Preserving the Past: Recycling Slate Roofs

Damage from natural disasters, a change in home ownership (and desire for a different type of roof), or planned demolition of a building are reasons why old slate roofs are removed. But that doesn’t mean a slate roof’s life is over. As befits our name, we love slate roofs and hate to see older slates torn off and tossed rather than recycled.

That’s right—with proper removal and care, slates can be recycled and repurposed. By salvaging and reusing old slate, we can:

  • Install it on new buildings or replace an old wood or asphalt roof, for a new roof with the prized, timeless look of slate.
  • Perform repairs on existing slate roofs and historical buildings—an efficient way to maintain the roof’s aesthetic appeal.
  • Design an interesting mix of sizes, shapes, and colors with slates recovered from different roofs, providing high-impact visual interest.


Considerations for recycled slate roofs

Be sure you are working with a roofing contractor experienced in “harvesting” and reusing the old slate properly. There is a process for preserving its condition and reinstallation readiness, from the way it is removed to how it’s gathered and transported.

The roofer must check each slate for cracks or other flaws that render them unusable on the new roof. Before installation, the recycled slate must be shuffled randomly before being nailed onto the new roof for proper appearance due to weathering.

The roofer should also know how to make sure the weathered marks from the old slate don’t show when applied as a repair or on the new roof.

Other uses for recycled slate roofs

Slates can have many lives after serving as roofing material. With the right tools to properly cut and adhere the slate (to other pieces or surfaces), you can:

  • Recycle slate roofs for craft projects because they can be painted, etched, or decoupaged.
  • Cut, stack, and glue slates to create a sculpture or household objects such as candlesticks and vases. Enough slates can even be repurposed into a doll house.
  • Use recycled slate as flooring material bonded to totally flat concrete or plywood underlayment.
  • Create new wall surfaces or resurface brick (such as a fireplace or chimney) to simulate stone.


Call Slate Roof Professionals about recycling slate roofs

Before you rip off an old roof, contact Slate Roof Professionals about removing and recycling the slate. As long as the slates are in good condition, we will keep the slates out of landfills and bring the beauty of a slate roof to a new application that will last for generations.