RubberRoof

RubberRoof

Synthetic Roofing Products:

Recycled Roofing using

Plastic and Polymers:

Distinctions

Brand new idea. Distinctions Composite Tiles are made as individual tiles that install similar to real concrete or clay tile to give that Mediterranean flair to your project.

This is the one of the lightest roof systems made, and is by far more walk-able than real clay or concrete. The roofer will experience virtually no breakage either in transit or on the jobsite.

Made mostly with high density Polyethylene polymers, the Distinctions Tile is combined with purified cellulose fiber. These composite tiles utilize about 52% recycled content. They are strong, durable, and are very much an environmentally friendly product.

Distinctions Tiles come in three colours — Terra Cotta, Black, and Brown. The system involves specialty trims to complete the ridge and hip capping. It is designed to be installed on a solid deck over roofing underlayments, and flashed like a traditional concrete tile roof system.

Distinctions Tile is manufactured by Trim-Line Plastics a division of DiversiPlast. This is a huge plastic manufacturing consortium so the warranty statements have a substantial company backing them up which makes for better consumer protection.

Another Eco-Friendly product, it too uses 52% recycled content, and eventually when re-roofing is required, it is 100% recycleable.

View more information and photos at

Note to readers.

The following is an editorial opinion, based on the evidence that we have personally viewed, photographed ourselves, based in certain cases on materials that we ourselves as a roofing distributor have actually sold, and based on our own personal biases.

We encourage everyone to thoroughly investigate out the merits of each roofing product themselves and reach their own conclusions, those of which may not concur with our own opinions.

* Some comments on other composite slates and shakes that are made in wide panels of more than one slate or shake images on each piece :

please click our link below for our legal disclaimer.

The following opinions and comments and examples of historical evidence are an editorial opinion on composite synthetic or rubber roofing panels type rubber slates. We do not recommend this format type of roofing material. We do sell and market competitive materials to the styles we are doing our comments an editorials upon.

We have one manufacturer of these products currently threatening us with bullying lawyers to remove the offending material below from our website. I was under the impression we lived in a free open society where free speech is allowed. We have removed all mention of brand names and trade names to satisfy the bullies. I almost feel I have Heinrik Himmler trying to force us to comply to bullying demands so that they can control the information available to the public.

However, we continue to believe we have the right to express our opinions about categories of products, if not individual products that are out in the market. Our opinion, is just that. an opinion. and this is our blog.

We have been involved in the roofing material industry for decades, and we believe we have a viewpoint worth hearing from. However, please read our legal liability disclaimer information included on this page, and remember that we have biased views, as do the marketing departments of roofing material manufacturers.

The following information will include photos that our company took to evidence our theories and viewpoints and conclusions. Please research this matter using other sources and websites as well so that you can come to a conclusion yourself, as to what the risk, if any, versus the rewards are for using the following categories of roofing material (from any manufacturer making similar styled roofing).

Panel style composite, synthetic, and rubber roofing materials:

They are produced in 18 to 36 wide units with the embossed image of either 2 or 3 slates per panel or 2 to 8 wood shakes per panel. We are aware of at least three different manufacturers who produce this type of roofing material in North America, and we understand there are more in China. Once fading occurs on the roof over two or three years these panel type synthetic roofs may experience a degradation in appearance and have a patchiness in the overall look that is at best unpleasant, and can often be much worse.

This is because panels have an entire block of two to eight slate or shake images molded into them, and these may fade different than the adjoining tiles and can ruin the natural look of the roof. Here are a few examples.

At left is an installation after only 1 year.

Below is same job after three years on the following three pictures. Remember, these are a wide panel type composite or rubber roof. Please click on each thumbnail image to enlarge and view for yourself.

If you look close at the pictures above you will notice some patchy colour quality issues. In person, at the actual jobsite, these visual issues are very noticeable, and it puts us off the wide panel slate versions. The manufacturer apparently called this an installer issue as they should have better mixed up the panels on the roof. If this were my house, I’d force the manufacturer to replace those off-colour panels that appear very light in colour compared to the rest, as they should have been deemed defective.

It would be unlikely to have shown up in this way if the slates were individual 12 wide (or narrower) instead of a three-wide panel. In any event its an unacceptable patchy pattern, in our opinion.

