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Keep those slate roofs

To the real estate editor: I would be surprised if a slate roof on a 90-year-old home is actually in need of replacement (Velma Liveratti, Wilmerding, Pa., "Ask a Builder" column for Sept. 4).

Before going to the expense of removing the existing slate, the homeowner would be advised to have the roof examined by a roofer who is well experienced in the installation and repair of slate roofs. The owner might also read articles which have appeared in The Old-House Journal on maintenance and repair of slate roofs.

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Aside from its being likely that only repairs are necessary to maintain a good slate roof, the owner might later regret a decision to replace the slate, which constitutes an enduring architectural feature of an old home. John S. Ruch Ironia, N.J.