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topic 35855

World War II slate roofing


I live under a government built unit with a slate roof. It was built in 1942-1943. The government used an excellent slate that is still in good condition. Because of the war time conditions, copper was not available to nail the roof in place.

My question is "should I be concerned about the galvanized nails that were used? It has been 63 years and I wonder if the nails are going to give out before the slate."
thank you,

Stephen Kirkpatrick
homeowner - Washington , DC, USA


I don't think anyone could possibly hazard a guess at the integrity of 63 year old fasteners, sight unseen, Stephen. But if it was my house I wouldn't even look at them unless it seemed that a slate falling off would be exceptionally dangerous.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey
We need "Aloha" now more than ever


You were kind enough to respond to a question I had previously about World War2 era roofing nails. A follow up question for you: After doing some minor repairs to my slate roof I have samples of the nails that were used. Could I send these examples to a lab and get an informed opinion as to how long I can expect the remaining nails to last?

Stephen Kirkpatrick
homeowner - Washington, DC

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