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Inspire Roof Slates - Indestructible, Quick Fix Roofing Tiles
The slates on the roof of the farm house in Ireland (above left) are plum in colour. The slate roof on Holly Tree Cottage was completed in 2003; they are pewter grey in colour.
Built To Last
Tapco's Inspire slate is a composite product constructed from an environmentally friendly, 100% recyclable blend of dolomitic limestone and polyethylene using compression moulding.
The slate are cambered to ensure a tight surface bond against wind and rain. This process also provides the ultimate protection against UV rays, hail and fire.
Tapco Inspire slate is a premium product with 1st class performance, offering beauty that is built to last, the highest performance and fire-proof ratings and a transferable 50-Year limited warranty.
Different Molds - Authentic look
Multiple molds are used to create Inspire slates with different edges and surfaces, giving the look of authentic slate.
Inspire is easy to handle and impressively light; they are unbelievably strong and once on a roof are indistinguishable from genuine slate.
Inspire slate is offered in 6 standard, 11 premium and 7 blends of different colours. Bellstone stocks Pewter Grey and Plum; other colours and blends are available by special order.
Inspire Slate Key Features
(1) Made from recyclable plastic and dolomitic limestone, Tapco's Inspire slate has the random texture and edges of natural slate.
(2) Inspire slate is lightweight, easy to handle and can be fixed by either hammer and nail or nail gun.
(3) A production induced camber ensures the slates follow the roof contours for maximum wind uplift protection.
(4) Inspire slates have excellent weathering characteristics; they will not curl, lift or delaminate, and are impermeable to water.
(5) When tested to BS476 part 3, an AA fire rating was achieved. They comply with Australian standards.
(6) Inspire slates are backed by a 50 year transferable limited warranty.
Inspire slates can be installed with a hammer and nails or pneumatic nail gun. The slate can be cut with a stanley knife.
Each slate has pre-marked nailing locations for correct fixing. The slates also feature overlap reference marks corresponding to roof pitch as well as horizontal spacers to ensure quick, accurate installation.
Ridge caps, hips, slate vents, ridge vents and end caps are available in matching colours to the slates but only by special order.
Some of our customers prefer to use terracotta ridge caps and have asked about adhesives. Flexipoint is certainly an option worth considering. Other customers prefer lead roll similar to the ridge capping used on many heritage buildings.
Inspire Slates - East to Install & Saves Costs
Inspire slates are extremely easy and quick to fix or install. Reliable reports from roofers in other parts of the world suggest that they take a third of the time it takes to fix traditional slates. Once Australian roofers adjust to installing these slates, we believe that it could shave $60 - $80 per metre in the cost of fixing genuine slate.
Compliance with Australian Building Standards - View Report
Tapco Inspire slate has been tested by Stone Initiatives Materials Testing Group in July 2011 and was found to comply with the design and construction requirements of the Australian Building Code Board.
The full report is available for download (5.04MB) in downloadable pdf format.
The image above is a stables complex on the outskirts of Belfast in Northern Ireland; the roof slates are plum in colour.
(1) The Tapco Group that manufactures Inspire slates, complies with all standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
(2) The Tapco Group supports the use of sustainable construction practices and energy efficient design in all new and remedial construction projects.
(3) The Tapco Group by formulation and design, manufactures its products and contributes to achieving points according to the LEED Green building Rating System developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.
(4) Tapco slate has been used on a number of projects in the UK and the US which use green building technologies.
Inspire Slate Use on Green Building Projects
Tapco Inspire slate has been used on a number of projects in the UK and the US which use green building technologies.
Hill Holt Wood (UK) is a 14.2 hectare deciduous woodland situated on the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire border. Tapco Inspire slate was used on the Community Village Hall which can be rented for conferences, family events, weddings, parties and meetings. This building is part of the new Community Village created using entirely sustainable materials sourced locally where possible and utilising many innovative building techniques.
Last year in the UK, Tapco Inspire slate was chosen by The Prince's Foundation and was featured on The Prince's House at the Ideal Home Show in Earl's Court, London. The Prince's House is the Natural House and a blueprint to help support sustainable housing developments for the future. The Prince's House was developed using eco design principles and green building products.
