Quality assurance through the ages with natural slate

As one of the world’s oldest roofing materials, natural slate adorns many of our historic buildings. The benefits of using natural slate have been well known since Roman times, with evidence of slate roofing in Wales as early as the 2nd century. However, it wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century that roofing slate really took off.

The popularity of slate grew when people realised that it offered effective protection against the elements – particularly frost and rain – due to its low water absorption. Transport and technical innovations, such as steam engines, enabled it to be mass produced and it was soon exported far and wide.



Centuries later, roofing slate is still revered amongst architects, specifiers, builders and developers for its outstanding performance and unmatched beauty. And, with a lifespan of around 80 -100 years, natural slate is a premium roofing product that continues to adorn many prestigious buildings.

These days, you can source natural slate almost anywhere in the world, although 90% of the global output comes from Spain. Quality varies and inferior products may not deliver on their promise, so it’s important to understand the origin of your slate before you buy it. The traceability of supply, as well as the labelling, are good indications of the professionalism and Chain of Custody (CoC) provided by the supplier.

For quality assurance, it makes sense to work with reputable companies such as SIGA, who know and understand the market and are in it for the long haul. With SIGA, you get the assurance of working with a reputable organisation, whose guarantees are backed by SIG plc, a FTSE 250 company.

It pays to use good quality slate
While it can be tempting to use a cheaper slate, it can cost you far more in the long run. Cheap slate can suffer 50-80% wastage, so is more prone to failure and more likely to rust from pyrites – which means you’re more likely to get called back.

Good quality slate is easier to work with, has less wastage and is easier to cut. Not only do you get the assurance of its longevity with a cast iron warranty and full CoC traceability, quality slates are also more effective against harsh weather conditions.


Quality. Reliability. Integrity.
With a dedicated team and professional operations in the quarrying region of Spain, SIGA has built up a direct connection with its quarries. SIGA provides full information about where your slate comes from, as well as how to work with it, and notifies you of any changes in legislation.

All of SIGA’s ranges are colour coded so you can easily identify which is which, and come with warranties of between 30-75 years, all fully backed by SIG plc, a FTSE 250 organisation.