Wherever you are in the country – if you’re looking to replace and match natural slate, SIGA will have something for the job.
We all know that slate is a beautiful, durable material that makes an ideal roof covering. However, the charm of repairing or replacing a traditional slate roof can sometimes fade when you try to source like-for-like materials. There are a number of reasons for this; the original slate may no longer be available, or you may need to extend the roof and can’t find an exact match. Also, if you’re working on a listed building and need to retain the original character of the property, finding a suitable replacement becomes a legal requirement you need to comply with for work to go ahead.
Scotland is a case in point. Scottish slate graces many historic buildings and conservation areas and remains in great demand, even though, sadly the last slate quarry in Scotland ceased production in 1955. This does pose a bit of a problem. In general, Scottish slate is coarser-grained than other slates and as a result, it is thicker and more irregular than its Welsh counterparts. This distinctive appearance results in random sized slates of differing thicknesses laid in diminishing courses, which gives Scottish roofs their distinctive and cherished look.
So, what are your options when repairing or replacing a Scottish slate roof? You could try to re-use the slates, however you may risk losing in excess of 50% in the process. To make up the difference, you’ll need to find a supply of matching second-hand slates – which is becoming increasingly rare and costly as time passes and supplies of good quality second-hand slates become increasingly difficult to source. Unfortunately, non-Scottish slates such as Spanish and Chinese, tend not to be suitable, both in terms of appearance and/or durability.
THE SIGA NATURAL SLATE SOLUTION
By dealing with over 35 quarries, SIGA is not tied into a particular quarry, and can therefore source the best matched slate for the project requirements. In the case of replacing Scottish slate SIGA have a ‘new’ slate that matches as closely as possible the colour and dimensions of the original. In conjunction with Welsh Slate, SIGA have launched a new blue/grey slate – SIGA 120 – which is being quarried to replicate the diminishing courses on the traditional Scottish roof. Cwt y Bugail Quarry is currently producing a range of sizes – varying in length from 400mm, down to 300mm at 25mm intervals, and in width from 375mm, down to 200mm, also at 25mm intervals. These are roughly equivalent to those produced in Scotland’s Ballachulish Quarry in the 19th century and still found on countless roofs today.
Although the new slates are not truly random, the change from one size to the next is not readily apparent. Likewise, although paler than the original Ballachulish slate, they will darken with age and blend in with the original material. For the building owner, the assurance that their re-slated roof will match and endure for generations to come is invaluable. At last the market has a viable solution for restoring and preserving the beauty of traditional Scotch slate roofs and with it, Scotland’s heritage.
Wherever you’re working in the country, SIGA’s wide range includes slates that are specific to your local area. Available at SIG Roofing branches throughout the UK, helping to ensure that you can get the slates you need for your local requirements when you need them.
SIGA 120 forms part of SIG Roofing’s ONE Warranty – a pitched roof product warranty that supports all the key elements required in the build-up of the roof.
SIGA offers informative free CPD Seminars designed to equip you with the knowledge to specify good, durable, slate roofs and the qualities of natural slate, common issues and the key legislation to ensure you make informed buying decisions.