The following shots are of one manufacturer’s panel type rubber roofing products. Based on early assessment we believe that there is a high probability that these panels will fade in a few years resulting in a distasteful appearance to the roof, as we believe that the Chicklets grouping of 6 or seven shakes per panel will show up in patches, just like the earlier slate roofing panels, as exemplified above. That is our opinion, and you as contractors or consumers should do your own due diligence to determine your own opinion of panelized composite roofing products. We do not know if this will for sure happen, but we certainly have concerns, and perhaps time will tell. If these shake composites were individual sized smaller pieces, there would be far less concern about fading in our opinion, but because they are made in wider panels grouping a number of shakes together, differentiated fading over a period of time does become an important matter to consider.

Notice the distortion occurring already (warping), which we believe has also affected the product’s wind hold capabilities. In our opinion this roof was also mis-installed as many of these wide panels were high nailed due to the lack of a solid deck below. One cannot install a 10 exposure product correctly on spaced strapping of 1x4s on 7 centers, unless virtually all the boards are in-filled to allow for nailing in the Proper location. Although some roofers are making claims that they can install this type of roof panel over existing wood strapping without using infill or plywood, we strongly believe that in the West-coast of BC, where 1×4 wood strapping is almost always installed 7 on center (for the norm of 18 shakes at 7.5 exposed shake installations), one must almost always infill most of the existing wood straps or add plywood. Installations attempted any other way are almost always wrong and should be rejected, in our opinion. Otherwise the high nailing that would occur could void warranties, and cause the roof to unlock and fail as a system. At the very least, the warranty may become invalidated if a product is not installed specifically to a manufacturer’s written instructions. Ask the manufacturer for their specific written opinions on this detail.

The first picture above is during the installation, and the next shows fading beginning in only 5 months. In three years this roof will in all likely-hood be extremely patchy once more UV fading and damage has occurred. Also notice how the distortion and warping is occurring due to the nature of these panels as well as the improper installation and deck. Rubber will expand in the heat and this wide panel system installation did not allow sufficiently for such expansion. We believe this roof may fade as noticeably as the earlier example of faded slate panels.

In conclusion, we don’t believe that wide panel slates or shakes will look as good five years from now, compared to smaller independent-sized slates or shakes. We therefore have become proponents of individual slates and slates, and our company prefers to avoid wide panel composite or synthetic roofing versions.

Some roofers prefer the wider panels as they may install a little faster, but the end consumer may not get everything that they had bargained for.

Therefore, for better looking authenticity in the long run, we suggest you always select the smaller individual piece slates and shakes when choosing synthetic, plastic, polymer, or rubber roofing profiles.

Further note to reader.

In November 2005 the above pictured wide-panel synthetic composite shake look roof was observed by us being torn off by the roofer, and being completely replaced in the same year. The 3ft wide panel shake look product installation had deficiencies that were so severe that it required a complete re-do and or replacement.

Was it fading, buckling, distortion, leaking, product quality, and / or was it the installation that was not up to par ?

We don’t know what the cause was for this re-roof in the same year was, only that there were unacceptable results for the product installation that demanded a radical change.

Obviously the homeowner became aware of the problems with the product and / or installation, and demanded a roof replacement. We do not know at this time whether it was the roofer who paid for this tear-off, removal, or replacement, or whether the manufacturer assisted with costs, or whether the homeowner had to pay some of the costs. What we do conclude is that the homeowner probably did not want to go through all the stress, hassle, and inconvenience of another re-roofing project within the same year of getting the original one installed.

This, we believe, confirms our concerns on the product installed on that roof, and again in our opinion we suggest that one should look at other types of rubber or plastic roof systems that do not come in a wide panel format.

We strongly believe that individual shakes and slates are the best way to build and install synthetic shakes and slates. Each can expand, shrink, or fade on their own while not affecting the integrity of the look, style, or performance of the roofing system.

Plus, many centuries of installations of real individual sized slates and shingles around the world (constructed from various raw materials) shows us real historical data that such systems have a good performance criteria for water shedding roof protection.

Note for May 2008, November 2010, and September 2012 :

We are aware that all manufacturers may change their recipe and methods of production from time to time.

