Tim's Tips Times Two

This posting could easily be called "A Tale of Two Tim's" ... that's because we have TWO Tim experts to lean on right now!

Tim Gentry, the vice president of technical services at DaVinci Roofscapes has more than 30 years experience with roofing. Tim Carter, founder of AsktheBuilder.com, also has roofing experience --- including his first installation this year of a DaVinci polymer slate roof on his own home!

With this much expertise around, we asked both Tims for installation tips to share with you.

Tips from Tim Gentry:

1. Valley Cuts: Avoid wasteful tile cuts for valleys by finding the correct angle and then cutting your polymer tiles with a circular saw. Then use all the accurate valley cuts and use the leftovers to finish the hips.

2. Nail It: DaVinci steep slope roofing tiles can be nailed with copper, stainless steel, or hot-dipped galvanized nails during installation. The reason for this recommendation is that we expect our synthetic roofing tiles to last for a very long time (especially since we have a lifetime roof warranty!) and we don’t want the fasteners to rust, become ineffective, and be the mode of failure of the Class A Fired Rated roofing system.

3. Rake Tile: Try using a rake tile on gable ends when installing Bellaforté Shake products. It makes these luxury roof tiles easier to install because you don't need to be too concerned with how precise your cuts are on the gable end --- the rake tile covers up all the cuts.

Tips from Tim Carter:

1. Starter Course Overhang: Unless you are using an overhanging drip edge, I recommend installers create a 5/8-inch overhang of the starter shingles past the edge of the metal drip edge. Capillary attraction is a real force of nature and it will suck water up under starter shingles to any unprotected wood decking.

2. Drill Holes for Hip and Ridge: To prevent depressions when cap shingles lay on top of compressible ridge ventilation products, it's a "best practice" to drill holes in the cap shingles for the nails. Make the hole just ever so larger than the shaft of the nail. The nail will not pull the shingle down as it's nailed. And remember, don't overdrive the nails!

3. Snap Lines Every Other Course: Resist the temptation to chalk course lines every five feet or so. Take the few extra minutes to chalk them every other course. This way each course has perfect alignment.




Here When You Need Them --- the DaVinci Roofscapes Tech Team

You're getting ready to install a DaVinci Roofscapes designer roof and you have a question that you can't easily find the answer to on our website. What do you do? Call the experts in our Tech Department!

Polymer Roof TilesTim, Eric and Tyler have decades of roofing experience to share with you. Whether you're looking for cold weather installation tips or have a question about the green roofing materials you're installing, they're available to support you.

Get to know our top three key polymer roofing guys. Here's a fast introduction!

Tim GentryTim Gentry - Vice President of Technical Services
Tim has 40+ years of roofing experience, including cedar, asphalt, tile and slate roofing. Before joining DaVinci, he owned his own roofing company. Tim has been with DaVinci since our company started and has in-depth knowledge of engineered polymers, steep slope roofing and the composite roofing market.

While Tim plays a key role aiding in the design and technical processes of DaVinci tiles, he also manages all of our product testing and certifications, works on the Product Development Team, conducts installation training, meets with contractors, and heads up warranty and customer satisfaction inquiries.

Eric SalvesenEric Salvesen - Central Technical Services Manager

Eric brings a wealth of hands-on building industry experience with him to our company. After putting himself through college as a roofer, Eric spent several years on the distribution side of the business. He supports our internal staff along with contractors, distributors, architects, developers and homeowners in the central portion of the United States. (see On the Road with DaVinci's Eric Salvesen)

You'll see Eric at sales/installation trainings and demos, jobsites and presentations for design engineers, architects and consultants. He's here to help you solve your roofing challenges and to provide insights on when, where and how to best use DaVinci synthetic roofing material.

Tyler StorfaTyler Storfa - Western Technical Services Manager

Tyler joined the DaVinci team in 2013 after spending 10 years as a technical rep in the field showcasing proper tile installation procedures to contractors, architects and building officials. He has experience in roofing product testing, underlayments and snow retention systems for roofs.

