One of the most interesting things about northern New Jersey is the prevalence of older houses. New Jersey has well-built and livable edifices that date back over 300 years, and it is not uncommon to live in a home that is more than a century old. Some of these older buildings have taken advantage of the unique geographical and geological qualities of New Jersey in very creative ways. For example, some Morris County roofers may have experience working with slate and other unusual stone surfaces for roofing. A properly installed stone roof adds tremendous character to the house, sheds the rain and snow in excellent fashion and requires relatively little maintenance and upkeep for the vast majority of its working life.
Slate shingles are not precisely common, and they are even rarer today than they were in their heyday. However, they are still quite serviceable, and they remain in daily use among some of the older neighborhoods. They have tremendous advantages when it comes to durability and maintenance. Their extreme weight is not often a problem, as they usually rest atop buildings more than capable of supporting the heavy slate roof and a great deal of snow burden without any danger of collapsing. Slate is warm, well insulated, waterproof and beautiful.
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Its disadvantages include the fact that it is difficult to integrate into modern systems. It requires specialized knowledge and equipment to repair, although it tends to require repair only on rare occasions. Slate is very heavy, which means that simply getting it up to the roof is a challenge in itself. This often results in a higher price for installation. There are other unusual challenges because of the nature of the materials. For example, it is more common to find moss growing on a slate roof than in almost any other type of roof found in New Jersey.
Some other types of stone roof surfaces are found in Morris County. Stucco may be the second most common. It is often used with outbuildings, commercial properties and in homes with eclectic construction schemes.
Stucco and slate both work extremely well in New Jersey, especially if the roof is pitched high. Many modern buildings are built with stucco or use slate shingles on a roof. They will usually be found in historical buildings, retrofits and reconstructions. However, since they are extraordinarily handsome and provide superior qualities of durability, they are still installed in new buildings under construction.