By Margaret Jackson | Jun 12, 2019
Synthetic roofing shakes
Industry: Built Environment
Products: Synthetic composite cedar shake roofing
CeDUR's polyurethane shakes have deep grain patterns that resemble wood and don't absorb water or support mold or mildew growth. There's no splitting, rotting, decay or risk of fire -- tests have proven that a block burning at 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit can be placed on a CeDUR roof without burning the material. "In the last 10 years, we have had four major hailstorms," according to one customer comment on CeDUR's website. "Our CeDUR roof is still perfect."
CeDUR's main production line has 60 molds that each have three cavities molded from real wood cedar shakes. Employees blend three chemicals and pour the mixture into the molds. The molds move through the production line, are pulled apart and shipped out. "It's like a giant waffle iron," Gleichenhaus says. "Every mold is different, so you get the wood look on the roof."
CeDUR's biggest markets are metro Denver, Aspen, and Vail. It also does well in Sun Valley, Utah, and Ketchum, Idaho. It is expanding into California, Texas, and the Northeast. "We ship nationwide," Gleichenhaus says. "We're Colorado-based, but we've got a national footprint."
CeDUR is installed just like natural cedar shakes. No special tools, hardware or accessories are required.
While CeDUR roofing may cost more than traditional materials up front, the company's 50-year warranty on its products, makes it the best long-term value a homeowner can get for a roof, CeDUR Vice President of Sales & Marketing Dave Dalton says. The warranty is transferable in the first five years; material and labor are covered for the first 10 years; and material is prorated after the 10-year mark.
CeDUR was founded in the mid-1990s in Evergreen, Colorado, by Endur-All Technologies Inc. (ETI) with a goal of developing a synthetic wood-looking roofing material that would perform in Colorado's diverse and extreme environments. ETI also wanted to offer a wood look while being extremely durable, lightweight and easy to install. In 2005, ETI licensed the manufacturing rights of CeDUR to Burlingame Industries (Eagle Roofing) in California.
Eagle, one of the largest concrete tile manufacturers in the country, invested heavily in a manufacturing plant and scaled production. At the same time, polyurethane manufacturer Huntsman Chemical invested millions of dollars into research and development to continue improving the product.
But during the recession and homebuilding collapse in 2010, Eagle curtailed the production of CeDUR so it could focus on its core concrete business and ultimately sold CeDUR's intellectual property to a group of roofing and financial industry entrepreneurs, with the majority investor being Republic Financial Corp., a Greenwood Village, Colorado-based second-generation family investment business.
The CeDUR plant was relocated to Aurora, Colorado, in 2015. Since then, sales have increased to record levels. "Sales have almost doubled from this time last year ," Gleichenhaus says.
Challenges: A tight job market has made it difficult for CeDUR to find enough employees to run its two production lines. "By this time next year, we'll be looking to add 25 to 30 people," Gleichenhaus says. "Finding people with manufacturing skills is a challenge. [The Denver area] is more of a distribution center than a manufacturing center."
Opportunities: Gleichenhaus says the biggest opportunities he sees for CeDUR is expanding into other markets and expanding its line to include more colors. CeDUR also is considering developing a synthetic slate lookalike product, which will take about a year.
Needs: Gleichenhaus notes that the company needs to keep increasing its sales, and as its sales increase, it needs to add more molds to handle demand for its products. "We're starting to work on that for next year," he says.