Aerial Measurement for Free??

Back in the days when I was still a roofing contractor I spent a big part of my day measuring jobs for re-roofing. By the time I drove to a location, inspected the roof, and measured it I could spend a lot of time. Now days of course there are several different satellite measuring services that are very helpful. Their accuracy is typically very good and they give you a lot of very excellent information. This service usually costs somewhere between $60 and $90 and well worth the money. Obviously there is some information you can’t get from these services. For example, you can’t tell whether there are multiple roofs that need to be removed, whether ventilation is adequate, or whether the decking has problems.

There is another service that you can get for free if the job is an easy roof, you’re in a hurry, and only feel like you need to be reasonably close in your estimate. Here’s how:

Get on your computer and pull up Google Maps. In the lower left-hand corner there is some text that says “maps labs” which you should click on. When the Google Maps Labs Screen pops up enable the Distance measurement tool. Once it is enabled press save changes. With that done you should pull up an address of a house in Google Maps. Then you should zoom into the location as far as you can. Down in the left and corner of the map there is a little ruler. Click on the little ruler and then you can click on one spot and when you click on another spot you have a measurement. Make sure you have the measurement in feet and not meters.



I’ve checked this on a few houses and found this technique to be reasonably accurate. You can get a street shot by clicking on the little man and that lets you determine whether you think the roof is walkable or not.  Whether you’re measuring for a designer roof or another material, I certainly wouldn’t rely on this technique for all jobs, but in a pinch it is useful.


Mini History of Synthetic Slate

Many people think that synthetic slate and shake roofing materials are a new idea. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact synthetic slate tiles were manufactured in Europe in the mid-1800s and manufactured in the US at the beginning of the twentieth century. The tiles were very long- lasting, weren’t affected by heat or moisture, and were fire-proof. These tiles were installed on roofs throughout the US and performed well for many years. There was one problem though; the tiles were about 75% Portland cement and 25% asbestos. And as we all know we started figuring out in the 1970s and early 1980s that asbestos was not the best thing for our lungs.

Once the manufacturers of synthetic slate and synthetic cedar shake found they could no longer use asbestos they had to make a quick change to a different kind of filler. Most companies chose an organic (cellulose) fiber. This new formulation for tiles that used cellulose instead of asbestos generally didn’t work very well. There were many issues including, crazing, cracking, delamination, and deterioration.There are some parts of the country where these problems gave synthetic slate and shake a very bad name.

When we started work developing the formula and process for DaVinci tiles in the mid 1990s we had the advantage of being able to reference the success and failures of past roofing products. That knowledge along with new technologies allowed us to create the highly engineered polymer system and the unique injection molding color system we use today. This engineered polymer system is an ideal material for a roof covering and allows DaVinci to be installed in all geographic areas and climates. There are DaVinci roofs in all 50 US States and internationally from the cold climates of Canada to the warmth of Bali, Indonesia.  

For more information about DaVinci Roofscapes products, please contact us at 1-800-328-4624 or drop us an email. We would love to hear from you!


Hurricane Sandy reminds us about Storm Chasers

After the bad weather on the East Coast last week I saw a video news story where the Attorney General of New York was warning victims of Hurricane Sandy to watch out for unlicensed and uninsured contractors. He warned that these storm chasers may price gouge, do shoddy work, not be around to address problems, and in fact, were violating the law.

This news story reminded me of a blog I wrote in the spring of 2011.  I thought this would be a good time to reiterate my point of view on storm chasers.

As a life-long roofing contractor, I have experienced and worked through several hail storms. One of the key things to understand is that typically roofs are not damaged to the point where they are going to leak water the next time it rains or for that matter for years afterward.

What happens much more often is that roof hail damage just decreases the useful life of the roof. Many homeowners feel anxious about getting their roof replaced quickly and because local contractors quickly get full schedules they opt to have a "storm chaser" install the roof on their home. Often this is a poor decision.

Hopefully you will be living with this new roof for many years. If you have a problem with you new roof a year or so down the line the "storm chaser" that installed your roof is off working another storm. Most insurance companies will give you a year to replace your roof and some will extend beyond that. My advice is to have patience. Wait for a local contractor, one that has good references, and preferably one that your neighbors were pleased with.