Since 2005 has the product quality, colour-fastness, or fade resistance improved from any wide panel or multi-image stamped composite manufacturers ?

Possibly.

But no one from any of those manufacturers has shown it nor proven it to our company yet, so in the meantime we still recommend small format individual sized synthetics. We have not sold wider format roofing composite or synthetic panel type roofing for quite some time. We continue to observe from the sidelines on this type of roofing.

Currently we are huge fans of the look, style, and appeal of DaVinci Slate (Quarry Slate and BellaForte Slate), and DaVinci Shake (Classic, and Valore) and we are not aware of any problems with installed DaVinci after more than 10 years of infield historical performance. They also have a Cadillac version with extreme fade resistance properties called Renaissance series, but this more expensive version was designed for severe fade zones such as the Caribbean, Tropics, Florida, and other high UV prone areas. The DaVinci products are all plastics and polymers, are recyclable in the future which makes them an eco-friendly choice, and they have a good track record of performance.

Another recently launched product line this year is TrimLine Composites. which include very lightweight composite mediterranean style tiles. Originally sold as VandeHeyRaleigh Kadant Composites, a large multi-billion dollar plastics manufacturer bought the production company and has re-launched the product under its Trim-Line company ( a very well established ridge vent manufacturer ). After eight years of infield performance, this composite tile has shown good results. Their tile roof composite is made as individual tiles, and both styles are the lightest weight synthetic or composite roofing materials we are aware of, and are excellent choices for re-roofing homes.

The Trimline Composite tiles are eco-friendly as they use fly ash in their recipe as filler for the plastics, which is a residual waste from the pulp and paper industry.

DaVinci Slates / Shakes, as well as Trimline Composite tiles, can eventually be recycled and reused once the roof requires replacement so both are a green roofing solution and considered eco-friendly for the future of our planet.

Recycling. new c ontents, ingredients, and recipes for roofing materials:

Now available are new roofing products which are made from recycled contents. A variety of products are coming to the market using old recycled materials as one of their raw materials.

Our most environmentally friendly roofing material is Distinctions Composite Tiles. It uses 52% recycled content in its production, and that content would otherwise have gone into the dump, so it is very eco-friendly. After decades of roof service this material will eventually require re-roofing at which time these tiles are 100% recyclable. Therefore, Distinctions Composite Tiles wins our award for the most green roofing material currently available.

Some manufacturers are creating rubber roofing. In actuality, most of these so called recycled rubber roofing materials are still made from a large percentage of plastics and polymers, with a lesser amount of rubber content. This is because rubber fades a lot, it expands and contracts significantly, it can burn and contribute to intensely hot fires with noxious fumes, it requires coloration to make it look nice, and it normally requires a great deal of plastics and polymers to control these problems and make the roofing material look better and perform better.

It is our opinion that the use of rubber in roofing products is not the best idea unless the content is limited to less than half the roofing material being made from rubber, and it is better to use new plastics or polymers, recycled plastics, or recyclable plastics when trying to create roofing materials for sloped roofing applications.

Rubber roofing using large sheets of rubber (sometimes 50 feet by 100 feet in size) are good products for large warehouse roofs and such. These are industrial waterproofing membranes that can fade, expand, wrinkle but they still perform the waterproofing function just like a big fish pond liner.

But roofing materials usually needs to look good as well, as is required on steeper and normal sloped roofs (non-flat roofs), and such materials will form the major look and architectural style of the completed home. Some manufacturers that have chosen to utilize rubber as a significant ingredient in their roofing slates or shakes have not always succeeded. Certainly there are possible manufacturer exceptions, but it would pay to seriously do your own due diligence to check out each rubber roofing manufacturer’s history of success or failure. It would also be worthwhile to do your own evaluations of the features, benefits, as well as possible risks in using certain styles of rubber based roofing, to see if it is feasible and a good long term investment, to you, to use on your project.

There are a number of those manufacturers who used rubber as a primary component who are no longer in business today, and from some of those we used to purchase their material and sell it. There are a few rubber based roofing manufacturers who are still in business today in North America, of which we used to purchase their materials from at least one of these, and who continue to market and push their versions of rubber based roofing slates and shakes.

I am certain there have been continuing roofing successes from some roofing manufacturers, certainly in the opinion of the specific roofing manufacturers who are currently threatening us with legal action against our company.

