New Recycled Rubber Shingle May Be Game Changer for Roofing Industry

Eurolite slate

EuroLite Slate made from 75% recycled rubber tires.

Not long ago I wrote a blog about my own experience trying to find eco-friendly roofing material for the Greenspiration Home.  As you may recall, I came up pretty empty-handed.  What I found was that most alternative roofing materials, such as those that contain a high recycled content, are about 3 to 4 times the installed cost of asphalt shingles.  That’s a hard sell for anyone, no matter how green you want to be.  At this year’s Greenbuild show, however, I ran across a company that gives me reason to be optimistic again.

G.E.M. Inc. is the Canadian manufacturer of Euroshield™ recycled rubber roofing products.  The Euroshield brand includes several different lines of recycled rubber roofing, but the one that interested me the most at this year’s Greenbuild Expo was their new EuroLite Slate product.  Why?  Because the installed cost of this material, which comes with a transferable limited lifetime warranty (non-prorated for the first 50 years) is actually comparable to the installed cost of premium asphalt shingles. This is unprecedented as far as eco-friendly roofing goes.

How green is it?  Well, pretty green as far as this green savvy homeowner goes.  It is made up of 75% recycled material from car tires – so it’s saving landfill space.  And the shingles themselves are 100% recyclable.

It Installs Faster, So It Costs Less

The main reason that this product is more affordable than other recycled roof options is that it installs quickly and easily. It goes down in 40” x 17” panels that handle and install similarly to asphalt shingles, with some special design perks that are supposed to make it even easier.  Moral of the story is that this isn’t a difficult roof to install and if your contractor is inflating the cost beyond what he would charge to install asphalt, then you may want to press him a bit on why.

Plus, it looks good.  Even up close it looks like slate, although it is much lighter.  From street level I imagine you’d have a real tough time telling the difference between it and genuine slate.  The shingle is available in grey, black and brown.

The Shipping Costs Might Get You
So what’s the downside?  Hmm. The downside is that the product is made in Canada with limited distributorship in the US.  They will ship product for a single-family home, but that could get mighty expensive.  Hopefully the company will secure more distributors in the US soon, because judging from what I see of consumer searches for roofing material (yes I study this stuff) there is a healthy demand for eco-roofing.

What About Fading?
Roof shingles made of recycled rubber have been known to fade in some very uneven and unattractive ways.  This product, however, is colored throughout so while fading will occur as with virtually any exterior product, it should fade evenly and not impact the overall aesthetics.

I personally would not be afraid to use this product—although I would ask the manufacturer for some homeowner references.  Just know that if you want to see an installation you may have to travel a few hundred (or thousand) miles.

6 Responses »

  1. Trish, thanks for sharing this information on this cool product. When do you think the Canadian owners will look for U.S. distribution? I know mid-atlantic companies that would be interested.

    • They are looking. It’s interesting because this fills a rather large gap that exists between asphalt shingles and competitively priced alternatives. I believe whole-heartedly that there is a market for this in the US. In fact, they do sell to individuals in the US who are more than willing to pay the price for shipping. If you are interested, I strongly suggest you contact the company directly and perhaps share your interest with a distributor in your area. I’d love to see more options like this in the US.

  2. Great news that combines recycling to reduce burden on landfills with green housing alternative for roofing, that gets replaced with regularity.

  3. How sad…i’m in Canada and have never heard of it. I actually have to do my own roof shortly and was considering some of the alternative products out there. I test everything i use on myself first. Tell me more

  4. Eco Star has a system I worked on once. Man with 1/4 split and sticks to make sure of that. It was something . Your contractor has some things to do like bending so the bottoms dont turn up, and cutting the pieces, let alone the starters. Much more difficult. Haven’t worked on these yet but I suspect the same. Work from the top perhaps or work on your work.Let alone make a mistake, It is virtually ruined when you have to pry bar it up. Staging issues cause it is propable to walk on over 6 Man .

    Would absolutely love to work with this product.

  5. I would buy this if I could find it.
    Why is this product so hard to find?

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