We’re fortunate to have a small cottage in north central Michigan. Nothing fancy, but we love the area and the feel of being away from it all. With no Starbucks within 60 miles, nesting loons on the small lake, and galaxies worth of stars at night it’s just about perfect for us.
Except, it needs a new roof. And our cottage happens to be a 45 year-old A-frame, beautifully crafted with rough sawn cedar interior walls, pine tongue and groove ceilings, half-timbered exterior walls and a very large cedar shake roof.
I guess we shouldn’t complain, as we coaxed 25 years out of a roof that was only supposed to last 20 years. We didn’t want to put cedar shakes back on it because of the cost and the relatively limited life span. Plus, the woodpeckers in our part of Michigan see wood roofs and seem to all line up at the cedar buffet.
We also wanted to find a roofing material that was environmentally friendly and would last at least 50 years. We look at asphalt and metal, and some interesting composites, even a plastic shake or two. But nothing seemed right for an all-wood home with a major part of the exterior comprised of the cedar shake roof.
Then, while attending Greenbuild, I came across a unique solution: a roofing material that was made from recycled automobile tires. When I stopped in the booth I made a joke about the roof coming with a 250,000-mile warranty (like they never heard that before.) But after 30 minutes I was hooked.
The shakes are thick, and they look remarkably like perfection shingles (they also offer a rough sawn version, but I felt the perfection shingle looked the best.) The cost was about the same as it would have been for cedar shakes…but they are warranted to last twice as long as cedar.
I had samples sent, and showed them to the roofing contractor, who was not familiar with them. However, he got on the website and got educated. They are called EuroShakes, and they’re made by GEM Inc. in Calgary, Alberta. www.euroshieldroofing.com.
I was a little concerned about shipping them such a long distance because of the fuel consumed, but since there was no other product that fit our cottage like this one, we decided to go for it.
Gordy Shields, our roofing contractor, made all the arrangements, including a fork truck to take them from the semi up our road to the cottage. Another cool thing Gordy did was have a guy on site when he was taking the shingles off the roof who made sure there were no nails whatsoever in the old shingles.
When all the shakes were off, they used a chipper and 100% of the ground up shingles went into several landscapes as well as a walking trail right in our area. And, 95% of the nails were saved, and went to build a barn in the area.
I was also surprised about how little waste there was on the jobsite. Gordy and his crew were meticulous in keeping the site clean. The biggest part of the waste was the old tar paper (felt) underneath the old cedar shakes. But we used Titanium, a new, high performance sheathing product that will produce dramatically less waste when it is recycled many years from now.
Another great thing about this roof is that because it is at least 75% recycled material, it can be easily recycled to make new EuroShakes. Oh, and when it storms outside, hail just bounces off.
Posted: 10/22/2012 9:46:16 PM by
Heather Wallace | with 0 comments