As a technical support representative for DaVinci, Tyler assists with unique and unusual details of installation projects, finding permanent solutions to roofing issues and dealing with cost effectiveness issues. His chief goal is to "take the mystery out of our polymer roofing materials" so that contractors and distributors understand and feel comfortable with DaVinci lightweight roofing solutions.


2015 Hurricane Season: Are You Ready?

Severe Weather Preparedness


May 24 - 30 is National Hurricane Preparedness Week to focus us on preparing our homes and businesses for severe weather. Sponsored by the National Weather Service, you can get the details HERE about hurricane hazards such as storm surge, heavy rainfall, high winds, tornados and inland flooding.

If you live in an area prone to severe weather, you should consider an impact-resistant polymer slate or shake roof that has been tested to withstand strong winds. Composite roofing from DaVinci Roofscapes has been tested for wind and impact resistance and can be installed in high velocity hurricane zone areas.

Damage from airborne items (tree branches, yard items, etc.) during severe weather can be devastating. Having a roof that has achieved a Class 4 impact rating for the UL2218 tests reduces this risk. All of DaVinci's polymer roofing products have achieved a Class 4 rating, which is the highest grade possible. This means that DaVinci's composite roofing has a greater chance of helping protect your home from damage from flying debris during severe weather. 

DaVinci tiles have also achieved the Miami Dade County Acceptance and Texas Department of Insurance criteria for high velocity hurricane winds. The roofing tiles have the highest rating for straight line wind testing at 110mph in the ASTM D3161 test and have passed the TAS-125 certification test for wind uplift resistance in High Velocity Hurricane Zones.

As part of your personal preparations for Hurricane Season (which runs from June 1 - November 30), make sure to examine your roof to see if there are any missing shingles, curling or splitting shingles, lifting shingles or loss of granules. These shingles (or perhaps your whole roof if you find many of these damaged shingles) should be replaced immediately. Why? Because straight line winds and pressurized winds associated with hurricanes can uplift the shingles off the roof, causing massive damage.

Want peace of mind when hurricane-force winds start to blow? DaVinci polymer roof tiles are designed to help your roof survive severe weather. Applied properly by your roofing installer, our luxury roof tiles should provide added protection to your home when Mother Nature gets angry.

For more details see Hurricane Season - Is Your Roof Ready?


Roofing 101: Up on the Roof

Sure you know that there's a roof over your head to protect your home from severe weather, but have you ever really thought about what goes into creating that roof?

Here's a look at what is really happening on your roof ... and why it's important to understand your roof.

First of all, a roof starts with decking, which is the solid base that covers the framing of your home. To this decking, flashings are added, followed by self-adhered membrane and 30-pound felt. All of these items are put in place to help protect the deck and provide a waterproof surface before the roofing tiles are added.

When it's time to start installing the slate roof tiles or cedar roof shingles, the first course is always the "starter course" that goes along the eave. Once these are installed, then the field tiles (the majority of the roof) are put in place. In some geographic areas, where snowfall is prevalent, snowguards are also installed at the same time. Finally, the field tiles are topped off with hip or ridge tiles.

When it comes to roof installations, the more varied the roof elevations, the trickier installation can be. For example, a simple "A" frame roof on a mountain retreat would be fairly easy to install, but a home with multiple dormer windows and lots of "nooks and crannies" becomes more challenging and time-consuming to roof.

Learn more about Roofing 101 n the DaVinci Roofscapes website and from your professional roofer. Plus, see Roofing 101 - Roof Components for more insights.


Chalk it up to Experience

One of the handiest things a roofer can have in his toolbox is a chalk line. Reliable for creating straight lines to follow when installing composite roofing tiles, a chalk line is basically a taut nylon or string that is coated with a loose dye, usually chalk.

