Fake Shakes: The Benefits Of Synthetic Roofing Tiles

1 July 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


If you are looking for an affordable alternative to asphalt roofing shingles with the upscale look of slate or shake roofing, you should take a look at synthetic roofing shingles. Cedar shakes and slate shingles are getting more expensive to install as they become less available and skilled installers become fewer in number. Enter synthetic shingles, which give you the expensive look of shake or slate for a much lower cost.

What Are Synthetic Shingles Made Of?

Synthetic shingles are made from a combination of rubber and plastic polymers. Some incorporate recycled rubber from old tires, making them environmentally friendly. Most synthetic roofing tile compounds include impact modifiers UV inhibitors, and some include mineral dust and cellulose fibers.

What Are Some Benefits of Synthetic Shingles?

Compared to slate or shake, synthetic shingles are

  • much lighter than slate, so they do not require roof reinforcement before installation
  • fire resistant
  • freeze/thaw resistant
  • low maintenance
  • cheaper than real slate and wood shakes
  • cheaper to install, since no special skills or tools are necessary and there is less waste
  • fade resistant
  • available in a wide variety of colors and shapes

What Should You Look for in a Synthetic Roofing Material?

Features to look for when buying synthetic roofing materials include

  • 50-year warranty
  • UL certification for Class 4 impact resistance
  • Class A fire resistance rating
  • Resistance to uplift during high winds
  • Energy-Star certification

You will rarely find all of these features in one product, but try to get the ones that are the most important to you. For example, if you live in an area prone to wildfires, fire resistance will be important; whereas, if you live in a hurricane prone area, wind and impact resistance will be more important.

What Are the Cons of Synthetic Roofing?

There are very few drawbacks to installing synthetic roofing. They do not last as long as real slate roofing, which can last up to 150 years with proper care. Synthetics do not add as much value to your home as slate roofs. There are virtually no cons of synthetics compared to wood shakes, since synthetics give you the same look in a more durable product at much lower cost.

Synthetic shake and slate tiles are a great investment if you are looking for a champagne look on a beer budget. Their durability, energy efficiency and ease of installation makes them attractive to anyone looking for upscale roofing for a reasonable price.

For more information, contact a roofing contractor in your area.