Tropical Trends

It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.

DaVinci Roofscapes sales team members Chris Marshall and Royce Kuntz stepped up this past winter and agreed to represent DaVinci at builder trade shows in Hawaii and Puerto Rico. So, while temperatures were in the teens back in Kansas, they found out what it's like to be in warm weather locations in the frigid winter months.

Shake AlternativeChris and Royce also discovered key construction trends in these tropical paradise locations. In Hawaii, Chris reports the challenge is high UV exposure to roofs and extreme humidity. Buildings must also be constructed to withstand occasional hurricane and typhoon conditions.

"On the roof, natural cedar shake is beginning to fail after just five years with signs of curling and blackening," reports Marshall. "Hawaii really benefits from polymer roofing. The distributors, contractors and architects I met with were amazed at the aesthetics and durability of the DaVinci product line. Being in a tropical environment, they really seem to appreciate that our synthetic roofing materials resist humidity and mildew --- conditions they're very familiar with in their geographic locations. There's already a DaVinci shake roof on the University of Hawaii (Oahu campus) and I think we're soon going to see more DaVinci composite roofing used there in the future."

In Hawaii, Marshall reports that solar power is very popular to offset high electric costs. Since many roofs are sloped, this opens up the door for solar panels incorporated into DaVinci roofing projects.

Not so in Puerto Rico. Kuntz reports that almost all construction done there is concrete. This includes walls and roofs... which are traditionally flat to combat frequent hurricanes.

"Even if you see sloped roofs in Puerto Rico, they're mostly covered with Spanish S tile or fired clay tiles ...and even those roofs usually have a concrete base," says Kuntz. "The concrete helps Puerto Ricans combat the mold in such a high humidity area. This is an island that gets brutally attacked by hurricanes and tropical weather, so they build to brace against both elements."

Tile RoofsWhile Kuntz doesn't see a large market for polymer roofing in Puerto Rico, he did meet with several builders interested in DaVinci's ability to create custom color composite shake and imitation slate tiles. "Colorful roofs are very desirable in Puerto Rico," says Kuntz. "Builders were interested in our ability to provide roofs with red tones and blue shades."

Where will travels take Kuntz and Marshall next? Their bags are always packed and waiting. Kuntz believes Cool Roof colors from DaVinci may be popular on other Caribbean islands, so he's getting ready to fly out again soon. At the same time, Marshall is heading to colder climates. He's hoping to travel to Alaska soon to educate builders there on the all-weather advantages of DaVinci synthetic roofing material!

Can't get enough of the adventures of Chris and Royce? See  Ask the Expert - Royce Kuntz and Catching Up with Chris Marshall.

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