Slate!

As an Phillies/Flyers/Eagles fan, it pains me to say that Pennsylvania is inferior than say, Vermont… (actually, Vermont is superior to PA in just about EVERY way, other than professional sports, come to think of […]

As an Phillies/Flyers/Eagles fan, it pains me to say that Pennsylvania is inferior than say, Vermont… (actually, Vermont is superior to PA in just about EVERY way, other than professional sports, come to think of it), but apparently Pennsylvania’s slate quarries are inferior.  Our slates are from the Keystone State, rather than the Green Mountain State. – and it shows in their wear.  Hopefully not all is lost – but we have some work to do.

Above you can see a side view of one of our yankee gutters – other than the slates below the gutter, things don’t look too bad.

 

And here’s that valley.  Flashing – doesn’t look great (covered over a few times with some kind of paint or other leak stoppage goop – but the slates with a few exceptions don’t look too bad.  

From the underside you can really see some interesting things.  Interesting thing one:  there’s no sheathing.  Just rafters and battens and slates.  Interesting thing two:  what looks like mortar between the slates, apparently that’s actually gypsum leaching out of the slate.  Pennsylvania slate – I’ve been told – has veins of that stuff in it, which cuts into the longevity of the slates.  Bummer.

Since we want to finish our attic – we’ll need to figure out how to insulate this without damaging the slates, interfering with the ventilation or keeping us from repairing the roof in the future (not to mention we don’t want to hide any leaks that might form!).  Current idea is to insert baffles between the roof joists to leave some breathing room, and then covering over that with closed-cell foam.  Either plywood backed with some kind of water resistant coating (we saw something “green” on this season of TOH that might work) or foil backed rigid foam for a little extra R-value.  Help!

About Ryan

Ryan is an attorney, father, husband and tinkerer.