Slate is a beautiful roofing material, and although it can hold up well to the elements for centuries, a falling limb can break tiles and cause problems. If you want to get as much life as possible from your roof, it is necessary to replace any damaged tiles as quickly as possible. As long as you are careful with how you walk on your roof, you should be able to make repairs on your own. To make a permanent repair, you should avoid using a strap to hang the tile in favor of a hook.
The Problem with a Strap Hanger
A strap hanger is a pliable strip of metal that you nail directly to the roof deck in the middle of the space that your new tile will occupy. You allow one end of the strap to hang down a couple of inches below where the bottom of your new tile will be. You then slide the tile into place, and use a hammer to bend the bottom edge of the strap up so that it hooks the tile in place. The problem with this is that the bottom edge of the strap will stick up above the tile. This creates a visual distraction, and furthermore, snow and ice sliding off of your roof can catch the bottom edge of the strap, straighten it, and thus cause your tiles to fall off of your roof.
The Reason to Use a Hook
A slate hook is a piece of rigid stainless steel wire shaped into an S with one end being nearly straight. You hammer the straight end of the wire into your roof, allowing the curved end to hang down just below where the bottom edge of your new tile will be. You then slide your new tile into place so that the hooked end of the wire catches the bottom edge of the slate. The benefit of the hook is that it will blend into your roof better and will not unbend, so you end up with a less noticeable, yet more dependable repair.
When you make repairs to slate roofing, you need to make sure that you make permanent repairs. Using strap will allow you to make a quick fix, but your repair can fail with nothing more than ordinary exposure to the elements. Slate hooks are just as easy to work with as straps, yet they are a better product in the long run.
For more roof repair tips, contact a roofing contractor.