Slate installation tips - red chalk line stainAs roofers know, pulling the string tight and then plucking it sharply leaves behind a chalk marking ... and this line is followed for installing slate roof shingles and composite shake tiles. While this is one of the easiest-to-use tools available for a roofer, there are still some "tricks of the trade" you need to know.

First, be careful of the material in your chalk line and try to use just chalk --- not a "permanent chalk" or a colored chalk that will be difficult to remove (especially red as it will permanently stain the tiles). Stick with a washable blue chalk that won't cause a permanent marking. (See Using the Right Color Chalk Line)

Second, if you're running a chalk line on a very long expanse, consider a "double snap" procedure. This is where the chalk line is pulled across the long area, then held down in the center by a second person or staple. To the left of the center area snap the line, then do the same thing to the right of the center area. This "double snap" gives a more precise line over a long area.

Third, have a back up chalk line in your tool box. Nothing is worse than getting to the job site and starting to mark the roof and having a brittle string break from overuse or tension on the line. This can mean stopping work and going to the local hardware store for a replacement chalk line. It's faster to keep a spare in your tool box.

Fourth, with DaVinci tiles never place a chalk line on the tiles themselves. After determining where the butts of the tile will be place a chalk 18” above that point and make a line. Use that line on the underlayment to align the top tips of the DaVinci tiles.

For more DaVinci Roofscapes installation tips, see the INSTALLATION GUIDES on our website.


Freeze/Thaw No Trouble for DaVinci Polymer Roofing

5 degrees in Nashville. -2 degrees in Atlanta. This past winter's deep freeze stretched far deeper into the South than usual. The good news is that, when these temperatures "heated up" to the 20's and 30's, roofers were back out installing DaVinci Roofscapes polymer roofing materials. (See Bone-Chilling Polymer Roofing Installations)

Polymer RoofingWhat those southern roofers might not know --- because they don't always experience extreme temperature conditions --- is that DaVinci composite roofing materials are designed to be installed in areas where freeze-thaw conditions are common. These hard-working imitation slate and synthetic shake products don't absorb water so there aren’t the same freeze thaw issues that some roofing materials have.That means that even if a DaVinci roof has moisture on it, there will be no damage during freeze-thaw cycles like cracking or splitting of tiles.

Made of 100% virgin polymer resin, simulated shake roofing and composite slate tiles from DaVinci don't react the same to colder weather conditions as natural roof products. For example, a wood shake roof goes through freeze/thaw cycles constantly in some weather environments. This means that it is common to see cracking and splitting on some cedar roofs. In some areas of the country, the daylight to nightfall temperature swings alone can cause damage to cedar shake roofing. (See DaVinci Shake is the Best Fake Cedar Shake on the Market)

In addition, DaVinci plastic roofing materials are very thermally stable. A 12" synthetic slate roof tile expands just 1/12" with a 100 degree temperature swing. Thanks to this engineering feat, you don't get the buckling or movement with a DaVinci tile that can put strain on fasteners as with some other products.


Reduce Jobsite Waste with DaVinci Roofscapes

If you're like most contractors or roofers, you're looking for ways to save time and money on the jobsite. Oftentimes that means researching and finding ways to reduce waste.

For a roofing project, one of the easiest decisions you can make that will have immediate payback is to select DaVinci Roofscapes polymer roof tiles.

The first way to save is to take advantage of the Jobsite Recycling Program from DaVinci. If your project is within a 500 mile radius of Lenexa, Kansas, DaVinci will include boxes (upon request) with your composite roofing order for returning unused DaVinci product for recycling back to us with prepaid FedEx Ground labels. If your project is further than 500 miles away, we will still be happy to send boxes for you to return DaVinci scraps and extra tiles to us so that you don't have to haul them off to the landfill. (See DaVinci Recycling Program Contributes to Green Environmental Efforts)

The second way we can help you save is when you pay special attention to where you can use cut portions of our imitation slate and shake alternative tiles on your roof projects. Don't discard those cut pieces ... considering saving the remaining portion from a cut tile used in a valley for the corresponding hip. Or, with a Single-Width tile, consider using the cutoff portion from the right side of a gable on the left side.

