Tropical Roofing and Raingutters Inc. replaced the original wood shake roofs with CertainTeed Landmark Solaris IR solar-reflective shingles on eight buildings at Pine Knoll Villas.

Townhome Development Finds Ideal Mix of Cool Roofing, Curb Appeal

Last year, the homeowners association of Pine Knoll Villas, a townhome development in Mililani, Hawaii, hired Tropical Roofing and Raingutters Inc., of Honolulu, to replace the original wood shake roofs on their eight buildings. The roofs, installed when the development was built in 1974, had fallen prey to the effects of nature, such as frequent wet weather, algae growth and pine tree beetle infestation.

“The roofs had been leaking, there were plants growing out of them and they had big holes in some parts,” said Kim Beattie, vice president of operations at Tropical Roofing and Raingutters. “They also had an unusual condition where one or two of the roof valleys had come right down into a wall, which created potential for moisture damage.”

The first step of the project was choosing a new roofing shingle product. Though wood shakes are a common roofing material throughout Hawaii, the Pine Knoll Villas homeowners looked at other options. Influenced by the tax incentives of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, they began looking for a solar-reflective shingle to lower the roof temperature in hot weather, as well as help improve the energy efficiency of the townhomes. Their search led them to CertainTeed Landmark Solaris IR solar-reflective shingles in the Resawn Shake color. 

After tearing off the existing roofing and decks, Tropical Roofing and Raingutters put down new roof decks and installed 725 squares of shingles in the complex.

Landmark Solaris shingles are manufactured using special reflective granule technology, which allows the product to repel the sun’s rays and lower the surface temperature of a roof up to 20 percent. This puts less demand on a structure’s air conditioning system, cutting energy usage and utility bills. Landmark Solaris’ reflective granules also provide a larger variety of colors than traditional white-colored cool roofing. The homeowners at Pine Knoll Villas were able to have the wood shake-style look and color they desired for their roofs, but with enhanced energy-efficient performance. CertainTeed also customized the shingles to add an additional important performance feature for Pine Knoll Villas.

“This area of the island has a very wet climate and is prone to algae growth, so having a shingle with algae resistance was one of the homeowners’ requirements,” Beattie said. “CertainTeed met our needs by producing their first run of impact- and algae-resistant Landmark Solaris shingles for the project.”

Tropical Roofing and Raingutters began tearing off the deteriorated wood shakes and roof decks at Pine Knoll Villas in May 2009, with a crew of 10. The crew then put down new roof decks of 1/2-inch CDX-grade plywood and collectively installed 725 squares of shingles among the eight buildings, working on a consistent roof pitch of 4:12 at elevations ranging from 8 feet to 18 feet.

Shingles were brought to the roof with a Skytrak hydraulic lift. The crew also installed new flashings around the roof, as well as crickets to prevent moisture intrusion in the areas where the roof valleys connected with walls. 

Working through the summer heat, the crew noticed an additional benefit of solar-reflective shingles.

 “They commented that the Landmark Solaris shingles were a lot cooler to work with in the hot weather than the average shingle,” Beattie said. “When you’re kneeling down on standard shingles on a hot day, you really feel the heat, but with the solar-reflective shingles they could tell a difference.”

The crew finished in August 2009, receiving very positive reviews from the Pine Knoll Villas Homeowners Association. The vibrant look of the new shingles has even inspired a new community pride among the homeowners and has generated new discussions on what can be done to further improve the curb appeal of the Pine Knoll Villas, said Roy Dela Cruz, account executive for Certified Management, Inc., the managing agent for Pine Knoll Villas.

“Tropical Roofing and Raingutters addressed all of our concerns, and they did a great job,” Dela Cruz said. “They worked very fast and efficiently. I was amazed by their speed and the good quality of work that they did.”

In addition to their aesthetic achievements, the new solar-reflective shingles have also lived up to their performance expectations.

“The homeowners were very surprised because they were expecting an asphalt shingle roof to absorb more heat in the summer than wood shakes,” Dela Cruz said. “They were very pleased. Some of them even told me after the shingles were installed that last summer was the first summer that it didn’t get really hot inside their townhomes.”

Paul Batt is a senior brand manager for CertainTeed Roofing.

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