Manufacturer and builder 12 / 1873
Water and fire, good servants as they are, as long as under out control, are the most terrible masters when entering our dwellings against our will. The way they usually enter is by the roofs, and therefore it is of the first importance to make these water and and fireproof. Builders who make repairs a specialty will confess that leaky roofs are the best friends of their trade, causing an amount of damage which surpasses many millions of dollars yearly. In regard to fire, every one knows that the losses by it are yearly counted by hundreds of millions; and there is no doubt but that in consideration of the late calamities of this kind in different localities, everybody is anxious for protection against that most dreadful foe. Those living in houses with wooden shingle roofs should especially be careful, and apply any protection which may be offered by the inventive genius of the present day, especially when that protection is cheap and easily applied.
Such is the case with the slate roofing paint, manufactured by the New York Slate Roofing Company, of No. 6 Cedar street, New York city, which costs only two and a half cents per square foot applied , and even much less for those who buy the paint (80 cents per gallon) and apply it themselves.
Among the cheap roofs are the tar, asphaltum, or so-called gravel roofs, but they have the great disadvantage of making the rain-water collected from them useless by giving it a bad smell or taste, and by containing so much of the combustible asphaltum, tar, etc., they especially feed the flames in case of fire. Slate roofs are among the safest in the latter respect; but unfortunately they are, notwithstanding being very expensive, not always to be relied upon in regard to their water-proof qualities. Even when the slates overlap one another for three thichnesses, water will sometimes enter through the nail-holes and leakage not be entirely prevented, not withstanding the precaution of modern architects to place tarred felting between the boarding and slate.
Shingle roofs are among the most water-right at first, but they soon decay, and the great objection to their use is the combustibility of their material, causing them to be prohibited in many large cities. When such roofs, however, even if very old, are covered with the slate paint, they are free from the defects of leakage and combustibility. They are covered then in fact by a solidified slate, and if the water from the first showers falling on a thus freshly-painted roof is turned off from the cistern, that of successive rains may be coolected and found good in all respects.
Slate being not only non-combustible, but fire-proof, a thick coating of this substance will form a perfect protection against fire, and the so very combustible and therefore highly dangerous shingle roof becomes equivatent to the fire-proof slate roof when covered with a sufficient coating of the liquid slate paint, which has a very heavy body, but is easily applied notwithstanding. It is evident that for this reason it cements decayed, cracked, warped, or loosened shingles together, fills up all holes, and stops all leaks, and is as water-proof as solid slate itself, one coat of this paint being as thick as half a dozen coats of oil paint.
For tin roofs it is unsurpassed, as it never peels off, expanding and contracting as it does by heat or cold equal with the tin it covers. When first applied it is of a darker color than after a month's time, when it turns to a uniform, pleasing slate color, becoming in the course of time identical with slate, and the coating of the roof equivalent to a single slab of slate, impervious to water and fire.
As a proof of the appreciation of the good qualities of this material, we will state that more than half a million property owners in the United States have applied this material to the roofs of their houses, barns, etc.; while its use is extending daily more and more, as parties who purchase a few gallons as a sample for trial, afterward order it by the barrel. The works where this so highly usedul paint is prepared - established three years ago - are growing continually in extent, and manufacture now over one thousand barrels weekly.
We give here a view of one of the two establishments of this concern, employing 400 hands, besides powerful steam machinery; while for a few other important particulars, which we will not repeat here, the reader is referred to page 219 of our late October number, also our advertising columns.