Slate roofA Photo Library of Slate Roofs
Photographs of different types of roofing slate: colors, patterns, quarry sources, indications of wear, installation patterns

  • SLATE ROOF PHOTO LIBRARY - CONTENTS: Photo Guide to Slate Roof Inspection. Photo library of slate roofing materials & slate conditions. Slate roofing patterns. Slate colors, types, and defects. Slate wear indicators. Slate repairs. Examples of worn-out slate roofs.
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how to recognize types of slate roofs & slate roof defects or leak problems
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This slate roofing photo library shows various kinds of roofing slate, slate roof colors, slate roof patterns, and roofing slate defects.

This photographic dictionary of roofing slates is a supplement to our detailed article (links at the "More Reading" links at the bottom of this article ) describing procedures for evaluating the condition of slate roofing.

How to inspect, identify defects, and estimate remaining life of slate roofs are addressed.

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An online photo dictionary of roofing slate colors, types, and conditions

Roof slate in diamond pattern

This article also references slate repair procedures, repair slate sources, and slate quarries.

An earlier version of this article appeared in the winter 1991 issue of the ASHI Technical Journal - the content has been substantially edited and updated and many © photographs have been added for this online version - April 2006-January 2007- July 2012.

Slate roofing is considered a high-quality, durable, and aesthetically pleasing material which receives considerable focus in both the sale of properties and in the evaluation of building condition.


A Photographic Guide to Slate Roof Patterns

Side lap slate roofing, or Dutch Lap with good overlapAs we emphasized
at SLATE ROOF INSPECTION & REPAIR our main article on slate repairs, opinions run heavier than actual data.

The abandonment of good slate roofs which should have been repaired is a financial shame and the destruction of a valued asset.

[Click to enlarge any image]

At the same time, careless optimism about a bad slate roof which is at the end of its life risks an angry inspection client.

SLATE ROOF INSPECTION & REPAIR reviews types of slate, common defects, inspection topics, and some repair tips.

Photographs of Closed Lap Staggered Slate Roof Pattern

Closed lap staggered slate pattern, shown just above, don't mistake this for the leak-prone "Dutch lap" late roof pattern [illustrated later on this page] that too often was installed with minimal side lap between slates

Photos of conventional slate roofing patterns

Slate roof in conventional staggered slate pattern

Conventional staggered horizontal slate pattern, good condition on a steep mansard roof - good nails must have been used

Photographs of Slate used on a Curved Roof Shape

Slate on a curved church roof

Curved ridge slate roof, this unusual design risks wind-blown rain leaks

Closeup of what happens when we put slate on a curved surface

Curved ridge slate roof, close-up view of gaps - slates don't bend along a curve

Photographs of Diamond Pattern Slate Roofs

Photo of roofing slate installed in a diamond pattern

Diamond pattern slate roofs, tar patched, a few missing slates, this roof may seem OK, but what about all of that tar/mastic patching?

Photo Guide to Diagonal Pattern Slate Roofs

Roof slate in diamond pattern

Diagonal pattern roof slate, red and green, good condition, shown here on a building on the Vassar College Campus, Poughkeepsie, NY

Slate Roof Dutch Lap or Staggered Slate Lap Roofing Pattern Photographs

Dutch Lap slate roofing pattern Dutch Lap slate roofing pattern

Dutch lap pattern with good side lap, adequate side lap makes leaks less likely but quite often shingles were installed in this pattern with just an inch of side lap and very little head lap, making for a leaky roof. Our Dutch lap slate roof at above left is on the Vassar College Campus, Poughkeepsie, NY, and at above right is a Dutch-lap pattern slate roof on a home in Putney Vermont.

Photo Guide to French Pattern Roofing Slates

Slate roofing installed in the French pattern

French Pattern Slates, generous side lap visible where slate is missing, tarred valley, thin, delaminating slates

Photo Guide to Graduated Slate Roofing Patterns

Graduated size roofing slates

Graduated Slate Roof, generally good, some roof mastic patching at a missing slate; note the mastic at sidewall step flashing?

Photo of graduated slate roofing

Graduated Slates, green slates, generally good condition, note less algae below copper salts washing down from skylight

This article series assists home inspectors, building buyers or building owners, and roofing contractors in evaluating the condition of slate roofs by providing photos of various slate materials, patterns, defects, and conditions.

Slate Roofing Articles


Continue reading at SLATE ROOF COLORS or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see SLATE ROOF INSPECTION & REPAIR for a detailed article about evaluating the condition of slate roofing and repairing worn or damaged slate roofs.

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SLATE ROOF PHOTO LIBRARY at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.


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