The legal action and bullying of our company is in direct connection to this editorial on our website, because we continue to reveal historical real examples of problematic installations of their products. I personally talked to the disappointed customers on those jobsites where fading was an obvious concern, an where the manufacturer chose to not fix the problem.

There have been notable concerns relayed to our company and that we discovered on the world wide web. One company, ERP Industries, a rubber mat manufacturer delved into roofing slates and roofing shakes made from recycled rubber tires (combined with polymers). We sold their roofing materials, and we experienced no problems at all, as they were individual sized slates and shakes. All of those customers experienced no problems with appearance of color, and that is still the case today 6 years later. Suddenly, the company went out of business back in 2005 (est). Then we heard and read about problems, down in the US mid-west and southern US regions, that there were fading and color consistency issues, and that the warranty claims were not being addressed. It is one thing to get a warranty from a manufacturer, you still need them to be there or be willing to do the right thing if a claim is made. That rubber mat manufacturer was not used to the level of customer service requirements required to please homeowners and contractors, nor ready for the amount of regulatory requirements and demands for roofing materials approvals. It is one thing to make a rubber mat to walk upon or put horses on, it is quite another thing to engineer, build, and quality control and rubber based roofing material.

There have been roof failures from various rubber based roofing manufacturers, and sometimes there have been disappointed customers that have been left behind, after their attempts at utilizing recycled rubber as primary ingredients in their recipes resulted in either excess fading or hap-hazard fading. In some cases there is no longer a manufacturer to seek compensation or warranty claims from. In other cases the manufacturer will argue that the fading is acceptable according to the terms of the warranty paperwork, and that the manufacturer deems it not a warranty repair or replacement issue.

I personally tried to be the middle man on behalf of our company for a specific claim made by a homeowner against the rubber roofing slate manufacturer. The circumstances were the rubber composite slates looked pretty acceptable to everyone when the installation was completed in 2002 / 2003. The homeowner liked it, the contractor liked it, and we as a distributor viewed the roofing on this home and liked what we saw on this jobsite. The roofing slates were already installed when we were evaluating and doing due diligence on this roofing material that we were considering adding to our product lines. To everyone, it seemed like a winning idea.

I was contacted by this same homeowner in the 2004 to 2005 period, and the couple had specific concerns on the current look of the roof. I personally visited the site, took photos, and started discussion with the manufacturer as to the excessive and noticeable fading of the roofing panels. After a certain amount of lobbying from our company on the homeowner’s behalf, the manufacturer decided the fading was within the parameters of their product quality and fading declarations on their warranty documentation, and refused to resolve, repair, or replace any panels to get to a successful conclusion of this product deficiency claim. I was definitely of the opinion then, and still am today, that the homeowner had a valid and rightful concern, and I expected the manufacturer to fix that roof. Needless to say I was disappointed with the manufacturer’s position, I disagreed with it, and concerns on this particular design of composite, synthetic, or rubber based roofing panels started to become apparent.

I went out and viewed as many completed rubber panel jobsites as I could shortly after that, and all this led me to a conclusion that wide panel rubber based products where the images of more than one slate or shake are stamped on each panel, is not a great idea anymore. My first main concern was the wide panel format, no matter who made them, or what raw material went into the recipe. And my concern was heightened on rubber based versions due to the high fading factor of this raw ingredient.

Rubber, whether one uses recycled rubber from tires or new rubber is a very hazardous material when it comes to fire resistance. You have probably seen the amazing flames, heat, and dense smoke generated from only a few car tires. It’s a nice idea to find a use for old car tires, but using a fire-prone noxious ingredient as a roofing material for homes is probably not a wise idea, in our opinion.

Today’s homes require roofing materials that meet certain Fire Rating standards. In the US market this often means Class A Fire Rating. In Canada Class A is desired but sometimes Class C is allowed. Fiberglass shingles, metal roofing, clay tiles and concrete roof tiles meet Class A Fire Rating. Cedar is normally Class F for fail, but can be treated to meet Class C rating.