Our environmentally friendly roof tiles are made for reduced waste. Extra time and attention on the jobsite to your cuts and product usage can result in less waste to haul away. And, if you do have leftover product, the great news is that our Jobsite Recycling Program is there to make your life easier!


Bundle Up, Roofers!

Sometimes it's simply no fun being a roofer. Like when the morning starts at 28 degrees outside and strong winds are blowing --- and it's time to climb on the roof to begin a new reroofing project. However, roofers are like other working people, and they need to keep going no matter what the weather conditions.

Fortunately, at DaVinci Roofscapes we make polymer roofing materials that can be installed in cold weather conditions, so roofers can keep on working. Our Multi-Width and Single-Width slate and shake composite roofing tiles can be installed even when the temperatures dip down to 20 degrees. If you're a roofer working through winter weather conditions, here are a few tips from our Tech Team experts to making it easier to install DaVinci lightweight roofing materials this winter:

1. Store your DaVinci composite slate and synthetic shake roofing tiles in the warmest area available to you when working at low temperatures. This conditions the product to allow for easier cutting and increased flexibility.

2. When cutting the imitation slate or shake alternative tiles in colder temperatures, here's a tip. It's better to score the lightweight roofing tiles with a straight blade and break the tile along the score or use a saw blade with smaller and finer teeth.

For more tips for cold weather installation, see Cold Weather? Bring on the DaVinci Roofing Tiles!  and How Cold is Too Cold to Install DaVinci Synthetic Shingles?


Winter Roofing Installation With No Worries

Temperatures are dropping and you're adding another sweater to stay warm. But, what about your home? Have you missed the "window of opportunity" to add a new roof to your house before the winter weather settles in? No ... just pick the right polymer roofing tiles!

If you're thinking of a winter roof replacement, make sure to investigate the specifics of what temperatures a specific roof can be installed. Too many roofs have restrictions based on cold weather because their materials have the tendency to crack or break when the material gets frigid. That's not the case with DaVinci Roofscapes synthetic roofing material.

The special composition of our lightweight roofing systems allow for installation of our composite roof tiles in temperatures reaching down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. That's much colder than most roofing products can be installed. Why? Because our carefully formulated imitation slate tiles and composite shake tiles are not brittle. DaVinci composite roofing tiles are manufactured to remain flexible in cold temperatures, so contractors can continue to install following a few guidelines.

And, at DaVinci, we offer Tackling Winter Roof Installations tips to contractors on cold weather installations, so they're educated and ready to take on the challenge of a winter luxury roof installation project. So, this winter treat yourself to a new roof ... and put on a pot of hot coffee to offer your weather-hardy DaVinci roofing installer!

Oh, and don't forget the snow guards.


Get Ready for Ice Dam Season

Heavy snows can cause more worries than just potential avalanches from composite roofing. Almost any roof has the potential for ice dams this winter if the proper precautions are not taken before the first snow falls.

Ice damming occurs when snow melts from heat loss in the attic. As a result, the water runs down the roof and then re-freezes on the of the edge of the roof (eave). This creates beautiful large icicles clinging to your gutters. They may be pretty to look at, but they stop water from properly draining off into the gutters and can be damaging to the gutters and your roof. A bad result of ice damning is that it can cause water to back up onto the roof and lead to a potential leak.

Composite Roofing

When and where will ice dams occur? They're most likely to form on structures with poorly insulated or ventilated attics during very cold weather.

According to This Old House magazine, there are eight different ways you can regulate the temperature of the roof so that it remains the same as the eaves to help reduce ice damming. These include ventilation, capping the hatch, adding insulation and insulating ducts. (Click HERE for the story).

