Faux Slate Roof Lasts Longer Than Real Thing
What comes in gray, red or green, lasts more than 50 years, and looks just
like a slate roof? It's recycled plastic and rubber roofing tiles-- no
kidding, these tiles are dead ringers for natural slate tiles. It's the
latest in synthetic building materials, just now beginning to appear on roofs
around the country. Although costlier than natural tiles, which might
explain why they haven't caught on yet, synthetic tiles last much longer and
are easier to handle than asphalt shingles.
Sometimes we Americans don't always catch on as fast as our fellow homeowners
abroad. Rubber and plastic roofing tiles have been around in Ireland for
more than 20 years, and one major manufacturer, Crowe Building Products, is
located in Canada. But distributors are popping up in the U.S., like
Authentic Roof tiles in Maine. Homeowners and professional roofers are
attracted by their longevity and 50-year plus warranties. These tiles do not
split apart the way slate tiles do when water gets into the roof and freezes.
With double the life of regular slate roofs, these higher priced tiles are
worth considering. It's easier to invest more upfront knowing that you won't
have to replace your roof again in another 20 to 25 years.
Installation goes smoothly using the manufacturer's recommendations.
Authentic's 12 by 18-inch tiles have predrilled holes for standard roofing
nails. They're lighter than asphalt tiles and easy to cut with a utility
knife. That's a plus for do-it-yourselfers. Scalloped and hexagonal shapes
are available, too. And nothing beats their appearance for homeowners
wanting the authentic, old-fashioned look of slate. U.S. Century's FlexShake
roof shingles are handcrafted from recycled, steel-reinforced rubber and
coated with natural stone. They're a very accurate look-alike for slate.
Still, consumers will have to look beyond the higher price tag and consider
whether recycled synthetic slate look-alikes are the right choice for their
home or budget. Always factor the labor costs in addition to materials when
comparing standard slates versus synthetic. If the contractor is familiar
with installing synthetic tiles, the installation cost might be less. Do you
plan to live in your home that long? Can you use your faux slate roof as a
Sources used to create this article include Muriel L. Hendrix and the
Portland Press Herald.