The weight of slate roofs makes them expensive to remove.Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
The good news about changing your slate roof is that you get a new roof, which can mean a giving your house a different look or repairing leaks. The bad news is that removing your slate roof will cost more than removing most other types of roofing. Exactly how much it will cost will vary from region to region and from season to season. However, it's possible to get a sense of how much it costs compared with the more standard composite roofing types.
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The process for removing a slate roof resembles removing any kind of roof. You need to pull the shingles off your roof, transport those shingles away from your home and dispose of them legally. Each of these stages requires different resources – and involves its own kinds of costs.
Slate is slippery and trickier to remove safely from a roof than are other materials – so much so that not all roofing companies are willing to work with slate. This means that removal takes longer and costs more per hour than removing a standard composite roof. You can minimize your labor costs by purchasing a package deal with your new roof installation. Companies usually offer removal as part of a new roof installation – and often don't differentiate between roofing types when quoting that removal service.
One of the biggest tasks when removing roofing is getting the surprisingly large amount of material from your home to the disposal site. You do this by dumping your shingles into a truck or bin, then driving it away. Slate shingles are heavier than other kinds of shingles to the point that switching to slate requires many homes to reinforce the roof supports. This means transportation costs more because you need a heavy-duty truck or more trips, either of which will need more gasoline with the heavier weight. You can cut back on these costs by ordering a dumpster service that charges by volume instead of weight – slate shingles are the same volume as composite shingles, and they are smaller than most wood shingles.
All those slate shingles have to go somewhere, and that place is likely to charge you for the privilege of leaving them. You should contact your local waste disposal facility or municipal dump for their rates to take in construction waste. As with transportation, you can minimize these costs by arranging for a waste pickup that charges by volume. This will make the disposal costs about the same as they would be if you were removing a composite shingle roof.