get soft after 100 years while another sea green slate will still be very hard after 120 years. It all depends on the original quarry source. A good way to judge the quality of slate is simply by doing a visual test. Is it flaking or crumbling or does it look shiny and smooth? Smooth and shiny is good while a flaky appearance is a sure sign of deterioration.
Slates that are in good condition should be preserved. Part of preserving your slate roof’s natural beauty is keeping it free of algae, lichen and moss growth. If left untreated, this type of growth can cause delamination of the slates or lifting of the slates, which can lead to wood deterioration of the wood beneath the slate roof.
Soft wash roof cleaning sometimes called nonpressure roof cleaning, is ideal for removing these types of stains and eliminating algae, moss or lichen growth. During the soft wash slate cleaning process, a cleaning solution is applied with a specially designed pump that utilizes a low-pressure delivery system. We will never use a pressure washer to clean your roof! Additionally, our technicians will never walk on your roof but will apply the solutions safely from a secure ladder system with a stabilizer.