Whether brown, black or grey, slate is the green choice
Slate seems to have it all. It’s attractive for one, coming in a number of deep, somber hues. It’s versatile, being able to be used for everything from floors and outdoor areas to roofs. Finally, it’s hardy, being not only physically tough but also acid resistant, making it a top choice for kitchens and other areas liable to be filled with corrosive substances.
But if all this wasn’t enough, slate has one more major benefit – it’s widely recognized as an environmentally friendly stone choice. From beginning to end, slate is an eco-conscious surface material that you don’t have to feel guilty about using.
Try to spot the carbon in the production of slate
As a homeowner, if it’s not surface protection that’s on your mind, it’s probably sustainability. Environmental ideas have more and more become part of the mainstream way of thinking, and many of us – whether in a professional or personal setting – aim to reduce our impact on the planet’s resources by changing our behavior.
If you’re thinking about building a new home, fixing part of an existing property or installing a new feature, slate can fit into this strategy. Part of the reason for this is the way slate is produced.
Like other stones, slate is a finite, naturally produced mineral resource that must be quarried from the earth. However, unlike other kinds of stones, its production is relatively simple. Rather than being processed, once slate is quarried, it is often hand-cut into blocks.
This means the energy input involved in forming the slate that arrives on your doorstep ready to be turned into a new tile floor or roof is comparatively low. There is no whirring machinery using up power or blasting fossil fuels into the atmosphere.
Indeed, according to the Inventory of Carbon and Energy put out by the University of Bath, slate has one of the lowest values of embodied carbon – the carbon released over a building material’s life cycle, from extraction to its arrival at a building site.
Ranging from 0.006 to 0.056 kilograms of carbon dioxide, even at its upper scale, slate was well below the 6.15 recorded by a material like stainless steel. It was even well below the values recorded by other stones like marble (0.187).
Slate’s green credentials continue past its production
Of course, it’s not simply the extraction and production of slate that shores up its environmental friendliness. The green benefits of slate continue on throughout the course of its lifetime.
And what a lifetime! Good quality slate is commonly expected to last over 100 years, even as long as 200 years in some estimations. According to figures sourced from the National Roofing Contractors Association, slate roofs can last anywhere between 50 years and a century.
Whether on a roof or inside the home, slate is incredibly durable: According to the National Slate Association, it’s fireproof, and resistant to degradation regardless of what the climate is like. Its density can even help bolster a particular structure’s temperature stability.
All of this means that slate is less likely to have to be replaced. Rather, it may end up surviving as long as the building itself, so less resources are consumed in the long run to keep a property looking good.
Best of all, slate can even be recycled to create new features and structures, further reducing the need for more costly quarrying and consumption of material. So if slate ever ends up outliving the building it’s attached to, make sure to hang on to it.
While slate’s longevity and other qualities are all well and good, they mean nothing if care isn’t taken to keep the stone protected from stains and damage. You need to seal slate with an impregnating, breathable sealer that will keep water and other substances out.
For all of your slate protection needs, use Dry-Treat’s META CRÈME™. Not only will it keep your slate safe, its ultra low VOC emissions mean you’re doubling up on your commitment to environmental protection.
The top 3 most asked sealer questions
Just because you've had your stone sealed in the past doesn't necessarily mean you're an ...
What do we mean when we talk about a breathable sealer?
Dry-Treat's sealers - from STAIN-PROOF Original™ and META CRÈME™ to DRY-TREAT ...
Alkali attack, and the sealer to survive it
Alkali attack: It sounds like name of a Star Trek episode doesn't it? But far from ...