Installing Synthetic Shake for a Long-lasting Roof
Shake it Up
By Matt Weber
Weather protection starts at the top, and a roof is not only a home’s first line of defense but also a major component of its outdoor décor. The modern Victorian house shown in this article was badly in need of a new roof, so the homeowner turned to DaVinci Roofscapes. DaVinci’s Bellaforte Shake synthetic roofing is engineered with the look of natural wood shake, but its polymer construction and innovative design make it substantially more durable and easier to install.
“We took impressions of real cedar and used our proprietary technology to transfer those extremely detailed impressions to our molds for this product,” says Mark Hansen, vice president of sales for DaVinci Roofscapes. “The final results are amazingly accurate.”
Price is another advantage for homeowners who want a high-quality roof with lasting value. Pricing for Bellaforté Shake compares to real cedar, high-end asphalt or steel roofing, but the polymer tiles offer an enhanced lifespan, insect and fire resistance, along with low maintenance and the ability to withstand severe weather conditions. Plus, the product is backed by the DaVinci 50-year limited warranty.
A full roof tear-off and replacement is a team effort, so although this not a DIY project, a smart homeowner will want to familiarize themselves with the process to make sure the job’s done right. Here’s how the Bellaforte Shake is installed.
Old Roof Removal
Tearing off the old roof is a big project, requiring an on-site dumpster and tarps to cover the surrounding ground to collect the debris. Tearing off a roof can be difficult and tiring, and workers on the roof should always be tethered to a fall-restraint harness. Shingle removers are long-handled tools the workers use to pull nails and scrape and pry off old roofing. The old shingles and paper are removed down to the bare roof sheathing. Any exposed rot or damaged sheathing must be removed and replaced before laying new underlayment.
A responsible contractor will have a worker canvas the surrounding ground with a magnetic broom to collect all the old roofing nails, so they don’t end up in someone’s heel.
With solid, smooth, code-com-pliant roof sheathing in place, a metal drip edge can then be installed along all eaves. The drip edge can be made from copper, aluminum or coated steel.
The next step is installation of a self-adhered membrane. The workers on this project applied Ice & Water Shield along all roof edges, gable ends, against walls, in the valleys and around projections such as vent pipes.
Roof underlayment requirements depend on whether the home’s local code requires a Class A or Class C fire-rated system.
This project required a minimum 30-lb. felt (that meets ASTM D 226 Type II standard) or a synthetic underlayment over the entire roof. Contractor Jim Butters uses Titanium UDL-25 plus Synthetic Roofing Underlayment. The Titanium underlayment is 8 times lighter and 20 times stronger than 30-lb. felt, and its synthetic construction is impervious to mold growth. For the safety of the installers it also has a “diamond plate” slip-resistant coating.