Roofing materials using lots of rubber normally do not meet Class A Fire Rating, unless they use lots of plastics and fire resistant polymers in their mix. They often can catch fire quickly, may have fast fire-spread, and may burn easily especially where the product has been cut through during the typical roofing installation. Also the smoke that is given off when rubber products burn is toxic and dense, so dense that the smoke might cause fatalities or damage before the actual fire did its damage. This is all the case, unless the manufacturer uses immense amounts of polymers and other ingredients that are not rubber, to control these issues.

Roofing Materials using lots of rubber also have issues relating to general colour fading, colour consistency, warping, and crumbling. They can only control these factors, as well as fire rating factors, by making their product mostly out of polymers and plastics and adding other fire inhibitors. They are adding recycled rubber content as filler and do so to achieve the environmentally friendly marketing gimmicks. In essence they should actually be classified as plastic roofing or synthetic roofing at that point, in our opinion.

What we have noticed is that there has been many companies that have started up with roofing material designs that include rubber as their primary content. Most of these have created roofing materials that emulate shakes, slates, or concrete roof tiles.

Many of these companies are now out of business, while there are still some survivors, and still new start-ups trying to give it a go.

Why have there been some failures?

A few reasons. Companies that create products using recycled rubber were often not knowledgeable about roofing materials and how they must withstand severe UV degradation and severe weather extremes. They sometimes were manufacturers of pallets or rubber mats that thought they would venture into roofing materials. Suddenly they found out about how the sun can affect roofing materials, and how consumers insist on warranties to protect them from product failures. Rubber mats and parking lot curbs don’t require warranties to protect consumers, but roofing materials certainly do. especially new designs using new recipes.

They also found out that they are supposed to go through significant testing, approvals and certifications (not that approvals or certifications can be wholly or significantly relied upon when considering new materials). Many homeowners became guinea pigs with their homes used as testers of these new ideas.

For those companies that did get testing, approvals, and certifications, and those that did provide warranties, they still had one problem. Rubber content affected the durability and long term looks of the roofing materials installed, unless the manufacturer used lots of expensive polymers and plastics in the mix.

And after enough problem installations many of these companies either went out of business or left the roofing product portion of their business behind, or they became more of a plastics focused roofing material manufacturer. The results of those companies that failed and went out of business were consumers that held warranties that meant nothing, and they were left to hold the bag or replace the roofs at their own cost.

Most new roofing innovations that are successful in this synthetic field are using less rubber and more plastic. In these cases, and in our opinion, we would prefer that they discontinue marketing themselves as rubber roofs and discontinue using images of tires in their marketing, as this seems like misleading advertising to us, again, in our opinion. If the product is now more plastic than rubber, then show it as such.

We concur that using either rubber or plastics in roofing materials can be considered eco-friendly.

Again, roofing materials need to have defenses against UV degradation, surface fading, crumbling, moisture absorption, colour fading, and of course fire resistance. Plastics and polymers are normally always required to control performance of roofing materials.

Plastic roofing materials may use recycled content as well, and some manufacturers choose to only use new polymers to control the recipe’s consistent quality.

The following portion of this page’s editorial is a biased opinion, based on historical direct experience that this roofing consultant has had had with their design of product. The manufacturer currently has a lawyer threatening and bullying us with legal action if we do not take all mention and all photos of their products off our website. We have complied as best we can by removing all names, and brand names, and anything associated with a trademark off this website to alleviate their concerns.

But, we do not believe that free speech and the showing of real world evidence should not be restricted, just because this manufacturer is choosing to be a bully, and does not want anyone to see all the facts, especially on their specific material styles and designs.

Please consider the following information an editorial opinion, based on our personal experiences, and our personal biases, and based on specific jobsite viewings, as well as the facts as we know them. We encourage the reader to view our legal disclaimer link to read the full warnings to the information on this website. Our company is a marketing and distribution company based in Western Canada who sells competing products to the manufacturer who is threatening us with legal repercussions. At one time we used to sell this manufacturer’s product line for a couple of years, until a time when concerns became apparent to us, and we were dissatisfied with the manufacturer’s decisions on these issues. Shortly thereafter we no longer sold their materials.

At least one rubber roofing product manufacturer that is still in operation, and is still using the rubber roofing marketing image, makes wide panel faux-slate and faux-shake roofing. These are made with approximately three foot wide panels that have embossed images on them that depict 6 to 8 wood shingles on them, or 2 to 3 slate pieces on them. This type of panelized roofing system, no matter who is manufacturing them in any country or region, is not a good idea, in our opinion. because of the aforementioned reasons, and because of of our own experience and direct jobsite viewing of these materials.