Do Extreme Freeze-Thaw Cycles Affect DaVinci Tiles?

In some parts of the country roofing materials experience very harsh weather with extreme temperature change. The high country in the Rockies or Sierras is very indicative of this. In these mountain areas daily temperature swings of 30 to 40 degrees are common and 50 degrees or more are not unheard of.  The ambient temperature can be 75 degrees with a roof temperature of 120 degrees or more during the day and then the temperature can fall considerably below freezing overnight. This change in temperature, especially if moisture is added to the mix, can be very troublesome. If a roof covering absorbs moisture and goes through-freeze thaw cycles there can be  damage that results in crazing, cracking, splitting, etc. Over time these freeze-thaw cycles can destroy a roofing product.

At DaVinci Roofscapes we have designed our tiles to be impervious to freeze-thaw. DaVinci tiles don’t absorb water so there are no issues with the tremendous force of freezing water. In addition, DaVinci tiles are very thermally stable, in fact the coefficient of thermal expansion is 10-3in/in °F. What this means is that the DaVinci 12” slate tiles expands 1/12” with a 100 degree temperature swing. Because of this you don’t get the buckling or movement that puts strain on fasteners as some products do.

DaVinci Roofscapes is a very popular roofing product for the resort areas of the Rockies and Sierras for a reason; it works. Well, also because it looks great!



DaVinci Shake Rake Alternative

I personally like to use a rake tile on gable ends when installing the new DaVinci synthetic cedar shake called Bellaforté Shake. It makes the tiles easy to install because the installer doesn’t need to be too concerned with how precise his cuts are on the gable end because the rake tile covers up all the cuts. If you install the rake tile with the optional screw in the butt of the tile (on the fascia side) you will definitely enhance wind performance. But forget about the ease of installation and performance...I like the looks.

We do have customers however that think their style of home just doesn’t look right with rake tile. For those folks we have an optional flashing method.   A piece of flashing commonly called “gravel stop” can be installed to terminate the tiles at the gable ends.  The gravel stop looks like a “T” with leg 4” and  1 ½” on each side of the top of the T.  This should be installed on top of a 24” strip of self-adhered membrane running down the gable end. Once the gravel stop has been installed,  a 12” wide strip of self adhered membrane should be installed on top of the gravel stop so that at least 2 ½” of the 4” leg.

Gravel Stop                      


To learn more about DaVinci Roofscapes products, please call 1-800-328-4624 or drop us an email.


Installing DaVinci Tiles With No Waste

I often get calls from contractors about how much waste they should add to their bid when figuring multi-width DaVinci Slate or DaVinci Simulated Shake roofing products. Although I don't know how often I'm believed, my answer is "there is no waste on a hip roof and one square for every 100 lineal feet of valley on a gable roof". Installing DaVinci tiles with no waste is a huge competitive advantage when compared with other steep slope systems where 10% or more waste factor is common. 

I have already discussed how to use a combination of our plastic slate tiles to avoid waste on gable ends in a previous tip. Another way to avoid waste is when cutting tiles for valleys. When I cut tiles for valleys I find the correct angle and cut all my tiles with a circular saw. 



I then use all the valley cuts shown on the right in my valleys and then the cuts  that are leftover are the perfect angle to use to finish the hips. Not only does this save material but it also saves time. 



Custom Installations

DaVinci Roofscapes prides itself in being the best choice to truly create a custom roof. DaVinci offers 49 in-stock colors that can be blended to your specification. We can also create tiles from custom colors that are only limited by your imagination.

All of these colors and how they are blended is only part of the customization process. The way the tiles are installed is another way to make your roof truly unique. The tiles can be installed with a very unusual stagger or can be doubled or tripled up to make interesting textures. Tiles can also be curved, bent, cut, etc. to accommodate most any structure.

A good example of a custom staggered installation is this European Blend in DaVinci Slate by Rodney Turner.


An example of adding extra tiles in places to add texture is this roof installed in Colorado in a custom weathered green color.



DaVinci Shakes are cut and molded to accommodate the fantastic structure below in Upstate New York.



Mysterious New Circles

Lately I have been getting the same question over and over. What are those four circles that have recently shown up just below the nailing area on the Bellaforté Slate?

  What answer do you think is correct?

