There are many ways to mess up a synthetic slate install. Most of them are similar to how to mess up any kind of roof: Leave out the kickout flashings, botch the head or side lapping, put in the ice membrane incorrectly, that sort of thing. But a few are unique to synthetic slate.

Synthetic slates have had a mixed record in the U.S. Several brands have had failures leading to class-action lawsuits and premature need for replacement. Other brands, however, have been around for quite a while with few or no problems, like Majestic EcoStar, the brand we have been using since 1999 without product failures. Still, there are tricks to installing them successfully.

If there are potential issues, why risk using synthetic slates at all? Probably the number one reason we use synthetic slates is clients want the look of slate but don’t want to reframe their entire roof to support the weight of genuine slate. Synthetic slates are also a bit less expensive than real slate—not a whole lot less, but a bit.

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