To help reduce the chance of an ice dam forming on your luxury roof, take time now --- before the cold weather hits --- to make sure your attic is well insulated and vented. This will help keep the attic temperature closer to the outside temperature to reduce chances of ice dams. While DaVinci Roofscapes tiles are not waterproof, use of the proper peel and stick membrane on the bottom of the roof will also help make areas where ice damming occurs water-tight.

In areas with potential heavy/moderate snows, consider installing snow guards on your composite roof.

For more tips on ice dams, see Ice Dams, Snow Slides and Freezing Temperatures… Oh my!


Cold Weather + Composite Roofing = Successful Winter Installations

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,

But the roofing is so obliging.

And since it needs to be installed,

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Not ready yet for cold weather composite roof installations? Let DaVinci Roofscapes offer a few tips to get you prepared for the roofing projects during the upcoming winter months.

Tip #1 - Dress for the weather. Make sure you and your installation team use fall protection devices and appropriate footwear, since winter makes the roof more slippery and icy.

Tip #2 - If you're using a pneumatic roofing nail gun for plastic roofing materials installation, make sure the pressure is not set too high. If you should have trouble with an air compressor, consider hand nailing pieces of composite roofing into place.

Tip #3 - Before installing in colder temperatures, store your polymer roofing shingles flat.

Tip #4 - The unique formula of DaVinci synthetic shake and composite slate materials allows our product to remain flexible in colder weather, so you can install our luxury roof products in temperatures as low as 20 degrees F. Make sure that the lightweight roofing tiles are laid at a very minimum 3/16".

Tip #5 - Don't forget the snowguards. If you're installing in a cold weather region, make sure to recommend and install suitable snowguards that will help reduce the chance of "avalanches" of melting snow from polymer roofs.

For more winter weather installation tips, see How Cold is Too Cold to Install DaVinci Synthetic Shingles?


Help Deter Wildfire Spread with DaVinci Class A Fire Rated Polymer Roof Tiles

From coast-to-coast, the number "1" is very important when it comes to wildfires. All it takes is one lightning strike, one smoldering ember from a campfire, or one dropped cigarette to spark disastrous results --- especially in several drought-stricken states.

On July 1st, the National Interagency Fire Center issued their report that several key areas of the country will have above normal wildland fire potential through the summer months. Areas include portions of California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. And, there's potential for this "above normal" classification to expand to New England states in August.

Why are we sharing this scary weather prediction? Because DaVinci Roofscapes polymer roofing tiles are Class A fire rated with the proper underlayments. That's important to know --- especially if you install roofs in the geographic areas listed above.

As you might imagine, choosing "A" rated lightweight roofing systems is smarter to selecting a "B" or "C" rating on your roofing products. And, in some locations, an A rating is required by local codes.

Having attained a Class A fire rating means our composite shake and synthetic slate tiles have attained the best fire rating that is available in the market. It also means that our composite roofing products meet the following criteria:

  • Intermittent Flame - an assembly of tiles is subjected to an intense flame with a strong air current for two minutes then turned off for two minutes. This procedure is repeated 15 times. After the final flame cycle the air current is continued and the assembly observed for an additional hour to look for failure.

  • Spread of Flame -  flame and air current are applied for 10 consecutive minutes and then observed until the flame deck recedes. Once the flame deck recedes the assembly is checked for maximum spread of flame. 

  • Burning Brand - a burning brand is placed on an assembly of roofing tiles with a high volume of wind behind it. The decking of the assembly is constantly monitored for 90 minutes to see if any fire burns through.  If fire burns through the roof deck anytime during the 90 minute trial, the tiles fail.