Although faster to install, wide panel faux shake or faux slate roofing have had some historical occurrences of fading, shading variances, or discoloration that can be quite noticeable and may be extremely unpleasant looking on the roof, in our opinion. This is because when you have a panel group of 2 or more slates or shakes per roofing panel, they may have a different tone or shading or fading factor than the neighboring panels, they can, and have historically had occurrences to stand out like deviations and unattractive patches on the roof. That may not be the experience for all installations of this type of product, but we have seen enough of them to cause us pause.

RubberRoof

These manufacturers seem to have learned to use more and more plastic, but we believe within the product still lies some rubber content that potentially could cause premature roof failure or degradation of the roofs appearance, in our opinion. This manufacturer may have changed their recipe since this editorial was written in 2005, and updated in 2008 and 2010, but as of yet we have not been been shown, or ourselves discovered, any changes to the roofing material, so our opinions and conclusion still currently stand as written here.

Other manufacturers produce their synthetic slates and shakes using the authentic-looking practice of smaller individual slates and shakes. This if far more authentic looking as the real materials come in the same format. And if their were any small fading (all roofing materials fade to some degree eventually due to weathering, and the power of our sun with its UV rays) it would better show up as a natural blend of tones and colours from piece to piece, rather than in large 18 to 36chunks of roof pattern unsightliness.

We are proponents of the smaller sized, multiple width format. We believe they look more realistic and authentic than wide panels, and in fact it is the small piece real materials such as wood shingles and real slate which has weathered the test of time as a roofing system format.

Whereas the wide panels roofing is a new concept, and the interlocking bottoms of each wide panel may introduce chances for rain water to track in sideways under the panel, depending on each manufacturer’s design. Those wide rubber panels have a greater degree of expansion after they are installed and the panels can buckle, ripple, distort or become disengaged from its interlocking hold-downs if they are laid too close together. If this happens then the integrity and storm resistance of the panels will be compromised. Therefore we do not recommend the wide panel format at this time, based on the current design of these wide panels that we are aware of.

See our comments below in the left column which includes our disclaimer, some photo examples of the panel type colour issue, and further opinion on rubber roofing panels.

Some brands that are being made and shipped into the Western region currently use a little bit of rubber, and a whole lot of plastics (new plastics more than recycled plastics) and call their products eco-friendly. We believe this is not as much of an environmentally friendly recipe as its marketing information would lead you to believe. Only a very small fraction of a used tire is used for the rubber crumb that goes into the roofing recipe of most rubber roofing manufacturers now, while the rest of the tire is discarded (or burnt up as fuel for concrete plant processes), or made into paving or curb products, or other such uses.

For those manufacturers that invent a roofing material that uses lots of recycled rubber, and have no apparent problems, we wish you luck, good fortune, and better or improved results than in the past, and hopefully good results for the future.

For those that use rubber but also utilize organic filler such as corn straw or hemp, we wish you luck as well, as many roofing materials that contained organic filler in the past have usually historically failed prematurely (see. fiber-cement shakes history such as with Cemwood, FireFree, and others).

For those consumers that wish to become Guinea Pigs for those new rubber roofing inventions, we wish you luck. You are investing a lot of money in your roofing materials and installation. History has taught our company that many attempts with using rubber (recycled or not) have failed or have had results that were less than we had hoped for, so we as a professional roofing wholesaler and distributor will remain on the sidelines and watch, learn, observe, and eventually decide if the new innovations seem positive, or negative, in our opinion.

Our recent experience.

We thought we found a manufacturer who really does walk the talk and used a larger amount of recycled content. Their new shake look product line we discovered was called Infinity Shake. It consisted of both recycled rubber and recycled plastics thus being very environmentally friendly. They had an ICC-ES approval which gave the product some credibility.

Using up old used tires seemed like a good idea, especially when combined with the recycling of plastics as well. The parts of the tire which normally cannot be used for roofing is not discarded but instead further processed into either pallets, containers, rubber mats, and other great uses, by this same company. Furthermore this company used a good deal of recycled computers and other recycled plastics to their Infiniti Shake recipe. These plastics added fire resistance, colour, fade resistance, and stability to the rubber, and this combined composition was supposed to result in a better performing roofing material.

