Tag Archives: cedar shakes

Thru Screws Backing Out of Steel Roofing

My maternal great-grandparents purchased a cabin on Newman Lake, Washington from its original owner/builder in 1937. Nine years later, it was sold by them to their son and his wife – my grandparents Boyd and Jerene McDowell. A little over thirty years ago, I inherited this cabin from them. Having grown up spending most of my summers there, I envisioned turning this cabin into a year-around home.

This cabin’s original hand split cedar shake roofing (on a 7/12 slope over 1x skip sheeting) had been replaced once, by my father – and we enjoyed using these original shingles as fire starter for many years. This second roof was then again replaced with Cocoa Brown polyester painted thru-screwed steel. Polyester paint, while certainly a step up from bare galvanized, did not maintain its original luster for long (for extended reading on Polyester paint: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/05/polyester-paint/).

As my vision involved significant remodel work, we opted to change roofing to a SMP paint (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/05/smp/) with an actual fade and chalk warranty. Through a series of events, our remodel schedule had to be moved forward from its originally intended Spring start, to doing work in Winter. Again (keep in mind), in Northeast Washington. Of course, as luck would have it, reroofing coincided with bitter cold and snow showers – resulting in speed of installation becoming of utmost importance. While I did much work myself, I had an assist from a casual labor wrangler appropriately known as “Big Kevin” who would round up day labor as needed. This reroof required some of these extra bodies.

Fast forwarding a few years, I found some steel roof thru-screws were “backing out”. Upon careful examination, I found out why – in a hurry to get roofing installed, Big Kevin’s casual help had decided it would be quicker to pound screws in with a hammer (as could be evidenced by damage to screw heads)!

When screws are either over driven (or beat in by hammer), it damages wood fibers reducing or virtually eliminating their holding power.  There was a solution – replacing these #9 diameter screws with larger #14 screws. These larger diameter screws, installed properly, were then able to get a firm bite into undamaged wood.

Using an actual screw gun (rather than a drill motor) with a clutch prevents most instances of over driving screws. Should a screw inadvertently be over driven, there is a quick field fix. All it takes is a short 2×4 and a table saw. Cutting with grain of wood, make a series of cuts in both directions to leave 1/8” squares remaining when looking at the 2×4 end. Turning to cut cross grain, chop these off in one-inch increments. This results in what appears to now be headless match sticks (albeit from much stronger lumber). Remove any offending screws and carefully drive a 1/8” square by an inch ‘plug’ into the screw hole in the underlying purlin. A screw can then be replaced into a plug filled hole, where it will happily remain in place. 

Polymer Roofing Tiles

Many people are not aware pole buildings can be roofed with any roofing material which can be used on any other structure. While through screwed steel roofing is going to be the most economical and durable solution, some circumstances dictate other choices from an aesthetic standpoint.

DaVinci Roofscapes introduced polymer roofing tiles in June of 2012 and the product has far surpassed even their anticipated sales. The manufacturer believed they had a winning combination of looks, durability and a competitive price point for their new product.

What are they?

Polymer Roofing TilesThey took impressions of real cedar shakes and used their proprietary technology to transfer those extremely detailed impressions to their molds for the product. The final results are an amazingly accurate and realistic appearance.

Pricing for their Bellaforté Shake compares to real cedar, high-end asphalt or steel roofing options. This is appealing to potential pole building owners and homeowner associations who still love the look of cedar, but need more value. The polymer tiles provide this value because of their enhanced lifespan, insect- and fire-resistance, along with low maintenance and exceptional abilities to combat severe weather conditions.

Are they easy to install?

Polymer roofing tiles were created to have a multi-width appearance replicating hand-split real cedar shakes. The tiles feature slanted sawn edges and staggered lengths. Snap-fit tabs are molded into each tile for easy installation and self-alignment. The roofing tiles come in 49 colors and a selection of five color blends, including Abruzzo, Espresso, Tuscano, Verona and Harbor Gray.

But do they look “real”?

The 12-inch Bellaforté Shake tiles feature multiple profiles which enable the creation of a staggered appearance which simulates a natural roughhewn wood shake roof. The product’s patented features, which include a leading edge tab and a self-aligning ledge, help reduce the installation time.

How about installation time?

A square (covering 100 square feet of roof) of Bellaforté Shake (with 100 pieces per square) weighs just 190 pounds, which is less than standard shingle roofing. This lower tile weight helps reduce installation time and transportation costs. The tiles are 100 percent recyclable and come with a 50-year limited warranty.

Better than real cedar shakes?

Many like this polymer roofing tile better than real wood shakes because it stands out and the building owners know what color they’re dealing with right away. With natural cedar, it changes from golden to silver to gray and even to black in some cases. Plus, this product is easier to install than real cedar because of the standardized size.

In some instances there is a reason to get excited about the product beyond the appearance, value and neighbor envy — significant discounts on insurance. This product resists severe weather, hail and fire damage. Neighborhood associations can be extremely particular on architectural detail however these shakes are so authentic-looking they often receive instant approval.

I vote Yes!

Needing a different look with long lasting appeal? Polymer roofing tiles might be the solution. I like to look at new (and old) products from every angle, and so far – this is one can honestly say I can’t find one “downside” to it. I stand up and take my hat off to…polymer roofing tiles!

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