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When you’re involved in a roofing project, there are many considerations surrounding which material is best for you. The appearance, performance, longevity, and sustainability of the material are perhaps the most important things to consider. If you’ve decided that you’d prefer a slate roof over a clay or concrete tiled roof, you may now be wondering whether to choose natural slates or synthetic slates. Let’s take a closer look at which material is best.

What is synthetic slate?

Synthetic slate is a man-made product which is designed to replicate natural slate. The definition of slate is ‘a fine-grained rock formed by the metamorphosis of clay, shale etc.’ This statement highlights the fact that synthetic slate is not actually slate. It is an inferior man-made material which is usually made from rubberized synthetic polymer.

When directly compared to natural slate, synthetic slate is the loser on every score. Natural slate is stronger, more weather resistant, longer lasting, requires less maintenance than synthetic slate, and is by far the most sustainable choice. While synthetic slates may initially be the more cost-effective choice, they will usually need replacing after two to three decades whereas natural slate can last for over 100 years.

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The importance of sustainability when choosing natural slate or synthetic slate

There is currently a global drive to reduce carbon emissions and create a more sustainable society. Following the recent COP26 summit in Glasgow, new legislation is being drawn up which will affect all parts of society. These changes in legislation look set to have a huge impact on the construction industry. With the construction industry responsible for 38% of all CO2 emissions in 2019, radical change is needed across the sector.

As rules become tighter, experts across the sector are looking for new ways to reduce carbon emissions. At SSQ, we believe that using natural slate like spanish slate as the roofing material of choice is the best way to tackle carbon pollution in the construction industry. As a 100% natural material, our slates undergo zero chemical processes and are even mined using environmentally friendly methods. We have also played an instrumental role in the East Africa Borehole Project where we received a carbon offset certificate for offsetting 1343 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide.

At SSQ, our range of natural slate has been used in roofing projects across the world. When you want the best quality, sustainably sourced slates, SSQ are the best choice for you. For more information about our range of superior slates call 020 8961 7725 or contact us online.

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