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Slate and us


Roofing slate (= argillaceous slate) is a slightly transformed sedimentary rock. It was formed in the area of German primarily in the Devonian age about 350 to 400 million years ago by the deposits of extremely fine-grained masses of clay slurries that under the influence of superposition pressure solidified into claystone.

During the later formation of mountains the claystone layers were folded up by lateral pressure. During these tectonic events the argillaceous stones split up. The original clay minerals were stretched along this extremely fine splitting area and crystallised under the warming caused by pressure into new tabular minerals (mica). Thereby a new structural element was impressed upon the original clayston: the slate cleavage. In the English language one distinguishes between the unstructured sedimentary rock (shale) and the metamorphous product (slate); the latter is the slate in the narrower sense. The composition of the original material as well as the affects of the tectonic (see also tectonics) events upon the sedimentary layers were different from site to site. Therefore roofing slate is a product of geological coincidences. 

In addition to the clayey stones, the other layers containing more sand and/or silt were also affected by tectonic events. They enclose the real roofing slate sections and make the exploitation more difficult. Therefore in order to get closer to the slate deposit (called 'Richten' or layers by the experts) as such, the miner to begin with has to "move through" these adjacent rock layers in order to then find in the 'Richten' the exploitable slate layers. For this reason and provided there is a selection by experts as a rule only 5 to 20 % of the moved masses of rock remain as a saleable end product, such as slate for roofs and façades. The rest is used as a mining-technical backfilling or reaches the rubbish dump since it is useless or of low value. In case of open-cast mining the share of the usability may decline to 3 %. Most recently it is also attempted to use the (ground) waste slate as a filler for plastic materials on account of its chemical resistance. Roofing felts are also sprayed with ground slate.

Since for more than 40 years now we have been working with the natural material slate and every day we are once more fascinated.

The blue-grey gleaming natural rock demands a high degree of craft skill and exact details from the roofer.

The abundance of variants and the universal usability make this material unique. 

The high durability as well as the economic efficiency provided by it speak well for slate. 

With us as a certified specialist company of roofers you always have a guarantee to obtain a slate roof and/or slate façade of high quality and at the same time reasonable prices. 

Below we mention to you some references of the last years.

  • Federal Criminal Investigation Office Wiesbaden, 6,700 m² fish scale covering
  • Old people's home Polch, 2,400 m² universal covering 
  • Home for handicapped people Hausen, 4,400 m² curved cut covering
  • Water supply Rhein-Hunsrück, 1,200 m² curved cut covering
  • Golf Hotel Stromberg, 2,500 m² curved cut covering
  • Various federal army barracks    - 4,000 m²
  • Savings Bank Emmelshausen, 1,500 m² curved cut covering
  • Retirement home in Bad Breisg, 2,000 m² curved cut covering
  • Volksbank Bacharach, 1,500 m² in curved cut covering
  • Town hall Boppard, 800 m² rectangular double covering
  • Oberburg Kobern-Gondorf, 800 m² classic old German style covering
  • Condominium Eltville, 2,800 m² curved cut covering
  • Church tower Saarbrücken, 400 m² classic old German style covering
  • Johanni-Church Lahnstein, 700 m² classic old German style covering  and many others

Exploitation technique

Today's exploitation is marked by the use of modern devices and machines. The completely mechanised sawing exploitation not only makes the work of the miners easier, but also contributes to a careful handling of the valuable rock.

The exploitable slate is sawn with a diamond saw along the geological conditions into exact grids. Then block by block the slate is carefully removed from the mountain. Wheel loaders take care of loading them below the ground. Then the slates reach with the mine railway the hoisting shaft. Once it has arrived there it reaches with the lorries the production halls above ground. Here the slate blocks are sawn, split and finally finished. 

To begin with in the production above ground modern technique, namely a laser-controlled diamond saw, takes over the first processing of the slate blocks. It takes care that the blocks of different sizes can be made available for the production of the capstones to a large extent "free of waste"

With all the mechanisation in the modern production hall the shaping steps of processing, the splitting and finishing, are still carried out by qualified manual work. At the same time the blocks are one after the other divided into slabs with a thickness of approximately 5 millimetres.

The capstones are given their final shape during finishing. This is carried out either by free hand or with the support by machines. ***

Types of covering

In the slate sector there is a multitude of different types of covering.

The classic old German style covering is considered the "mother of all types of covering". It is applied to churches, public buildings as well as to single-family homes.

Here you find an overview of the individual types of covering.



With your REINER-DACH we guarantee the highest quality. Both in the selection of materials and in the implementation of the project, we pay attention to qualified expert advice, optimal implementation, longevity and ecological sustainability. You can be assured that our employees receive intensive training in their areas of expertise at regular intervals.

That is why we guarantee a masterpiece with a REINER ROOF!


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