When it comes to commercial roofing, few materials offer the timeless elegance and durability of slate. In the heart of Greensboro, NC, where architectural charm meets modern business needs, slate roofing stands out as a premier choice for those looking to combine aesthetics with functionality. But what exactly makes slate roofing the go-to option for many businesses, and what should you consider before making the leap? Let’s dive into the world of slate roofing, breaking down its benefits and challenges, and guiding you toward making the best decision for your commercial property.

What is Slate Roofing?

Slate roofing is more than just a roofing material; it’s a statement of class and longevity. Harvested from natural slate rock, this roofing material has been used for centuries to protect and beautify buildings across the globe. Its natural variation in color and texture offers a unique appeal that can’t be replicated by synthetic alternatives.

Types of Slate Roofing

Slate comes in various types, including hard slate and soft slate, each with its own set of characteristics. Hard slate can last over a century, while soft slate has a slightly shorter lifespan. Additionally, synthetic slate offers a lightweight and more affordable option, though it doesn’t quite match the lifespan of natural slate.

Slate Tiles vs. Slate Shingles

When discussing slate roofing, it’s essential to differentiate between slate tiles and slate shingles, as both terms are often used interchangeably but can refer to slightly different products. Slate tiles are generally thicker and used in more traditional settings, offering a robust and classic look for commercial properties. On the other hand, slate shingles are thinner and lighter, making them a versatile choice for a variety of architectural styles. Both options are made from natural slate, ensuring that your roofing material is not only durable but also adds a touch of elegance to your property. The cost per square can vary significantly between the two, with slate tiles often being the more expensive option due to their thickness and durability.

Why Choose Slate?

Opting for slate roofing means investing in a roof that combines beauty with resilience. Its natural resistance to fire and weather elements makes it an ideal choice for commercial properties looking to minimize maintenance while maximizing curb appeal.

The Role of a Roofing Contractor in Slate Installation

Choosing the right roofing contractor is crucial when installing slates on your commercial property. A properly installed slate roof can last over a century, making the selection of an experienced roofing contractor a pivotal decision. Roofing companies in Greensboro NC, specializing in slate roofing, understand the specific nuances involved in handling this premium material. From the initial roof inspection to the final installation, a skilled contractor ensures that each slate shingle is meticulously placed and secured, preventing future issues and maximizing the lifespan of your roof. Their expertise also extends to advising on the best type of slate—natural slate or synthetic slate—based on your property’s specific needs and the local climate.

Maintenance and Longevity of Slate Roofing

Slate roofing is renowned for its minimal maintenance requirements and longevity. Natural slate, in particular, is known for its resistance to harsh weather conditions and its ability to stand the test of time. However, regular roof inspections are recommended to ensure that any potential issues are identified and addressed promptly. Synthetic slate offers a similar aesthetic appeal and is often chosen for its lighter weight and ease of installation, though it may not match the lifespan of its natural counterpart. Regardless of the type, slate roofs should be inspected at least twice a year to ensure that they remain in optimal condition. The cost per square foot of maintenance for slate roofing is generally lower over time compared to other roofing materials, thanks to its durability and long life expectancy.

Benefits of Slate Roofing (Pros)

Unmatched Lifespan

Slate roofs are among the longest-lasting roofing materials available today. With proper maintenance, a natural slate roof can protect your commercial building for over a century, making it an extremely durable choice. This longevity can significantly offset the initial investment, as you’re unlikely to need a roof replacement anytime soon.

Aesthetic Appeal and Customization Options

Slate roofs are not just durable; they’re also stunningly beautiful. The natural variations in slate tiles allow for a range of patterns and designs, ensuring that no two slate roofs are exactly alike.

Increases Property Value

Installing slates on your commercial property can significantly increase its value. The aesthetic appeal and known durability of a slate roof make it an attractive feature for potential buyers or tenants, enhancing the overall worth of your investment.

Environmental Benefits and Energy Efficiency

Slate is a natural, sustainable roofing material that can help reduce your commercial property’s carbon footprint. Its thermal properties also contribute to energy efficiency, keeping buildings cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Fire Resistance

Slate roofing shingles are naturally fire-resistant, offering an added layer of protection for your commercial property. This resistance can be particularly beneficial in areas prone to wildfires or for buildings that must adhere to strict fire safety regulations.

Challenges of Slate Roofing (Cons)

Higher Upfront Cost

The initial investment in a slate roof is higher than that of other roofing materials. However, when spread over its long lifespan, the cost per year can be quite competitive.

Complex Installation Process

The installation of a slate roof is a highly skilled task that requires experienced professionals. This complexity can lead to longer installation times and higher labor costs, especially if you’re aiming for a specific design or a textural slate roof that demands meticulous attention to detail.

Maintenance and Repair Considerations

While slate roofs are low maintenance, repairs can be costly if a tile breaks or becomes dislodged. Finding matching tiles for repair can also be a challenge due to the natural variation in slate.

Difficulties in Matching Slate

If your old roof needs repair or partial replacement, finding matching natural slate tiles can be challenging due to variations in color and texture. This can be particularly true for older roofs where the quarry may no longer be operational. Synthetic slate offers a more uniform appearance, but it may not perfectly match the aesthetic and texture of real slate.

Susceptibility to Weathering and Breakage

While slate is known for its durability, it can be susceptible to breakage if walked on or if heavy objects fall on it. This can make maintenance and repair work more challenging. Additionally, in areas with severe freeze-thaw cycles, even the most durable slate roofing systems can experience weathering over time, leading to potential cracking and splitting.

Choosing the Right Slate Roofing Company in Greensboro NC

Selecting a roofing company experienced in slate roofing is crucial. Look for contractors with a proven track record, necessary licenses, and positive local reviews. Don’t hesitate to ask for references and examples of previous work.


Slate roofing offers a blend of durability, beauty, and environmental benefits that few other roofing materials can match. While the initial investment and weight considerations may pose challenges, the long-term benefits of slate roofing make it a worthwhile choice for many commercial properties in Greensboro, NC.

Call to Action

Are you considering slate roofing for your commercial property? Contact WxTite, your local experts in slate roofing, for a consultation. Our team of experienced professionals is ready to guide you through every step of the process, ensuring that your new slate roof meets and exceeds your expectations. Visit our website or give us a call today to get started on your journey to a more beautiful, durable, and efficient roof.