Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>Slate (or shale) steps flaking. Will this stop?
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Slate (or shale) steps flaking. Will this stop?

We had stone slab steps installed for the two walkways to the front of our house, 3 sets, 4, 2 and 2 steps, most approx. 4 ft by 7 ft., about 5.5 in thick. When they were done, it looked great.
The set of 4 are of slabs of shale. Since the install, about 2 months ago, these have been flaking away at a rate that is disturbing, leaving chunks of the slate by the steps and with loose pieces of shale working their way off from the slabs. The installers said it was "no problem," would stop soon, and offered to come and "hammer off" the loose pieces, but there has been more than a bit of avoidance by them since that suggestion and no action.
From the face of the steps (I'd guess I should call these the risers) we can see the striations of the layers.
Will this continue? Should we be asking for a different type of stone slabs to be installed? The other slab steps are fine with no flaking.

Re: Slate (or shale) steps flaking. Will this stop?

Please let me know if you have gotten an answer to your question and have resolved the flaking problem. I have a pool and patio area that has been flaking off for 10 years and messing up my pool. We have tried many different sealers and none have worked to stop the flaking. I think it is the poor quality (or kind) of slate. We have a wall and pillars with slate that are fine, but they are of a different quality, and, of course, they are away from the pool and foot traffic. We do have a hallway with Brazilian black slate and it has never flaked in ten years! Please, if you were able to seal your outdoor slate so that it would not peel or flake, post your response. Thank you!


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