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Polymer Wood Shake Roof
Plastic Polymer Roofing
Plastic polymer roofing is a very durable roofing option. This low maintenance roofing has a long-life span and can be made to look like wood, slate and clay. It is light to moderate in weight. Some plastic polymer roofing options are made from recycled materials making it extremely eco-friendly. Plastic polymer roofing is moderately priced and is good against both wind and fire.
What is Plastic Polymer Roofing
Plastic polymers are comprised of many molecules repeating structural units to form long chains. They can be natural like rubber from the Indian rubber tree or an engineered plastic. Polymers have a long shelf life but after several years they become brittle and break down into small pieces that don’t decay further. However, they can be gathered and made into new products (recycled plastics). Many manufacturers of roofing use recycled plastics to make polymer roofing shingles or tiles. This is a huge positive for the ecosystem because as these roofs reach their maximum lifespan, expected to be reliable for about 35 years for the better-quality ones, the discarded shingles can be recycled instead of landing in a dump.
Plastic Roofing Tiles
Synthetics are a polymer without fiber reinforcement and are designed to look like cedar and slate with a promise of maintenance free function over a lifetime. However, though plastic shingles are thin, lightweight and easy to install some of the low-quality ones crack easily and fade in the sun. Visually, they look like plain plastic tiles- not coming anywhere near replicating the fibrous texture or tones of cedar shakes. Instead of providing a matte reflection of clay tile they look shiny which repels most people. Their durability varies greatly by manufacture. Polypropylene is a fragile material prone to cracking during winter weather so unless strengthen with other materials’ they are unsuitable in cold climates.
Composite Polymer Cedar Shake or Shingle
Typically, composite shake, shingle and slate are made from a compound of recycled materials and a mineral filler such as ground up limestone then mixed with proprietary plastic resins and colors. They give the same look of cedar shakes and slate tile and come with a 50-year maintenance free warranty. They cost about 4 times the amount of Asphalt shingles and about 2 as much as cedar shakes or clay tiles which really puts them out of some peoples’ price range.
Plastic Polymer Tile Roof
Plastic Polymer Slate Tile
Plastic Polymer Roofing Positives
Relativity light in weight meaning a roof support structures doesn't have to be reinforced when replacing an older roof of a different roofing material. Sometimes the tiles are so light in weight they can be installed over an older- yet still sound roof.
They outlast most asphalt shingle and cedar shake roofs and some polymer shingle manufactures promise they will last 35-years or more.
Polymer shake or slate is easier to install than cedar shake or especially natural slate so no trouble finding a qualified contractor to install them.
Environmentally they are recyclable so at the end of their useful life they can go to the recycle center instead of the dump.
Fire repelling properties vary among brands, but some have a class A rating which is the highest grade out there- comparable to stone.
Appearance varies among manufacturers- some do an excellent job of imitating natural wood and slate while others obviously cheap and fake come to mind even when viewed from the curb.
Plastic Polymer Roofing Negatives
Lower insulation value.
Visually, some brands look like plain plastic tiles- not coming anywhere near replicating the fibrous texture or tones of cedar shakes. Instead of providing a matte reflection of clay tile they look shiny which repels most people.
They cost about as much as a cedar shake or clay tile which puts them out of the price range of many families.
Longevity is still mostly a prediction as very few of them have been field tested for more than a decade or two and formulas of composition are still improving. Aging will bring about color fading and brittleness due to UV rays and of course the poorer the quality of the polymer roofing material the sooner they degrade.
Natural shakes and slate roofing products are very beautiful in an elegant understated way. They are pleasing to the eye and are easily noted without using shocking colors. They are fragile costly materials that are difficult to install needing expert experienced roofers (especially for a slate roof). The roofers can’t use pneumatic nailers for fear of cracking the shakes or slates. Plus, the addition of about 10 to 20 percent to projects order is lamentable expensive necessity to make up for breakage during shipping and installation.
Polymer shakes and slates come in several sizes to reduce the need for cutting but they can be cut quickly using wood saws. Most of the faux roofing materials are solid in color so there is no need to hide cut edges. Also, they are not fragile to handle so can be installed using pneumatic nailers and there is no necessity to order extra material for breakage.
Advances in polymer formulation and manufacturing technologies have given the synthetic products improved resistance to weathering and increased durability which lengthens their lifespans. These advances included with the ease of installation (compared to natural roofing products) makes them a desirable less expensive way to capture the texture, color variation and appearance of natural materials while delivering superior performance.
You can easily identify high quality materials, but it’s a little harder to determine whether a roofer cares about the quality installation of your roof. Our Roofers know Richmond Virginia Roofing desires quality over speed. Thus, they do not attempt to take short cuts to try and move things along faster and easier. Faster and easier seldom means adequate or better.