The Infinity Shakes looked very realistic. They combined three widths of shakes. 23 by 5, 7, 12 wide, and each size has four different texture patterns on their face. This created naturalness just like the uneven textures of real cedar shakes. They were molded similar to tiles as they have a solid surface, and a back-side with a waffled surface to reduce weight of the installed products.

Although slippery while installing or when wet, these products could easily be walked upon with low risk of breakage. They were durable and met tough impact resistance tests designed for heavy hail zones. Safety equipment should always be worn when walking on any roofing system as a precaution.

The roofer was asked to blend bundles of shakes from a few different pallets while installing to ensure a natural colour blend and avoid patchy-colored areas. This product was designed to be installed at 10 maximum exposure, but if the structure will allow some extra weight, the roofer could easily adjust the exposure down to whatever coverage he desires.

The manufacturer said the standard Infiniti Shake had passed a Class C Fire Rating and includes a 50 year Limited Material Warranty from the manufacturer. At an additional cost, they are also made as a Class A Fire-rated product for those buildings that require Class A rated materials.

Again, in our opinion, these recycled plastic / rubber shakes that were called Infiniti, and the true polymer slates and shakes made by DaVinci, had the following definite advantages over wide panel slates or shakes, and similar styled competitive brands:

They did not have the strong smell of burnt rubber like the competitive brands. That smell had created complaints by consumers as it can come back again in hot weather. We had the panel product displayed in our showroom, and the smell was a turn-off to many consumers looking at it.

They did not have a specific tongue on the butts for interlocking down to each other, thus avoiding installer headaches, and sideways tracking of water on the roof. The roofer has to cut off those thick tongues on many details such as every step flashing, every valley, and many other areas of the roof.

The roofer could adjust exposure of these shakes to fit specific details and requirements on any specific roof, unlike the competition where the exposure is fixed and hard to adjust.

The roofer could create staggered courses or blend colours in to create realistic and non-patterning roofscapes, unlike the competition.

The DaVinci Shake and DaVinci Slate have a realistic appearance creating an authentic look much better than the competition. The competitive slate product is unrealistically thick, and actually looks much more like a concrete roof tile than either slate or wood shakes. We have had complaints that those other products look too chunky and bulky. If one wants a concrete-tile-look shake or a concrete-tile-look slate, it would be far cheaper and a smarter decision to buy the real concrete roof tiles. They at least have time proven performance, they are backed by large manufacturers, and they can come in light-weight versions and solutions for re-roofing.

The roofer had to hand sort the competitors products prior to application. The competitor product MUST be sorted from 3 or 4 different pallets MANUALLY, or risk unsightly patterns and coloration on the roof. Each pallet contains a different mold texture, but once the stretch wrap is cut off the pallet skids, there was really no effective way to tell which mold is which, or which pallet is what type. We’ve had some nightmares on jobsites as a result of this ridiculous packaging, and the manufacturer had shown poor shipping practices in getting us the diverse blend of mold-patterns each shipment, even though it is required for the roofer to meet all installation guidelines.

The competitive product is extremely bulky and cumbersome to handle on the jobsite and on the roof. A crane is often required to load the bulky pallets up, prior to the hand sorting of pallets and bundles that is required of the roofer to implement on the roof before the application can begin. It took 8 to 12 large pallets of the competitors products to complete a roof, and these much each be hand-sorted down to the bundle and even each piece. This is far too much to ask of the majority of roofers to undertake, in our opinion. But that is the roofing contractors problem, not the homeowners.

The competitor’s product may only use the sidewalls of tires, thereby leaving the majority of the tire and reinforcing steel to be disposed of, or otherwise dealt with.

The competitor’s product looks like it was made more from plastic than rubber, except for the burnt rubber smell emitted on newly installed roofs.

The competitor’s wide panel type roofing product displays the image of 2 slates or more per panel, or 2 shakes or more on each panel. When fading occurs the whole panel containing 2 or 3 slates or 2 to 8 shakes shows up as a defective or off-colour component, whereas individual sized shakes and slates such as DaVinci will look more natural if fading were to occur differently from shake to shake.

