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Sometimes mortar was applied between the courses to secure the tiles in a heavy wind.

In the mid-19th century, tile roofs were often replaced by sheet-metal roofs, which were lighter and easier to install and maintain.

Before any repair work is performed, the historic value of the materials used on the roof should be understood.Evidence of roofing slates have been found also among the ruins of mid-17th century Jamestown.But because of the cost and the time required to obtain the material, which was mostly imported from Wales, the use of slate was initially limited.However, by the turn of the century, the Romanesque Revival and Mission style buildings created a new demand and popularity for this picturesque roofing material.Slate: Another practice settlers brought to the New World was slate roofing.In some cities such as New York and Boston, clay was popularly used as a precaution against such fires as those that engulfed London in 1666 and scorched Boston in 1679.The plain or flat rectangular tiles most commonly used from the 17th through the beginning of the 19th century measured about 10" by 6" by 1/2," and had two holes at one end for a nail or peg fastener.A poor roof will permit the accelerated deterioration of historic building materials—masonry, wood, plaster, paint—and will cause general disintegration of the basic structure.Furthermore, there is an urgency involved in repairing a leaky roof since such repair costs will quickly become prohibitive.Because slate was available in different colors (red, green, purple, and blue-gray), it was an effective material for decorative patterns on many 19th century roofs (Gothic and Mansard styles).Slate continued to be used well into the 20th century, notably on many Tudor revival style buildings of the 1920s.

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