  1. Those UFO alien guys got tired of burning circles in Kansas farm fields and started burning circles in Bellaforté slate.
  2. Circles represent eternity and we want everyone to know that DaVinci Tiles last for an eternity.
  3. In cases of wind driven rain the circles are specifically designed to redirect water back out from under the tile.
  4. There is no practical reason for the circles. These circles are actually what we call pushpin marks in the manufacturing industry. Pushpins are mechanical devices that “push” the tile out of the mold. These sometimes leave marks.  
  5. These are indicators of the best places to “setback” the next tile to achieve the most random appearance.
  6. These circles indicate the nailing area for the new super wind performance application for a Miami-Dade installation.

And the answer is…

The answer of course is number 1. Here in Kansas a lot of strange things go on and UFO sightings and cow-tipping are just two of them. Only kidding, the circles have been added to the Bellaforté Slate as nailing indicators for extreme wind zones. These will allow us to use ring-shank nails instead of screws in hurricane zones.

So the best answer is most of you don’t need to worry about these new little circles and you can use any of the above answers or make up your own. But to those of you in HVHZ’s (High Velocity Hurricane Zones) these little circles are going to save a bunch of time.


Stainless Steel Nails

DaVinci Roofscapes recommends the use of copper, stainless steel, or hot-dipped galvanized nails when installing DaVinci steep slope roofing tiles. The reason for the recommendation is that we expect our tiles to last for a very long time and we don’t want the fasteners to rust, become ineffective, and be the mode of failure of the roofing system.

A common form of nail for roofing not mentioned above are EG (electro galvanized) nails.  As a roofer I have seen EG nails and staples rust and lose their head or crown in 20 year or less. Admittdly I have seen these failures  in areas where there are periods of high humidity and moisture. While we know that it is oxygen that causes rust, without the addition of moisture, enough rust to cause nail  failure will take a long time.

Generally, DaVinci believes that stainless steel nails are the best fasteners for our luxury roof products. They can be gun driven and they will last a very long time.  We realize however that there are climatic regions where nail corrosion is not a factor in the long-term performance of the roof system. Therefore DaVinci Roofscapes allows the use of electro-galvanized nails and will support the DaVinci Limited Fifty-year Warranty when EG nails are part of the system. The exception to that is if the nails fail, any portion of the warranty associated with wind performance would be void.


The Dreaded Mold

There are a few things I don’t know about roof ventilation:

1. Why is the amount of ventilation required by the International Building Code based on square footage of attic space not volume of attic space?  Shouldn’t a steep roof with a huge volume of air require more ventilation than a very flat roof with almost no volume of air?

2. As long as you have a modern HVAC system and proper outside venting of your clothes dryer and bathroom, etc., why is venting an attic in a warm humid climate a good thing?  Isn’t the most difficult job of an AC unit to take moisture out of the air, and if that is the case why bring in a constant flow of new moisture? 

3. If you have R49 as recommended by the US Department of Energy, in your ceiling and live in a mild climate, does it really matter if your attic is a little warmer than the weather outside?

If anyone can answer these questions for me I'm all ears.

There is one thing I do know do about attic ventilation:

If you make changes to an older home to make it more energy efficient and you live in a climate where it gets cold in the winter, you probably should make changes to the attic ventilation as well. Homes that were built before the energy crisis of the 1970's rarely had moisture ( and mold)  issues related to ventilation. Back when I was a kid houses breathed. There weren’t double and triple paned windows, weather stripping was rare, and homeowners didn’t shoot expandable foam into every nook and cranny. Take one of those old homes and tighten it up everywhere and suddenly there is nowhere for all the humidity that we generate from our showers, clothes dryers, dishwasher, boiling water, etc to go.  Well, I guess there is some place…your attic.

I think all of us, at least those of us in the South and the Midwest, intuitively know that warm air can hold more humidity than cold air.  You just have to go outside a couple of times in each season to figure that out. Now when warm moist air in your attic hits a cooler surface it condenses and turns to water. That is because the cold air that is adjacent to the cold surface can’t hold as much water as the warm air.  When the temperature and humidity differential is great enough you can have a very damp attic. Not only is this bad for the structure, it is also a perfect breeding environment for the "Dreaded Mold”.