    To see our video on fire burning demonstrations, visit Fire Codes and Your Roof: Class A vs. Class C Codes


Building Code Basics

The arrival of Hurricane Arthur on the East Coast over July 4th weekend shines the spotlight once again on building codes and the need for advanced polymer roofing products. As is the case in most situations, those coastal area properties constructed to meet the high standards of the Miami-Dade County codes fared better than those built to lower standards. Fortunately, more and more coastal areas are adopting those strict standards.

According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), building codes are needed to establish "predictable and consistent minimum standards that are applied to the quality and durability of construction materials."

At DaVinci Roofscapes, we take building codes seriously --- as should you. In general, codes are put in place and enforced to ensure the safety and health of building occupants. In the long run, stronger codes can be extremely cost-effective because of their enhanced safety and performance features.

Because we want our composite slate and synthetic shake roofing tiles to meet the strictest of building codes, we've made sure they pass the Miami-Dade County codes (click HERE).

Specifically, the DaVinci Slate roofing tiles we have created passed the Miami Dade County, Florida NOA No 06-308.03 test. These durable imitation slate roofs have also passed the following tests:

- passed the ASTM D 471 water absorption test

- passed the ASTM G21 Fungus (algae) test with no algae growth

- passed the ASTM D 638 tensile strength test with no meaningful reduction of strength on long-term weathering of material strength


If you're using our DaVinci Shake products, you'll find these cedar shake alternatives:

- are rated Class A for fire retardance in the Fire Test UL 790 with a VersaShield underlayment and Class C with an approved synthetic underlayment.

- passed Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) qualifications

- passed Miami Dade County, Florida NOA No 07-1203.03

Still concerned about codes and roofing? Then check out Bellaforté Achieves Miami Dade NOA and Severe Weather Worries? Not With A DaVinci Roof!  


Tips to Make Bellaforté Installation Even Easier!

Over the past 3 years of working with Bellaforté and inspecting various installations I have observed the following common mistakes.

  • Starters installed without a gap: There must be a gap between the starters. While 3/8" is optimal, 1/4" to 1/2" is fine. I constantly see installations where the starters are installed "tight" or without a gap.

  • Transition tiles not used: Transition tiles must be used at all metal transition points or where courses need to be adjusted. These can be tiles that are modified on site or purchased specifically from DaVinci. When transition tiles are not used, and the ledge remains on the back of the tiles at these transitions, the underlying materials will cause tiles to appear lifted.

  • Incorrect alignment of underlying tiles: The self aligning ledge must lie correctly along the top of underlying tiles. Installers must insure that the tiles are lying correctly. If this is not watched, unsightly gaps and or broken tabs can result.

As well, this video offers some great installation tips and techniques.



By following these tips, your installation will be much easier and look great!


Installing DaVinci with Continuous Ridge Vent

Ventilation is an important consideration for a roofing contractor on all roofing projects. A well balanced ventilation system that includes intake and exhaust vents will often prevent moisture problems and premature aging of the roof covering.

One option when choosing the exhaust component of the balanced system is the use of a shingle-over ridge vent. Generally, the many manufacturers of this product make either a soft or rigid system. The soft system is a mesh product that looks much like steel wool and the other a rigid plastic, usually high-density polyethylene.

The mesh systems are easy to compress. Sometimes when installing a more substantial product than asphalt shingles the mesh can compress more than desired. When using these types of continuous ridge vents the installer needs to make sure that he leaves enough space for the system to work properly. 

The rigid systems are the preferred choice when installing DaVinci systems. There are multiple manufacturers that offer various options in regards to color, width, thickness, and length. The reason we like these systems is they have a strong support structure which allows them to keep their ventilation properties even when nailing a more substantial ridge cap piece.

With the exception of Fancy Shake, the 12” wide continuous ridge vent is usually the best choice for DaVinci products. Our one piece and two piece systems are designed to cover an approximate width of 12 inches. Remember when using our two piece systems you must insure that the seams of the vent are water tight. Installing flashing over the vent is the best way to accomplish this.

If you have additional questions, or would like further assistance, please contact us at 1-800-328-4624.