Vol. 52, Issue 2 • Residential

Steel from the Top Down

Metal tiles replicate natural roofing materials

Story: By Julia Preston & Photography by Russ Druiven

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Featuring True Nature Steel Tiles By Vicwest

Ongoing maintenance is a necessary part of homeownership. Most homeowners are resigned to reshingling their roof every decade or so. But in addition to the financial cost of a new roof, there’s an environmental one as well. Eleven million tonnes of asphalt shingles end up in landfills every year.

As awareness of the impact and lifespan of asphalt shingles grows, more consumers are looking for alternative roofing options.

Metal, long the standard in rural areas, is increasing in demand by suburban and urban homeowners. In fact, steel is the fastest growing choice in the roofing industry, outpacing all other materials.

“It’s the obvious choice from a product lifecycle standpoint, lasting 50+ years,” says Geoff Bernstein, product manager with Vicwest. “It’s not only a great investment for a homeowner, but it’s also the environmentally sustainable choice.”

Vicwest recently launched True Nature, a steel roof system that replicates the look of wood shakes, slate and clay tiles. For some homeowners, premium roofing options like these are appealing but usually unattainable. A slate or wood roof can surpass $100,000 to install, and natural materials are often vulnerable to water damage and require complex maintenance. True Nature features steel tiles that are cast, modelled and stamped based on their real counterparts. Each tile is painted with a unique, multi-hued colour palette. Edge-sculpting and multi-width imprints lessen the manufactured look and create a more natural appearance.

Tim Eansor, president of Double-AA Metal Roofing Inc. says, “The older metal tiles were a solution for a homeowner wanting the longevity of a metal roof but the design of those older tiles was never a selling feature.”

“In the late 90s we saw a turn in the steel roofing industry with new and different styles of sheet steel products that were designed to give the homeowner the look of a more modern looking panel. Coupled with the sheet steel, the introduction of steel tiles made way for looks and patterns consumers demanded.”

True Nature steel tiles also offer better protection than other roofing materials. Their water-shedding channels prevent cascading water from traveling laterally and seeping into the underlayment. Instead, they lock water into a channel and diverts it down and away, minimizing the chance of water damage. Vicwest developed Quadra-Loc technology, which locks tiles in place on all four sides
resulting in unprecedented water-tightness.

For Eansor, installing the True Nature system was a seamless transition from other materials he usually works with. “Their trim selection made the installation process a breeze with a step by step, detailed installation guide to help us along the way. The Vicwest support was excellent when we had questions and after sales follow
up was unique asking us for our feedback on how the installation went.”

True Nature panels cover four square feet, which allows contractors to cover more area per day and speeds up installation. A pre-drilled screw hem at the top of the tile replaces clips and eliminates guesswork of where to install screws. Trim details ensure a complete roofing system.

Homeowners can achieve the look of premium roofing options such as wood shake and natural slate at a fraction of the cost with better performance to protect
their homes.

Like all steel roofs, the upfront costs of True Nature tiles are higher than asphalt. But the lifespan of a steel roof is at least three times that of an asphalt roof. For most homeowners, that means they’ll likely never have to re-roof again. And a direct comparison
of wood shakes and natural slate with the True Nature Cedar Creek Shake and North Ridge Slate profiles shows a large cost savings.

According to Remodeling magazine, re-roofing pays off better than any other home renovation, with an average cost recovery of 106 per cent. For homeowners who invest in steel roofs, the lack of
maintenance can be the greatest value.

Eansor says, “True Nature’s value is on point for… a homeowner looking to make a long-term investment in their property.”

As consumer awareness of metal roofing grows, so does the appeal of True Nature. Homeowners can achieve the look of premium roofing options such as wood shake and natural slate at a fraction of the cost with better performance to protect their homes.

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