All around, these products were deemed a wise choice to avoid environmental impact on our landfills, and they were likely recyclable again in the future.

Unfortunately. the manufacturer of the Infiniti Shake ceased doing business.

We found out one day when ICC-ES said the Infiniti product no longer had their approval. Suddenly we could not access their website (shut down). Although we never experienced any problems with the roofing from that manufacturer, others in the US market apparently did. We understand that it was from earlier recipes, but that doesn’t change one thing. the warranty of any roofing material is only valid or enforceable as long as the manufacturer is still in business. We got stuck with inventory, and consumers had non-warranted roofing materials.

Their other problem was simple economics. After Hurricane Katrina knocked out many plastic polymer producers down in Louisianna and the south, the cost of new and recycled polymers escalated beyond affordability. So ERP could not build an effectively priced synthetic roofing material any longer.

Therefore . buyer beware.

New companies, without a long track record inventing new type materials, even with testing approvals, must be greeted with caution, and the real historical knowledge and reality that most attempts at using rubber in roofing slates and shakes has failed in the past.

We greet innovation and invention as a natural occurrence in modern human society. Many successful roofing materials being used today were not around 20 years ago, and these new innovations are doing a great job today protecting homes and stylizing the roofs.

Who would have thought in the 70’s, a time of aluminum siding, that vinyl would be the cladding of choice in the 80’s and 90’s? Who would have thought that vinyl siding would begin to be displaced with more permanent materials such as Weatherboard Fiber-Cement siding materials? The building envelope industry changes constantly as does the roofing industry and new materials are always going to be invented, re-invented, and discovered. Its the way of the world, that we are part of.

All plastics, synthetics, polymers, and rubber roofing are a newer class of roofing materials, and although they have not been around a long time compared to traditional roofing materials, they offer an alternative solution for the consumer who is environmentally conscious, and researches the plusses and the drawbacks. Plastic based roofing material has been performing well on Canadian roofs for over 20 years now.

The synthetic products that have been the most time proven in the field of roofing seem to be the polymer plastic types. Those that use virgin polymers such as DaVinci Roofscapes. although not having the recycled status on their newly produced slates and shakes, probably have the lead for product quality that one can most count on. And most importantly the polymers and plastics that are used in products such as DaVinci are very recyclable in the future, when eventually the roof will have to replaced (as all roofs eventually do). This recyclable nature allows DaVinci to be considered a green roofing material and eco-friendly.

Once we go beyond looking at how green or eco-friendly the roofing materials are for a project. please remember that roofing that uses 100% new polymers, plastics, or rubber ingredients are far more likely to be made with the best of quality and will result in the best durability. Recycled materials going into a product have many variables, possible contaminants entering the production process, and unknown original quality of ingredients. Therefore we believe that quality, durability, and performance expectations of a synthetic material can better be projected or predicted if the roofing materials are produced from virgin or new polymers and ingredients.

In summary, there are many new recipes for synthetic roofing hitting the marketplace, and these innovations will eventually create the next best new roofing idea. Some may endure the test of time, and the elements of mother nature, while others will not.

So whether you select rubber roofing, plastic roofing, polymer roofing, composite roofing, other synthetic roofing materials, asphalt fiberglass roofing, or traditional metal, clay, and concrete, you certainly can educate yourself on the features and benefits of each product, and decide for yourself which product will crown your building and protect it from the elements.

In all cases a secondary line of defense should always be planned on. That is why we need good roofing underlayments, good flashings, good installation detailing, good fasteners, and all around better roofing practices that relate to the each region’s expected, and unexpected, weather conditions and severity.

Always remember that all roofing products that are meant for sloped roofing situations are just a water-shedding element, not a water-proofing element, and the success of this water-shedding is never 100%. All sloped roofing materials need and require the secondary defenses to make the system function successfully as a weather protection shield. All the while it still needs to look good and have a continuing curb appeal that defines our home with the character we desire.

Hopefully you will make the best choice in leading edge innovation, reliability, durability, performance, and architectural style. And in the end of the day, your choice will more likely outlive real wood shingles and Tapersawn Shakes, which is the real point and reason to this roofing material selection process in the first place.


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