What Contractors Should Know About Composite Roofing

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For remodeling projects, composite roofing offers a number of benefits for homeowners weary from storm damage or maintenance.
Westlake Royal Building Products' - DaVinci Roofscapes Select Shake in the Black Oak color pattern.

DaVinci Roofscapes Select Shake in the Black Oak color pattern.

Fear. Anger. Vulnerability. These are just some emotions homeowners have after experiencing roof damage from a storm. Whether their roof suffered from hail impact, high winds, or wildfire spread, they want one thing: A new roof that will be better than the last one—a roof that will do a better job at protecting their family.

Contractors put in the position of recommending roofing materials after storms feel a tremendous responsibility. Vulnerable people need reassuring solutions and products. They need dependability. They need to be made aware of composite roofing benefits.


Standing Up to Mother Nature

Alternative roofing products are one approach to help remodelers and roofers grow their business by responding directly to the challenges homeowners face from weather and time.

“Man-made roofing products like composites keep advancing,” said Heidi Ellsworth, partner at RoofersCoffeeShop said in a recent podcast. “They’re created to withstand Mother Nature’s fury.”

For example, composite shake and slate roofing from DaVinci Roofscapes is made from virgin resin. Each piece is created with UV and thermal stabilizers, along with a highly specialized fire retardant. The result is a strong, dependable roofing tile that is impact- and fire-resistant.

In addition, DaVinci tiles resist high winds, severe weather, and algae growth. Repeated industry tests have earned the tiles Class A fire ratings, Class 4 impact ratings and ASTM D 3161wind tests, certified to 110 mph. Most of the company’s products are Miami-Dade County certified, HVHZ, and have the Texas Dept. of Insurance.

Westlake Royal DaVinci Roofscapes Multi-Width Slate
DaVinci Roofscapes Multi-Width Slate in Slate Gray.

“One and Done” Roofing

Roofer Chad Janisch has been in the roofing industry for more than two decades. During the past 12 years, almost half his business has included installation of composite slate and shake roofing products.

“We install about 100 composite shake roofs a year in the Chicagoland area,” says Janisch, with Shake Guys in Illinois. “Most of these result from severe weather in our area.”

According to Janisch, composite shakes are a “one and done” type of replacement. In addition to its realistic look, homeowners appreciate knowing their composite roofing benefits include being low-maintenance, and resistant to fire, impact, and high winds.

“Safety, with a Class A fire rating is, of course, a primary reason to select realistic-looking DaVinci tiles,” says Janisch. “However, after that, homeowners start relating that their old cedar shake roof became an ongoing expensive maintenance issue. Curling, splitting, and breaking of shakes. Yearly treatments. Insect infestations and decay. When they learn that composites resist all these problems, they’re sold.” 

Composite Roofing Benefits for Homeowners

From his history of working with homeowners, Janisch suggests other contractors always recommend homeowners talk with their insurance agent, especially if they own a home with a cedar shake roof. They need to discuss the benefits of composite roofing over real wood shakes.

“People are surprised by how much they can save on their yearly insurance premiums with a high-quality product like DaVinci,” says Janisch. “Both the impact- and fire-resistance of the composite shake really plays in their favor. As does the Lifetime Limited Material Warranty of the product.”

Something else that plays in the favor of homeowners right now is the quality and availability of composite materials versus real cedar products.

“There’s a shortage of high-quality cedar in the marketplace,” says Janisch. “If you can find it, the demand is fierce. That significantly increases the price and the delay.”

Composite Roofing Image
DaVinci Roofscapes composite roofing

Selling Tips for Composite Roofing

Janisch offers these selling tips for other contractors who want to convey composite roofing benefits:

1. Explain to homeowners that their composite roof is an investment.

When they want to sell their home in the future, a composite roof and its warranty are an asset. Real cedar roofing could be a liability. If the real cedar has not been maintained, it could detract from the home’s curb appeal. Or, when they attempt to sell their home, it may fail a homebuyer’s inspection.

2. Advise the homeowner to check with insurance companies in their area.

Get figures on policies for a range of homes with a real cedar shake roof as well as for homes with composite roofing. Once the homeowner realizes the financial savings, this may help you sell the composite roof.

3. Use composite roofing to create a niche for your company.

Promote yourself as one of the few experts in your local market to focus on composite roofing. Make this a specialty area and get endorsements from happy homeowners. Once you replace one or two roofs in a neighborhood with composite, this will help springboard you into more successes--usually with higher-end clientele that bring you higher profits.

Westlake Royal Building Products’ portfolio of siding, trim, stone, and roofing brands offer a diversity of styles and options to meet the needs of your buyers’ shifting tastes and needs. Learn more here.