The best way to prevent the "dreaded mold" is with proper ventilation. In the picture below we see radio talk show host Mark Clement installing a continuous ridge vent in a new Bellaforté by DaVinci steep slope roofing installation. You can see more helpful tips from Mark and his wife, Theresa, at




International Builders Show

I am sitting down in the Orlando airport as I type this, and my feet and legs have never been so thankful. I just left the International Builders Show (IBS) after four days of being on my feet and it feels good to sit down!

For those of you who haven’t heard of it, the IBS is the premiere national building tradeshow. For four days in February hundreds of building products manufacturers and home décor vendors set up amazing booths featuring their products, and homeowners and contractors come from around the world to find what products are right for them. The show is huge and takes days to walk through it all.

We have been hearing that the building industry is in decline in the US but from what I saw the reports of these deaths are being greatly exaggerated, to paraphrase Mark Twain.

The floor this year was packed with visitors. It wasn’t like the heyday of the IBS in 2002-2006 but this year’s show had a much different feel than last year. I talked with many people while manning the DaVinci booth and there were others in the hall that I struck up conversations with. What I heard was optimism. Contractors were again talking about building spec houses. Homeowners were talking about building their dream home. Vendors were talking about a very promising outlook with sales. 

Walking these floors is a good way to stay on top of trends and to see all the new products that are available. The DaVinci Roofscapes booth for example was showing their Bellaforté tile which has a great new look at a lower price point. DaVinci also is offering to let homeowners customize their steep slope roofing tile color. DaVinci allows folks to choose from standard 49 colors to make their own color blend that is just right for them.


Although I was excited with the crowds and all the optimism at the show I’m not so naïve as to think it’s going to be easy for building industry. The economy stinks, and we all know it. But if the crowds and the energy at show were any indication I expect big things in 2012.

My time in Orlando was fun, inspiring, and exhausting. After three days of walking and standing I have a whole new appreciation for folks whose jobs require them to be on their feet. So to all of you who work in retail, manufacturing, health care, food service, and more--I stand and salute you.

And now I’m going to sit back down.


Baby it's Cold Outside

Cold This is the time of year I’m most grateful that I work for DaVinci Roofscapes and spend most of my day in a nice toasty office. For many years I spent my winters outside installing roofs and don’t remember those days with fondness. I don’t think anyone likes to work outside when the temperatures are sub-freezing. The problem is the mortgage company doesn’t care if it’s cold outside and the family still needs to eat.

Putting physical comfort aside for a moment, special care needs to be used when working with steep slope roofing materials in freezing temperatures. Self-adhering membranes sometimes don’t stick, underlayments are hard to roll out or crack, caulking is impossibly stuck in the tube, and shingles become brittle and crack. Many manufacturers will not allow their materials to be installed when the outside temperature is below 40 or 45 degrees F. This is a big problem for roof installers throughout the country during the winter months. For those roofers who work in high mountain country where temperatures can reach 45 F at night in August, it is a big problem year round.

Thankfully DaVinci Roofscapes solves at least one of the problems. Our engineered resin system is designed so that the tiles remain flexible in cold temperatures and can usually be installed in temperatures as cold as 20 degrees F. When installing DaVinci Slate and our composite Shake in cold temperatures you must make sure that the tiles have been stored flat and are flat when installed. You must make certain that the space between tiles is at a very minimum 3/16”. If using a pneumatic roofing nail gun make sure that the pressure isn’t set too high.

I know as an old roofer I probably shouldn’t be quoting Friedrich Nietzsche, but, when you’re out there in the cold and your feet feel like stumps and you can’t feel your fingers anymore remember, “ That which does not kill us makes us stronger”. 



Almost ice dam time again

Although there are many areas in the South, Southeast, and Southwest that don't have the problem, the rest of us have to worry about ice dams on our roofs. Most steep slope roofing products require a special installation technique on the eaves of the roof to prevent the consequences of ice damming. 

ice dam
As you may know leaks from ice damming are caused by snow on your roof melting from heat loss from the attic. The melted snow goes down the roof and re-freezes at the eave where there is no heat loss (no attic). As more snow melts the water runs down and ponds at the re-freeze point or “ice dam”. Steep slope roofing like DaVinci composite shake are not “waterproof”, they shed water. Therefore, if water ponds at the bottom of the roof and backs up the roof leaks. That is the reason for a peel and stick membrane on the bottom of the roof; it makes the areas where ice damming is possible, water-proof.  

