Nothing rivals the beauty, durability and functionality of natural slate. Innovative Construction & Roofing specializes in repairing, replacing and maintaining historic slate roofs throughout the St. Louis region. Our highly trained craftsmen have replaced more than 200 historic slate roofs and repaired hundreds more.

Installation of slate roofing requires patience, care, an eye for detail and a true craftsman’s skill. At Innovative, we are experienced at installing the entire range of slate roofing styles and systems. From custom graduations and a full palette of colors, to custom sizes and a wide range of finishes, our craftsmen can install any pattern, size, or style to match the historic look of your home.

Natural slate roofing is available in three levels of quality—S1, S2 and S3. The highest-quality slate, S1, provides the longest life expectancy with regard to resistance to water absorption, weathering, and breakage. Standing behind our commitment to excellence, we offer a complimentary upgrade to S1 grade slate from S2 or S3 slate.


When properly installed, a natural slate roof or tile requires relatively little maintenance and can easily last 100 years or more. Deciding whether an historic roof should be repaired or replaced can be difficult and each roof should be evaluated individually.

Our experienced slate roofing crews are rigorously trained to accurately assess the condition of your roof and determine if it is in need of repair or replacement. Innovative Construction & Roofing’s detailed analysis and reporting process uncovers even the smallest roof defects. After a roof inspection, we will give you an objective report on the condition of your roof and our recommendation on whether it needs repairs or a full roof replacement. This documentation is required to maximize your chances of claim approval.


The photos above show hail damage on a St. Louis area slate roof. Damage such as this is often not visible from the ground.


  1. Determine the age and condition of the roof. Factor in the roof’s life expectancy given the quality of slate.
  2. Assess the number of damaged and missing slates or tiles. Typically, if the number is less than 20 percent, the roof should be evaluated for repair rather than replacement. If damaged tiles are found all over the roof, the tiles are probably too old to salvage, and it’s time to replace the roof.
  3. Check for active leaks in the attic and living areas. Be aware that gutters, valleys, and flashings are more likely to cause leaks than slates are.
  4. Check roof rafters and sheathing for moisture damage. Old, delaminated slates and tiles will hold moisture and cause rot.

Because slate and tile are so durable, metal flashings often wear out before the slate does. Even a tiny hole can allow large quantities of water to enter the building. If deterioration of the roofing material isn’t uniform, it’s possible that only one slope needs replacement and the other slopes can be repaired.


Like all roofs, a slate roof should be inspected annually by an experienced roofer. However, because most people are not comfortable inspecting their own roof and because roof damage is not easily seen from the ground, business owners often wait far too long before having their roof inspected.

It is important that damaged and missing slates or tiles be repaired promptly by an experienced roof installer. A prompt repair will help prevent water damage to interior finishes and accelerated deterioration of the roof and roof sheathing.

Unfortunately, in many circumstances an inspection does not occur until watermarks or some other type of internal damage is observed. This can result in more serious and costly long-term problems such as wood rot, mold and damage to occupied spaces. Additionally, an overdue inspection may cause some insurance companies to view this as neglect of routine maintenance, instead of an “Act of God.” The end result is the commercial property owner becomes responsible for expensive roof repairs.


When we know where to look, it seems that almost without fail nature provides the most simple and ingenious solutions. In this case, that comes in the form of a metamorphic rock which has served as among the earliest industrialized and best roofing materials ever employed. That material is of course slate, and despite some very clever man-made alternatives, it remains without equal as the hardest, most durable, and intrinsically handsome material available.

Extraordinary time and compression are its two essential ingredients. What results from these tremendous forces is a material that’s become so dense it’s highly resistant to the effects of temperature and extraordinarily impermeable to water. In fact, it’s even a consequence of the mineral foliation (the planes of mineral crystals), due to the extreme pressures, that slate achieves its uniform cleavage planes, accounting for its practicality of use, as well as its handsome natural color variation.


Like slate, tile roofs offer many great benefits, including durability, longevity and fantastic curb appeal. Traditional tiles are commonly available in either concrete or clay, and come in a multitude of shapes, profiles and colors, offering commercial property owners many options. Clay tiles range from shades of white, yellow, orange and brown, though the most commonly used clay color is terra cotta. Both clay roof tile and its modern partner, concrete tiles, are beautiful and extremely durable. With proper building design and installation, tile roofs can last 50 to 100 years or more. They are resistant to strong winds and cannot be destroyed in a fire. The shape of clay tiles protect the underlayment of a roof, while also creating an air pocket thereby helping to insulate and isolate any unwanted heat or cold from being transferred into a building.


Of all roofing materials, slate and tile’s carbon footprint is almost certainly the lowest, requiring no involvement of petro-chemicals beyond the energy investment of extraction and transportation. Similarly, its durability means that energy investment may only be required once in a hundred years. Furthermore, roof tiles are energy efficient. Due to the superior thermal capacity of roof tiles and the ventilated air space that their placement on the roof surface creates, tile and slate roofs can lower air conditioning costs in hotter climates. Likewise, they produce more constant temperatures in colder regions, reducing the potential for ice accumulation.