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  • Writer's pictureStuart Penrose

Re-Use, or Skip? Natural Slate.

90% of my work is heritage restoration ,work I care passionately for, and love!

I have been fortunate to help restore some of Northern Irelands most iconic buildings including churches, to landmarks buildings, such as St George’s Market Belfast , and large stately family homes such as the award-winning Ormiston House. A more extensive list can be found here. https://penroseroofing.com/



I have the same passion for period homes that want to retain the character and story of the building ,whilst introducing modern materials for performance to last the next 100 years.


I’ve made no secret of the fact that i have a a real disliking for shiny new fibre cement-based tiles (yes i called them tiles, because they are not slate, no matter what the manufacturer calls them!) when they are put in place of the natural slates that were removed.


The fibre cement products have a limited life span ,and that shine comes of them fairly quickly in our climate ,they then start to breakdown and look very tired, fibre cement roof tiles that i fitted as an apprentice could very well need replacing now!


25 year old Fibre Cement Roof

If you are replacing a roof that has existing Natural slate, one of the most common reason for this is that the fixings have corroded , known as nail fatigue.

When removing a natural slate roof that is nail fatigued there is a high number of slates salvaged for re-use.


So why would you discard the existing Natural Slate? to replace them with an inferior product, that is out of character with the original building.


If you are receiving tenders for a re-roofing project and you have existing Natural slate.


Ask for the following:


Estimated salvaged slate that can be reused. This will just be a round a number but will give you a guide. ( I always aim for around 40% of the total)


Ask the roofing contractor not to remove any sound reusable slates from site!

You can always sell them to any salvage yard or ask the roofing contractor to give you a rebate on the contract price if you aren’t reusing them.


If you are re-using the slate and you need to match any shortfall in the total contact



At the time of writing this article, unit cost for a fibre -cement roof tile ranges from £1.60 to £2.04 ex vat.


As you may already have 40% of your roof slates reusable you will have a superior product that's more attractive and save you money!


A recent project of our own using a mix of re-fixing existing slate and salvaged reclaimed from Architectural Salvage

Bangor Blue roof slates, old roof ,new roof
Re using Bangor Blue Roof slates Stuart Penrose

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