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We visited Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky recently and had a great time. It’s a beautiful park with many outdoor activities besides having the world’s largest cave system to explore.
They had just completed putting the finishing touches on the new main visitor’s central building. They also have a couple of shelters where you meet the park rangers to go on your cave tour, and construction workers were putting the roof tiles on one of the shelters when we were there.
When I first glanced at the completed roof tiles on an adjacent shelter, it appeared to be some really nice looking slate. I thought that was a great choice — in terms of looks and durability — for the types of buildings that they were putting them on.
After a second look, I saw that I was actually looking at synthetic slate roofing shingles. Brilliant!
Upon further inspection (and by that I mean I walked over into the construction area and poked around a bit), I read on the tiles that they were manufactured by EcoStar LLC.
EcoStar Roofing Tiles Help Earn LEED Certification
The type of synthetic slate tile that they were installing is called Majestic Slate roof tiles.
It’s manufactured using 80% post-industrial recycled rubber and plastic — such as discarded car bumpers and baby diaper production remnants — which keeps a fair amount of those types of materials out of our landfills. And it’s 100% recyclable.
The technical term for their product is the polymer slate tile roof system (for anybody keeping track), and it is comprised of recycled EPDM rubber and TPO plastic polymers.
Majestic Slate tile is made in 2 different formulations that are Underwriters Laboratory (UL) listed as Class C fire rating and Class C fire rated roofing material (UL 790) is available. It has also been tested and listed by UL as Class 4 for impact resistance (UL 2218).
I’m not going to get into how to install it or anything like that. They have a specific set of installation instructions for the installer, in order to keep the warranty valid. These roof shingles are as easy to install as regular roof shingles — simply score with your knife and snap.
EcoStar’s Majestic Slate shingles have an optional 110-mph wind approval system. Speaking of warranties and such, there’s also a 50-year limited material warranty that is fully transferable.
Another great benefit is that these synthetic roof tiles weigh half as much as authentic slate tiles. That should keep the roofers happy.
I don’t have access to sales, so I’m unable to tell you how much these synthetic slate roof tiles costs. I will tell you that the warranty requires you to use stainless steel roofing nails (fasteners). That is an added expense over regular roofing nails, but they will last longer and not stain your roof tiles.
There is a sales sheet that gives comparisons of competitors products vs. EcoStar roofing tiles that is fairly helpful if you want to weigh the pros and cons of some basic information.
The Majestic Slate product line won the 2009 PCBC Cool Products Competition for its 10-inch roofing tiles.
I think the National Park Service did a great thing by making an effort to make the visitor center at Mammoth Cave a LEED-accredited facility.
Obviously, this is a material that can easily be used on your home, as well.
I started as a home-stalker… visiting brand new homes under construction in the neighborhoods near my house. That inspired me to write about home building and home renovation projects — chronicling homes during different phases of construction from a consumer's point-of-view. Basically, the tips you'll find in my articles are a collection of checklists for what I think should (and should not) go into building or remodeling a quality home.