Recycled Roofing using
Plastic and Polymers:
Brand new idea ! ...
Tiles are made as individual tiles that install similar to real
concrete or clay tile to give that Mediterranean flair to your
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
Made mostly with high density Polyethylene polymers, the
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
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
Another Eco-Friendly product, it too uses 52% recycled content,
and eventually when re-roofing is required, it is 100%
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
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
*see notes at bottom of page
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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 1x4 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
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
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
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.
has the product quality, colour-fastness, or fade resistance
improved from any wide panel or multi-image stamped composite manufacturers ?
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
Currently we are huge fans of the look, style,
and appeal of
DaVinci Slate (Quarry Slate and
BellaForte Slate), and
(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
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
Recycling... new contents,
ingredients, and recipes for
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
that using either rubber or plastics in roofing materials can be
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
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.
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 36"chunks of roof pattern
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
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
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).
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
return to top of page
return to top of page
return to top of page