Composite shingle is forging a revolution in ocean home roof design and protection
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF ENVIROSHAKE
What’s the hardest-working element of a coveted coastal home? If your answer is the kitchen, bathroom, flooring, windows or patio, you might want to think again.
Almost constantly under threat from heavy rain, unrelenting sun, occasional snow, strong winds, salt spray, moss, mold, mildew and damaging storms and hurricanes, an oceanfront home’s trusty roof has to withstand more than any other feature.
For centuries, natural cedar shakes have been the roofing material of choice, creating a solid barrier against the elements. But wood absorbs water and is prone to warping, cracking, curling, discolorations, mold, mildew and termites, among other challenges.
Restrictions on harvesting old-growth cedar trees have resulted in the use of younger cedar, which may not be as strong and protective, thereby reducing a wooden roof’s lifespan.
And regular maintenance of natural cedar roofing and siding means ongoing costs for homeowners, not to mention the hassle of keeping the outer layer in the best possible condition.
Two decades ago, a Canadian firm devised an alternative composite roofing shingle, designed to authentically replicate the look of a natural cedar shake, with zero maintenance and a lifetime guarantee.
Fast-forward 20 years and Enviroshake is an industry leader in quality engineered roofing, forging a revolution in residential roof design and protection, especially in demanding coastal environments.
Predominantly made of reclaimed materials, Enviroshake’s composite blend is a mixture of post-industrial plastics, recycled elastomers and cellulosic fibers, resulting in a product that has enhanced durability, longevity and performance.
The composite shingle is installed efficiently and with less waste than traditional cedar shakes, does not require any pre-treatment and once installed is maintenance free.
Enviroshake is offered in various color options to emulate a natural cedar roof in various stages of its life. It’s also installed for the same price as cedar, typically about $7 to $10 per square foot, making it a cost-effective option for homeowners.
“The other key element is our lifetime warranty, which is fully transferable,” says Ashley Smith, Enviroshake’s director of marketing and sales, based in Chatham, Ontario.
“It means that, at any point in the life of a home with an Enviroshake roof, the lifetime warranty can be transferred to a new owner,” Smith adds. “It’s great for the seller, and the new homeowners will never have to re-roof their home again.”
Designed to replicate a tapersawn cedar shake, Enviroshake is available in eight different profiles, and all bundles are pre-shuffled to include a mix of profiles.
Each shake is 20 inches long, 12 inches wide and weighs about two pounds. The product is installed at a nine-inch exposure and is suitable for roof slopes of 2:12 and greater.
“Unlike natural cedar, Enviroshake is resistant to UV, salt-spray, freezing and thawing, and is not susceptible to mold growth because it does not absorb moisture like natural wood,” says Smith.
The product also fared extremely well in rigorous wind tests. “The Miami Dade standard is about 110 mph,” Smith adds. “We passed at 180 mph, the fastest rating ever tested, and we were limited to that because the machines couldn’t go any faster.”
Designed to withstand hurricane-force winds, Enviroshake is installed on private residences and resorts throughout the Caribbean and Southeast Asia.
The most exciting element is how it looks exactly like its natural counterpart. “We emulate the thickness, the width, the textured lines, even the striations you see across the top of shakes,” notes Smith.
“When you’re standing back and looking at a roof from the ground, you really have a hard time telling whether its cedar or Enviroshake,” she adds.
The firm’s product line also features Enviroslate and Enviroshingle, replicating natural slate roofing and cedar shingles.
For more information, visit enviroshake.com.