DaVinci Shake Roof Inspection: Manufacturer's Defect

The DaVinci Shake Roof

Inspecting The DaVinci Slate or Shake Plastic Resin Roof Coverings

By: Greg Wayman, ASHI Certified Inspector

DaVinci Roofscapes, LLC’s Slate & Shake Design Roof & Siding Products

DaVinci Shake Roof: 2 decades ago, DaVinci Roofscapes, LLC had their product installed on their 1st house.  Since then, their product has exploded onto the market.  They have upgraded their manufacturing plant 3 times and are now located in Lenexa, KS.  Their high-end plastic resin roof products have a Class A Fire Rating, Class 4 Impact Rating, and if installed per their high wind guidelines, can withstand up to 110 mph winds.  Their product comes in a variety of colors that don’t run or fade.  There slate and shake designs are breathtaking to browse on their website.  You can select from single shake pieces ranging from 4”-9” wide, single slate pieces ranging from 6”-12” wide, or for faster and easier installation, select their Bellefonte slate or shake that is 12” wide.  The Bellefonte slate was introduced in 2009 and the Bellefonte shake in 2012.  In 2019, DaVinci Roofscapes, LLC introduced their spectacular siding line of shake and hand-split shake designs that come in 9”-10” wide pieces.  Finally, a plastic resin siding product that looks good and that holds up under harsh weather conditions.

Beautiful, high-end, Class A fire-rated, Class 4 Impact Resistant, DaVinci Shake Roofs

Installation Guide for their Roof Products

The underlayment requirements are very similar to that of asphalt shingles.  Ice-n-water shield is required at the eave 2’ up the roof past where the exterior wall meets the roof, 18” up both sides of valleys, 18” on the gable ends, and 18” against walls & projections.  For roof pitches less than 3:12, their plastic shake/slate product is not recommended. 

To meet the Class A Fire Rated Requirements, either 1 layer of EcoChief Solarhide is required across the entire roof deck OR a minimum of 1 layer ASTM D 3909 cap sheet and 1 layer of ASTM D 226 type II 30 lb felt paper across the entire roof deck.

The installation of their Bellefonte shake product is rather simple.  It requires 2 nails.  1 in the bottom right tab and 1 in the upper right corner.  The nails need to penetrate the roof deck by a minimum of 3/16”.  Typically, 1 ¾” gun driven ring-shank hot-dipped galvanized nails with a minimum 3/8” head are used.  High wind or certain local code requirements require more nails.

DaVinci Roofscapes, LLC’s installation guides are posted on their website for every type of product.  I’m going to provide a link to their Bellefonte shake as it’s the most popular here in the Omaha Metro.

https://www.davinciroofscapes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Bellaforte%CC%81-Shake-Installation-Guide.pdf

DaVinci’s Bellefonte shake design

Manufacturer’s Warranty the First 10 years

Within the first 10 years of the product being installed, the lifetime limited warranty’s fine print gives the manufacturer the option of refunding the original owner or transferee permitted the original cost of the product only which excludes shipping costs, installation costs, and any other costs.  Another option is the manufacturer may choose to replace the roof including installation costs with restricting the installation costs at $350 per square.  The Homeowner would then be able to hire a Roofing Contractor of their choice to remove the existing roof covering and have new DaVinci roof product installed.  Their installation costs include freight, labor, underlayment, decking, flashing, nails, permits, disposal fees, etc.  The key is that all of those costs combined don’t exceed $350/square.

From a business standpoint, if the manufacturer has a choice between paying for only the cost of the product at $30,000 vs paying for an entire roof replacement with installation fees at $100,000, which do you think they will likely choose?  Keep in mind, their lifetime limited warranty states the manufacturer determines which option to do, not the Homeowner.

Manufacturer’s Warranty after 10 years

After the Homeowner passes the 10-year mark from the date it was installed, then the manufacturer’s warranty no longer covers installation costs.  This “lifetime” limited warranty is actually a 50-year limited warranty because of the way they prorate the coverage.  If a permitted claim is made, you are to divide the remaining months on your warranty coverage by 600 (50 years) then multiply that percentage to the original purchase price of the product.  That is the maximum amount you can receive from the manufacturer.  The original purchase price is only of the shake or slate roof product…not any other costs involved like labor, underlayment, flashing, nails, freight, equipment rental, etc.

To sum it up after you pass the 10-year mark, the manufacturer pro-rates the amount they will refund you down to the month and only will cover it based on the original purchase price of their slate or shake product only, excluding all other costs like labor (the biggest expense of having a new roof installed.) 

Wind Coverage Portion of Their Warranty 

DaVinci Roofscapes, LLC will cover damage to their product from wind not exceeding 90 mph.  The Homeowner has to prove wind didn’t exceed 90 mph, provide photos of the damage, and they must exhaust all options through their homeowner’s insurance first.

If the roof was installed per their “high wind” installation requirements, then they cover wind damage up to 110 mph, but the Homeowner has to prove wind didn’t exceed 110 mph.

Transferable warranty

The lifetime limited warranty is transferable up to 2x’s within the first 10 years as long as you follow all of the steps to notify DaVinci Landscapes, LLC within the first 60 days of change of ownership.  You can go to their website and read the fine print of their warranty.  https://www.davinciroofscapes.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/DaVinci-USCanada-Warranty-Brochure_Roofing-Siding_3-2019.pdf  Once you pass the 10-year mark, the warranty is no longer transferable.

Appears to be Manufacturer’s Defect with their Bellefonte design shake product

A crack tends to develop at the bottom right tab and continues to enlarge up and over the top surface of the shake.  The only repair is to replace that Bellefonte shake.  Using a drone to notice these cracks is almost impossible.  To find these, you need to climb on a ladder and be within a few feet of those cracks to see them.  I’ve had to use my hand or hat to shade the sun to be able to take pictures of them.

Pronounced crack forming across the bottom right corner of DaVinci’s Bellefonte shake.

Inspecting the DaVinci Bellefonte Shake Roof Coverings

The only safe way is to inspect them from the roof edge with a ladder wherever you have a vantage point.  Using a drone may be an option if the cracks are pronounced enough and the sun isn’t casting dark shadows between the shakes.  If you aren’t seeing any cracks using a drone, just realize the cracks may still be there and your drone just isn’t picking them up.  I’ve personally found these cracks on roofs as new as 3 years old.

Crack formed off of bottom right tab on DaVinci’s Bellefonte shake

Ice breaks need to be installed on long runs of the roof

DaVinci Roofscapes, LLC highly recommends ice breaks to be installed as the plastic resin roof product enables snow & ice to race off of the roof.  Just like on a metal roof, when the snow & ice breaks free, it can rip off gutters, severely injure anyone standing below, or damage a vehicle.  Of all of the DaVinci roof coverings I’ve inspected, not 1 has had ice breaks installed.

The long run onto the patio or even over the back door can lead to serious injury if snow or ice races off the roof and hits someone.

Have Your DaVinci Shake Roof Inspected

Any Homeowner in the Omaha & surround area that has The DaVinci Shake needs it inspected before their 10-year portion of their manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty expires.  I hope I don’t find anything wrong, but if I do, you need to get ahead of it before the 10-year mark.  I provide these roof inspections to protect Homeowners.  Please give me a call at 402-330-1701.