If your home has a slate tile roof, you may have decided to go with that material because it tends to last longer than other roofing materials such as shingles. However, because your roof is subjected to environmental factors, there is always the chance that something will require fixing. Before you come to this realization when your roof starts to leak, keep an eye out for the following signs that your home's slate roof needs repairing.
1. Algae Growth Starts to Appear on the Tiles
One thing for which you should be on the lookout when trying to determine whether your slate tile roof needs repairs is the appearance of algae growth on the surfaces of the tiles. This growth will present itself as dark, discolored areas on the slate.
When the tiles are new, they have a coating that helps keep the surfaces smooth and waterproof. However, after years of exposure to moisture and the sun's ultraviolet rays, this coating erodes, making the surfaces of the tiles porous. Especially in the shade, these pores take longer to dry out, creating the ideal environment in which algae can grow.
If the algae growth is only noted in a couple of small areas, you may be able to simply have the affected tiles replaced. A roofer can give you more insight once they do an inspection.
2. Tiles Are Either out of Alignment or Missing
As part of their design, slate tiles are lined up perfectly so that they overlap enough to keep water from seeping underneath them and into your house. However, if any of these tiles become misaligned or fall off completely, any spaces that are left will lead to a water leak.
While seeing tiles that are missing is relatively easy when on the ground, misaligned tiles will require a closer look. Since slate tiles can be slippery if you attempt to walk on them, try looking at your roof through a pair of binoculars from all sides of your house. If you suspect that there are tiles out of alignment, you can have a roofer take a look up close.
If you notice either or both of the above signs, you need to have the problem fixed before your roof starts to leak. Contact a roofer who provides slate roofing repair services to have them inspect the roof and determine what actions are required to repair the roof.