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Stan Ward - Iinventor of Slate Savers System
Gold Circle Award Winner
Stan Ward and Slate Savers recieves the NRCA Gold Circle Award.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2005
Contact: Stan Ward
Phone: (717) 487-4768

Utility Patent issued for SLATE SAVERS Process

Stewartstown, Pa. - The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has notified Slate Savers of its intent to grant patent #6,862,862 for “Pressure Injection of Flexible, Polymer Grout into Slate Roofs,” the signature process of the Slate Savers system for restoring and preserving existing, aging slate roofs.

Stan Ward, president of Slate Savers, says,” We are committed to historic slate roof preservation and maintenance, and the patent identifies Slate Savers as unique in this regard. Slate Savers has a 16-year development history, with eight years of field experience using and improving the technique.”

Slate Savers is the only system that approaches historic roofing issues with a cost-effective process that allows the building owner to “recycle” slate by leaving the roof intact. Our signature technique uses a slate “grout” – or slate “caulk” – that is injected to adhere each roof tile to its six surrounding neighbors. The water-based polymer we use is especially designed to add strength to a slate roof while providing flexibility for dimensional changes. Once grouted, each individual tile shares the strength of all its adjoining tiles. The roof becomes a monolithic membrane functioning as one whole instead of multiple pieces dependent upon one another.

It is anticipated that the Slate Savers process will provide a maintenance-free second life cycle, extending the serviceability of the existing roof components for several more decades.

The Slate Savers grouting technique is not a coating, although a very thin film remains after the process to give the roof a uniform look at the outset. This film wears off quickly (within a few months to a year), leaving the slate grouting intact.

We are currently using the Slate Savers system in a multi-million dollar, multi-year project on the historic buildings at the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. At the hospital, we’re installing the Slate Savers system at less than one-half the cost of slate roof replacement.

In addition to the slate portion of the roof system, building owners and managers often face serious issues with other components of the roof, such as valleys and gutters. Slate Savers has a complete, integrated system of products and application procedures that will address all areas, including masonry and chimneys. These products have been developed over the course of many years and are described in detail on the Slate Savers web site, www.slatesavers.com.

The approved local applicator for Slate Savers is Mason Dixon Building Maintenance, also located in Stewartstown.



York Daily Record
Section B
Page 7
Tuesday, 19 Aug. 2003

Product saves weathered slate.
Slate Savers offers an alternative to replacing worn slate roofs.
SEAN ADKINS Daily Record staff

For Stan Ward, success can be traced to the bottom of a steel drum filled with what appears to be gallons of heavy slate-colored caulk.

Last year, Ward opened Slate Savers in Stewartstown and offered customers an affordable liquid alternative to the costly replacement of worn slate roofs. Rather than workers replacing weathered slate with new stone, Slate Savers injects an acrylic polymer mixed with ground slate into the cracks and crevices of a roof.  When dry, the individual sections of slate originally secured by nails become one solid structure that can extend the life a typical roof by 50 years, Ward said.

The process has been filtered through various stages of trial and error.

In 1990, two customers of Ward's Mason-Dixon Building Maintenance in Stewartstown came to the structural repair company with slate roof repair jobs.

At that time, Ward had been working with an outside manufacturing partner to create a rubberized asphalt material to repair slate roofs.  Ward treated the two roofs with the experimental material, but the end result required slate-colored paint.  The company returned to the draw ing board in search of material that matched the color and function of an original slate roof.

After four years of research, Ward and his partner experimented with an acrylic polymer that would give the roof flexibility and be aesthetically pleasing, Ward said.  Ward cranked up his marketing machine to get the word out about the system and began to approach local contractors about being licensed applicators.

Matt Ream, owner of Ream Roofing Associates in Dallastown, said he listened to the Slate Savers presentation but was not sold on the product.  From an industry perspective, an old slate roof should be replaced or repaired with individual pieces of slate depending on the condition of the roof, he said.

Ream said he wasn't sure if he agreed with the Slate Savers process and questioned if the material could cause a problem with the normal expansion and contraction of the roof.   "I wouldn't say we would never use Slate Savers, but right now we are going by basic industry practice," he said. "The system may be fine, I'm just not sure at this point."

Ward said the flexible nature of the material tolerates thermal changes and normal building movement, and can adjust to large loads such as heavy snowfalls.  "Some of the roofers we approached see the process as eating into their workload and eliminating maintenance work," he said. "Pieces don't fall out once you've done this."

Aside from extending the life of a roof that is reputed to last roughly 100 years, the process is cheaper than most slate projects.  Slate Savers would charge about $15,000 to repair the roof of a 2,500-square-foot home using its slate-grouting injection technique, Ward said.   A resident with a similar-sized home would pay roughly $30,000 to have a new slate roof installed, he said.

"We get about two calls a week from people asking about Slate Savers," Ward said. "We are getting a good response from the industry."

Slate Savers is on its third leg of a $1.8 million project that involves repairing brick, replacing downspouts and grouting a 70,000-square-foot slate roof at Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital in Towson, Md.

Mason-Dixon Building Maintenance has taken on the role of Slate Saver installer, Ward said.

Regardless of the success of the business, Ward said he has no plans to apply for a patent for the slate grout. 'That would give away our trade secret and recipe," he said. "I believe slate grouting will be the next buzz word in the industry next year."

Reach Sean Adkins at 771-2047 or sadkins@ydr.com.


York Daily Record
Section A
Page 10
Friday, 29 Aug. 2003

Lightning hits Md. hospital
Slate Savers' owner believes his grout system may have kept oxygen
from reaching the fire.
SEAN ADKINS Daily Record staff

Stan Ward has a theory on what saved a 19th century hospital building in Towson, Md., from being consumed by flames after a lightning bolt destroyed its fifth-story cupola.

"It burned slower because the slate roof had been grouted," said Ward, owner of Slate Savers in Stewartstown.

Last year, Slate Savers covered the more than 100-year-old roof of Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital's B Building with an acrylic polymer grout aimed at restoring the slate cover.  Ward's business gives home and business owners an affordable liquid alternative to the costly replacement of aging slate roofs.

On Wednesday night, the hospital evacuated 51 psychiatric patients and 10 staff members from its B Building as a lightning-induced fire ripped through its cupola.  Roughly 150 firefighters and emergency medical personnel responded.  One female patient suffered minor injuries during the evacuation, and a volunteer firefighter was hurt while carrying a hose.

Most of the four-alarm blaze was contained to the cupola. The building below sustained damage from the water used to extinguish the flames on the roof, said firefighter Timothy L. Robinson of the Baltimore County Fire Department.  Ward said he believes the grout that his company wedged in between the grooves of the slate prevented oxygen from entering the burning building through the roof.

For the last few years, Slate Savers has worked to complete its $1.8 million contract to grout 70,000 square feet of Sheppard Pratt roof space.  A non-grouted slate roof ventilates oxygen, he said.  "It could be that the grout saved the building," Ward said.

A Baltimore County Fire Department official could not confirm if the grout helped firefighters get the blaze under control Wednesday night.

As part of the building's fire suppression system, alarms sound and the ventilation system shuts down, preventing oxygen from feeding the fire, Ward said.  For now, an outside fire restoration contractor will ventilate the building, remove the debris and install a tarp over the burned cupola, he said.

Slate savers will not grout a new slate roof if the hospital elects to restore the building.

"Our system is for historic roofs," Ward said. "There's no reason to grout a roof until it is 60 to 80 years old."

Reach Sean Adkins at 771-2047 or sadkins@ydr.com.

Phone: (717) 487-4768