Electrician Talk banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,416 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a job where the customer wants a bath exhaust fan installed. On the phone I told him "no problem, I can mount the exhaust on the roof. Yeah right!

The roof and gable ends of the home have slate as the roofing and siding methods. Victorian style.
I need to punch through somewhere, with a 4" duct.
The house has plastic siding over ? And I suspect that there is some fancy moldings under the eaves, covered by vinyl soffeting.

This guy is saying he may want to bring the house back to the historical society standards, whatever that is.

If anyone has had experience with a situation like this I would really appreciate it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
2 absolutes I can tell you about that job, the first being an abundant supply of angry flying creatures with stingers will join the work crew seconds after work begins. They won't be happy about any disturbing of their home in the upscale slate.

The second is unless you can find a slate mechanic, and I doubt many are still alive & working you'll go broke attempting to repair leaks that show up after you finish. Old slate exhibits some very fun properties.

You also need to be aware many slate roofs are only in place because they haven't fallen yet. Many of the nails that held them in place are so rotted they aren't holding much today. Some jobs are way more profitable to walk away from.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,416 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Sweet. Well, I had no idea of getting on the roof in the first place, I was hoping someone would have an idea for the siding/gable ends that are slate.



Ok, so how about this, The surrounding tiles get siliconed in place, and then the tile that I intend to cut into gets siliconed and allowed to dry, then I was thinking I could cut the slate with a rotozip and carbide bit.

Good, bad?
Biggest problem I see is that the tiles on the wall may decide to fall off with the vibration from the drilling.
 

·
Scotchkote Installer
Joined
·
30,669 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,416 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, that is probably a better Idea than the silicone, will setup a lot quicker too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Back in 64 I drilled a few hundred slate slabs destined to sit between pole foundations and light pole ballast boxes. It was new slate, 2" thick. My boss told me what he wanted and pointed to the core drill sitting in the warehouse. When he went back in the office I walked across the street to the tile and marble dealer and asked what the best way was to do the drilling. He had one of the old marble mechanics clue me in.

I do remember you don't want to drill more than a 2" hole because slate has imperfections that can do strange things and lock a drill up. Slate also doesn't like impact and spalls like a mother.

For what you want to accomplish the best thing would be to drill the perimeter of the hole using a steel guideplate to prevent drill drift, and then either peck the webs out or try your rotary cutter. Of course it would be a lot easier to do flat on the ground.

Personally I'd have the customer get the slate drilled or cut.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,416 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Phil, you raised some very good points that I hadn't even considered. Particularly the spalling.

:thumbsup:
Thanks all, I think I will have a try on a couple of sections he has in storage before committing myself.
I will be at the bottom run on the siding, and hate to think about having all the pieces above need replacing.:no:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
John I should probably mention you don't want to use a hammerdrill on slate. If you find a piece that has been applied & removed and look at the nailholes they will look like a funnel from the building side.

I had the pleasure of watching a couple slate mechanics on a building rehab back in the 80s, and it was the best combination of entertainment and learning I'd been around in years. They accomplish most of their work with a sort of hatchet and a zax. The zax resembles a bodyman's picking hammer drawn to a point like an icepick. Being both nosey and a little too curious for my own good some days I managed to talk my way into a bit of learning on their scrap. I have a hunch they figured the laughs they got were my tuition. What looked simple as all hell, punching a nailhole in a rock with a handled icepick was a humiliating experience for me. I did manage to get one or two after an hour, and I was glad I didn't have to shovel up my mistakes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,416 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Well, after letting the customer know what the options were, he found a closet that I came through the ceiling in, and then out through the plastic siding.

He sure didn't like when I said that the slate may just not have fallen yet. - don't blame him either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Well, after letting the customer know what the options were, he found a closet that I came through the ceiling in, and then out through the plastic siding.

He sure didn't like when I said that the slate may just not have fallen yet. - don't blame him either.
I've noticed that syndrome in homeowners over the years.

It may be even worse in prospective home buyers who found the absolutely perfect hovel and want it checked out. When you check it and show them 19 things the "Professional home inspector" didn't find you become a hated idiot.
 

·
Banned
I make all the electrons line up for their Flu shots
Joined
·
32,719 Posts
Glad you got er done ok. I don't know a fix for walking across a slate roof, but you most likely can rotozip the hole in it using the tile bits (the large diameter size) with less chance of breaking the tile than using a hole saw or coring bit.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top