There are other factors involved with ice dam issues. One of those can be inadequate insulation or ventilation in your attic. In theory, with proper insulation and ventilation, the temperature in your attic can be very close to the outside temperature. If this were the case you wouldn’t have ice damming problems because all the snow on your roof would melt at the same rate. 

DaVinci lightweight roofing materials require an ice barrier consisting of a self adhering polymer modified bitumen sheet be applied to a point at least 24" inside the exterior wall line of the building in areas where the average daily temperature in January is 25 degrees F or anyplace where ice buildup is probable.

Class A Fire Rating

What does a class A fire rating mean on a roofing product mean? It means that the roof covering has undergone extensive fire testing using the ASTM E 108 test standard at the Class A level. Class A is the best classification available.

For polymer roof coverings there are three tests.

1. Intermittent Flame - an assembly of tiles is subjected to an intense flame for two minutes then turned off for two minutes. This is cycled 15 times to see if there is failure in the roof deck.

2.  Spread of Flame -  flame and air current are applied for 10 consecutive minutes and then checked for failure. 

3. Burning Brand - This is my personal favorite...not that I liked starting fires as a child. In this test, 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.  Below are pictures of DaVinci's Class A Fire rated slate and simulated shake roofing. DaVinci tiles PASS these tests with flying colors. 

slate brand
shake brand


Retrofit snowguards

snowguardsI've had several requests to give recommendations for retrofitting snowguards on DaVinci Roofscapes steep slope roofing products. The first recommendation is to install them when the roof is being installed. It is much easier that way. If the DaVinci lightweight tiles have already been installed however, and you find that snowguards are needed, there is a simple solution to the problem. 

According to Lars Walberg president of Rocky Montain Snowguards, "For a retrofit application you need to apply sealant to the top of the DaVinci shingle where the snowguard will be placed.  The snowguard is placed in the recommended pattern such that 2" of strap is showing between the face of the snowguard and the butt end of the shingle above. Then (2) 2.5" self tapping fasteners with gaskets are driven through the snowguard strap approximately 1/2" below the butt end of the shingle above, through the shingle and substrate until tight."

Walberg goes on to say that, "The appropriate snowguard to use in this application is the ST9 by SnowTrapper available in copper or dark bronze coated aluminum".

There are certainly other snowguards by other manufacturers that would also work well with our synthetic slate and simulated shake roofing. We don't recommend or endorse products that we don't manufacture but we do support his installation method. 

To get answers to any other questions that you may have, get in touch with us. Like DaVinci Roofscapes? Show it one Facebook or Twitter.


Bellaforté Made Easier

Bellaforte custom blendYou may think the title to this blog is misleading. After all, as easy as DaVinci Roofscapes Bellaforté tiles are to install how could it be made easier. The answer is, we got feedback from you contractors and we listened.
When DaVinci Roofscapes Bellaforté lightweight tiles were first introduced we recommended they be installed straight, horizontally, and with a defined pattern vertically. The horizontal pattern is easy because there is a ledge on the back of the tile that rests on the tip of the tile below it. That part is virtually automatic. The vertical pattern however takes a bit of figuring and effort.
The feedback we received from installers was that it would be much easier and even better looking to have the vertical pattern random. With a random pattern you don't need to be very precise, you can practically put your tape measure away, and this type of installation makes a more efficient use of material.
We thought about it, looked at it, and you know, you guys are right. It's much easier and looks fabulous. Thanks for your input!

Hail Damage; An Opportunity?

There is no question that when a roof is damaged because of  hail, hurricane, or tornado, it seems a burden for the homeowner. As a homeowner you worry about:

hail damaged roof1. How to make time to meet with contractors?
2. Which contractor to choose?
3. Does the contractor have a license and insurance?
4. What will happen to your landscaping during the project?
5. What financial implications will there be?

Actually the list goes on and on. It is quite stressful for the homeowner.