In the US, Inspire slate will be used on the Pensmore house in Missouri - the largest home to be built in the state of Missouri. For information about this project which will be using entirely sustainable and energy efficient technologies, go to www.pensmore.com
Comparison Inspire vs Welsh Slate
The image (right) illustrates the similarity between the 2 products but there are also a number of differences.
The Welsh slate is slightly more blue in colour and has a distinctive grain that runs longitudinally down the slate. It is also longer and thinner; the slate in the image is also pre-holed.
The Inspire product is as the name suggests, more plumb in colour with a patterned surface that provides character.
The Tapco Camber - Brilliant Design Feature
Inspire slates are packed in bundles of 25 Inspire slates weighing just over 16kgs - very easy to pick up with one hand! You may notice that the bundle (pictured right) is slightly concave upward in shape due to the slate's camber.
The camber is a brilliant idea as the slate flattens out on the roof when nailed down allowing an extremely close fit with the slate below.
This design changes the dynamics and performance of the product when compared to natural slates - it creates downward pressure on the slate lowering wind uplift and water infiltration. The camber allows Inspire slates to be used on roof pitches as low as 14 degrees. Traditional slates are rarely used under 26 degrees.
Imprinted Instructions - Slate Surface
Each slate carries instructions on where they are to be nailed as well as the exposure gauges for roof pitch and wind/weather exposure.You will see from the image (right) that the exposure gauges are the horizontal marks located in the centre and each side of the slate.
The 2 nail hole locations are represented by circular grooves with "Nail" or "Clavo" written just above them. The pointed, triangular prominences down each edge of the slate are spacers each of which is 5mm in length. These make it easy for roofers to achieve the correct spacing between each slate during the installation process.
Inspire Slates - Cost Effective Option to maintain heritage look
There are many beautiful churches in Australia that have beautiful old Welsh slate roofs dating back to the late 1800s. Some of these roofs are still performing well but others are starting to require work as battens rot out and slates decay. Church organisations are finding it difficult to fund the costly restoration work required for so many buildings.Inspire slates offer small home & terrace house owners and churches a cost effective option of maintaining the look of slate. In the US, Inspire slates have been approved for use by the Conference for Catholic Facility Management (CCFM) and have been used on a number of churches.
Summary of Tapco Attributes
Advantages over Real Slate
Indistinguishable from authentic slate, once on a roof
Inspire plum slates are the closest match to Welsh heather blue slates available
Virtually unbreakable & won’t chip or crack
Vandal proof – won’t crack when walked on, once fixed; will withstand the roughest foot traffic
Hail proof – unlike real slate (lower insurance costs?)
May be used on much lower (14 vs 26 degree) roof pitches
Shared Advantages with Slate
Retains colour; non fading
Non-flammable; class A & C fire ratings
Impermeable to water
Unaffected by polluted air
50 year manufacturer’s warranty
Lighter – 1/3rd weight of Welsh slate (capitals); less weight on the roof;
Lighter - easier and quicker to lift up onto the roof; less injury
Less abrasive, less cuts & abrasions, safer for roofers, lower worker’s compensation costs
Quicker to fix & easy to cut with Stanley knife – lower fixing costs
Nail gun fixed – fast to install, lower fixing costs
Availability of matching accessories – ridges, vents, verge cappings
Cheaper to buy than most authentic slates
Cost of installation at least half that of authentic slate
Manufactured by a company genuinely committed to being environmentally responsible
Manufacturing process meets Ecoscore / LEED guidelines
Each slate contains 10% recycled product
Each slate is 100% recyclable
Slate Colours (In stock)
Image above - Plum slates
Image above - Pewter Grey Slates
Specifications & Cost
- Size - 445 x 305 x 7mm
- Weight - 12.35kg / square metre
- Density - 1323kg / cubic metre
- Coverage - 18 pieces / square metre for pitches 25+ degrees
- Colours - many other colours available by special order; delivery time 10 - 12 weeks.