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To the real estate editor: Three years ago, after some bad leaks, two roofers said the slate on our house was bad.We checked with a third roofer, who had experienced slate men on his crew. they identified the slate as from Vermont; that is, it was twice the normal thickness used today. They ended up replacing the valleys and ridges of metal as well as a couple of gutters, and there have been no leaks since then.

I think they called the slate "Vermont green," although it looks gray. It had been installed in the Indiana house in 1982.

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I just thought you might tell mrs. Liveratti to check again on just what kind of slate she has on her house.

My brother-in-law, who is a retired builder living in Washington, D.C., confirms that slate varies. He knows of buildings there that have slate roofs that are 150 years old. Mary J. Griffin State College, Pa.