As a roofing contractor I have always thought it was my duty to help put the homeowner at ease. If you listen to your clients and understand their concerns, you can often make this situation very painless for them. I have often talked with homeowners about not looking at this damage as a burden but instead as an opportunity.
This can be a perfect time to turn an ordinary looking home to an extraordinary looking home at a very reduced price. With a significant contribution from your insurance company you can change your formerly ordinary asphalt shingle roof, into a roof of one of the luxury steep slope roofing alternatives. Many of these environmentally friendly roof alternatives significantly increase the value of the home because of their look and performance. Not only are they beautiful, but because of the impact resistance and class A fire rating, in most cases they will reduce future insurance cost. Combining the reduced cost of hazard insurance, increased home value, and insurance company contribution, an upgrade to a luxury roofing material makes sense to many folks. 
DaVinci Roofscapes makes luxury roofing materials for nearly any type of architecture. With our extraodinary look, high performance, and highest availalbe impact and fire ratings, DaVinci is a terrific value for someone with an opportunity to upgrade. 

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let You Hair Down

What do old medieval castles and some very expensive modern homes have in common? Turrets. Those are the conical roofing structures that make you think of Rapunzel in her tower. An example is this DaVinci Roofscapes class A fire rated roof in Colorado.
Colorado turret

These turret roofs are very cool to look at but as roofer you would rather not. Yikes! The tiles need to be cut so that they are narrower on top than on the bottom and the closer you get to the top the greater the angle. Additionally the roof surface is not flat, there is always a crown it the decking. They are one of the most difficult structures there is to install a roof on.

But wait. DaVinci Roofscapes has a solution. DaVinci Roofscapes has a custom turret package where we will cut all your DaVinci lightweight tiles to the exact specifications of the turret that needs to be roofed. DaVinci just needs to know the circumference of turret, the pitch, and the size of the metal cone. Once we know that we will cut the tiles, bundle them, and identify the right bundles for each course.turret bundles
turret bundles

Once the bundles are received on the job you chalk lines on the turret and start installing the pre-cut imitation slate shingles. Voila!
DaVinci Turret

Here's one more tip. When I install tiles on a turret I drive a 16d nail part way down right on the point of the turret. I wrap a string around the nail and attach a pencil to the end. If you pull the string tight you can make a mark all the way around the turret to make sure all the courses stay even.


Multi-Width means no cutting

 As I have talked about before in this blog, DaVinci Roofscapes composite shake and slate multi-width slates come in five different widths. What  I haven't said before is these different widths weren't chosen randomly. As they say, "we have a method to our madness." The widths were chosen so there is always a combination of our shake and slate lightweight tiles to fit into an area without cutting. When the installer comes to the end of a roof or fills in a space between tiles, he/she just needs to measure the distance and use the two tiles that will fit in the space. The installer may need to adjust the spacing between the tiles very slightly. In the picture below the space is measured at 16 3/4". 

Measure 1

The installer just needs to pick two of the slate widths ( 6",7",9", 10", or 12") that make 16".  In this case the installer may choose either a 9" and 7" fake slate or a 6" and 10" tile. Below we see that a 7" and 9" were chosen.


Once you get the hang of it the combinations are easy. Just make sure you give yourself enough room to let two tiles work, not just  one. If you only leave yourself 3" inches you're out of luck. If you have between 12" and 22' you can always make it work.


Hail Damage- Have Patience

DaVinci SlateWith all the strong storms that we have recently experienced or heard about in the Midwest and South lately it seems an appropriate time to talk about roof hail damage. As a life-long roofing contractor, I have experienced and worked through several hail storms. One of the key things to understand is that typically roofs are not damaged to the point where they are going to leak water the next time it rains or for that matter for years afterward.

What happens much more often is that hail just decreases the useful life of the roof. Many homeowners feel anxious about getting their roof replaced quickly and because local contractors quickly get full schedules they opt to have a "storm chaser" install the roof on their home. Often this is a poor decision.

Hopefully you will be living with this new roof for many years.  If you have a problem with you new roof a year or so down the line the "storm chaser" that installed your roof  is off working  another storm. Most insurance companies will give you a year to replace your roof and some will extend beyond that. My advice is to have patience. Wait for a local contractor, one that has good references, and preferably one that your neighbors were pleased with. 

Another thing to consider when replacing a roof because of hail damage is to use this opportunity to upgrade to a beautiful DaVinci composite shake or slate roof. DaVinci lightweight roofing systems not only increase the value of your home but have a class 4 impact rating and are Class A fire rated as well.