Synthetic roofing is one of the newest and biggest terms in green building. It’s one of the more interesting forms of roofing since these materials are more expensive options, but require a less complex installation process. Fascination in synthetic products, especially those that look natural, while being superior to the natural material, is growing day by day as the debate on global warming becomes more heated. So, let’s get down to the meat-and potatoes of how these synthetic materials offer the roofing industry an alternative to the high-priced real slate that offers the European aesthetic trending all over the U.S.

Not only are these synthetic materials greener, they’re also manufacturing with advanced technologies that give these products a higher resistance to weathering, a higher level of durability and longer lifespans than real slate or cedar.

The Meat of the Argument

There’s no better way to take advantage of plastic’s semi-immortality than by putting it on your roof. Synthetic roofing materials are composite slate and shakes made of rubber and plastic polymers. What’s fascinating, is that manufacturers are still playing with their formulas, making the polymers cooperate differently everyday, so no two products can truly be said to be “the same”.

The polymeric composition of most shingles includes an advanced UV inhibitor and impact modifier for weather resilience. These shingles are kept green by using recycled rubber and plastic, mineral dust, and cellulose fibers. Because they’re polymer based they are made from petroleum-derived materials and can be recycled again at the end of their life-span.


The Potatoes:

These materials are generally more expensive, so they’re mainly an option for boutique homes, or custom builds. But they offer the coveted look of the vintage slate shingle used across Europe on libraries and cathedrals. In comparison to true-to-form slate, you don’t have to quarry it or lift the heavy substance. There’s no worrying about the fragility of the product for cutting and nailing and there are no cracks after it’s being installed or repaired.

If you’re interested in pursuing this unique, green form of roofing, there are a couple of recommended types.

Brands to Consider


#1 StoneCrest Steel Shingles: The first metal faux slate is manufactured by Tamko. It rivals real stone in terms of durability and longevity and is ideal for snowy conditions. It’s made of gauge G-90 steel and is double stamped for strength. They coat the tiles in a top quality Kynar 500 coating system so it will successfully hold up against environmental aging. Like every metal roof,it’s equipped to deal with snowy regions and ice dam-related leaks. If permitted by your building code, you can then have this slate installed over an existing asphalt shingle roof. This can negate the additional cost, waste, and time to remove the old r


oof. Metal roofs of all kinds are extremely energy efficient and this specific slate is available in Energy Star qualified cool colors. These shingles are also made from 37-percent to 89-percent recycled content and at the end of it’s lifespan is 100-percent recyclable.

#2 Slate Select: They create their tiles from a proprietary cement-fibre matrix that’s reinforced with non-alkaline glass fibers. Their mixture is then cast in molds based off real slate which makes it look exactly like actual stone even under close examination.. It’s a stellar choice for harsh weather conditions because of those glass fibers. Most other fiber cement uses wood fibers which expand and contract too much in rain, thus rendering it rather incapable of dealing with any weather. With Class A and B insect, algae, rot and fire resistance, it’s pretty impervious to anything the world can throw at it and, like the other synthetic materials, it’s extremely easy to install. Slate Select uses iron oxide pigments which are non-fading, which means the color of the slate goes through the entire product and won’t chip overtime.


#3 Majestic: Made of injected materials, specifically rubber, it’s a great imitation of slate. It’s the most affordable slate imitation option on the market and is made by EcoStar. It’ll resist cracks because it’s super flexible (rubber) and it’s actually half the cost of real slate. Real slate tiles are in the range of $650-$750/ square while Majestic runs around $300/ square for materials only. It installs like regular roofing, for example, BMCI Contracting would only have to nail each tile into the roof deck. It’s made of 80-percent post-industrial recycled rubber and plastic, and is obviously able to recycle again. It comes in great colors, but it’s pretty hard to go wrong with slate, which is why Europeans use it on almost every building they have.

#4 Symphony: a specially engineered roofing shingle that reproduces the look of real slate without the price of real slate. Natural slate is much heavier than this substance, so a roof that isn’t structurally able to support real slate could still achieve the same look with this product. It comes with 50-year warranty and is incredibly durable. The material is Class A fire resistant, Class 4 impact impervious, and won’t fade.

#5 Davinci: This slate is created from exclusively virgin products which makes it completely recyclable. This also attributes to a higher level of durability, longevity, and is superior to already recycled components. You can purchase thermal stabilizers and the most advanced UV resistance on the market. Because of this, the roof will hold up well against winds up to 110 mph, fire, freeze and thaw, and other elemental exposures. It comes with a lifetime warranty as well. It’s maintenance free, has a higher tile width, and many color options.

Slate is a classic and impressive material to use on your roof. Because synthetic materials are on the rise, slate has become a much more accessible option for roofing. It’s general durability and the greener aspects of using the material have rendered it one of the best products available if you have the money in your budget.

Check out our upcoming blog on solar tiles, we’ll cover the industry updates and the effects this innovation has made on the roofing industry!

Need help with installation of your new slate roof? Contact BMCI Contracting with all of your Sarasota roofing inquiries. We’re happy to help you with your budgeting and financing on your new home improvement project.