Truslate by GAF?

Hi - we had originally planned to go with Decra shingles but a roofer today told me that the GAF Truslate was an option and may even be cheaper.

We live in GA so my main concerns are heat & ventilation.

Any thoughts? Pros? Cons?

Thanks in advance, Meg

Tru Slate will be more expensive than Decra. Depending on what colors you choose, it could be much much more.

I was once asked to put Tru Slate on a home for a TV show. I declined as I felt it was not the best product for that type of home.

In my opinion, if you are planning on spending that much money on your roof, go with Decra products.

I wonder how many of the members here have installed the GAF TruSlate? If so, what do you think about the product?

We have had some success with a recent TruSlate installation and we look forward to the opportunity to bid another one in the future.

However, one of my biggest complains regarding the TruSlate product that it was from the slate quarries of China.

Why not US Slate from US quarries?

Because the materials would cost a lot more. Same reason Mattel makes toys in China as opposed to the USA, it’s cheaper for them.

By the way, I cannot believe that it would be a cheaper roof than the Decra roof.

From China to my location is about 6868 miles.
From Slate Rich US East Coast to my location is about 1040 miles.

How does that calculate out to cheaper…something is wrong with this picture?

I’ve installed 5 Truslate roofs in Houston. It is are great for re-roofing existing homes that don’t have the framing elements that can handle the weight of regular 3.0" head lap slate. I’ve installed Truslate on new construction homes, too. Each one survived Hurrican Ike with no problems, excepting direct hits from flying debris. Repairing the Truslate roofs was much easier than repairing traditional slate roofs after Ike.

Cost wise, it will be “roughly” the same as a traditional slate roof even though it was originally marketed (prior to GAF buying Truslate) as a less expensive total installtion cost.

As far as Chinese quarries vs. domestic quarries, GAF is currently negotiating with domestic quarries to use domestic slate. So, perhaps we can BUY AMERICAN when using this product.

Glad to hear that the TruSlate roofs stood up to likes of Ike.

I am also happy to hear that they are making the move towards the use of domestic slate.

Thank you for that info KeepItLow.

Take care!

Its cheaper if the workers get pennies on the dollar. Why dont you think the factories and mills left ? The GAF product is total garbage in my opinion. It has no headlap and relies on a strip of felt. Why not use real slate done the real way ?

Roofer J-

I agree that it is much less expensive to have slate quarried in China and pay workers VERY much less than what we, Americans, would pay slate quarriers. American transaction costs are far more expensive.

For the record, the “strip of felt” you mention is not a “strip of felt.” It is an ethylene polymer that is the very same product that is used to wrap telephone lines and keep them protected from moisture and UV degradation.

There has been a lot of hesitation and negative emotional responses with this product since it came onto the market. I’ll admit, I was one of the hesitant ones. My first thought was, “WTF? No way this will work!” But…

GAF Truslate is a definitive “system” roof that relies on a lot of parts and the correct installtion of those parts. The slate itself is used as a skin and provides only part of the waterproofing.

Based on our practical experiences, I think Truslate is a pretty good roof system. It has a fairly steep learning curve, demands that installers actually pay attention and learn how to install it corrrectly and is the only roof that I know of that you start at the top and work your way down and off the roof. I know…weird.

Is it my favorite slate roof? No. Personally, I would rather install a real 3.0" head lap slate roof everytime. Why? That’s what I grew up doing and what I am most used to doing. But, the world kept turning, cars replaced horses and we got indoor plumbing, too.

With that said, I can tell you that we have never, EVER, had a Truslate roof leak due to our installation or due to problems with the Truslate product or system.

Calling it “total garbage” is unfair, in my opinion. It may not be your cup of tea but the product, based on our experiences, does work as advertised. For re-roofing houses for homeowners that want a slate roof, it definitely has a place in the market.

From the viewpoint of “what can it do for me?”, we can make a LOT more money installing Truslate than we could if we were just offering and installting an ordinary 30 year comp roof. We are confident that the system works and our portfolio of “high-end” roof installations increases thus separating us from the competition.

Just food for thought.

The GAF product is total garbage in my opinion.

As usual RooferJ and I are in complete agreement. Tru-slate looks very nice (from a distance), I love the varied golden/rust colors of Chinese quarried slate. The Tru-Slate system as a whole is crap imo and I’m really surprised that GAF hasn’t axed it from their product line yet because they sure as hell aren’t selling any of it around here.

What is it that makes you think it is “crap”?

Have you installed Truslate? If so, did it not work? Did it leak? Did it fall to pieces? Or, have you just looked at it and did not like it?

We get a lot of rain and wind-driven rain along the Gulf Coast. We’ve had no problems with the product.

Do you have an irrational fear of the product? I’m not getting personal with you! I’m just asking.

What is it that makes you think it is “crap”?

Do I really need to cite an entire list to be put up for debate with you, lol? It’s my professional opinion it is an inferior roof system. I don’t feel like debating a list atm.

Have you installed Truslate?

Um, yes. Otherwise how could I say it’s crap?

If so, did it not work?
Rephrase the question?**

Did it leak?

Is this what you meant by your previous question, if so why ask the same thing twice?

Did it fall to pieces?

This is just a stupid question.

Or, have you just looked at it and did not like it?

I said I liked the look of it from a distance, didn’t I? Why are you asking questions that my previous post answered?

We get a lot of rain and wind-driven rain along the Gulf Coast. We’ve had no problems with the product.

Good for you. Keep installing it then.

Do you have an irrational fear of the product?

Again with the stupid questions…

I’m not getting personal with you! I’m just asking.

Actually, the fact that you used an exclamation point there would suggest that you probably feel otherwise but whatever.

Point is I don’t like it. Sorry if you’re a GAF fanboi and this is going to be a continued point of contention for you. Peace.

I will reserve my final evaluation of the TruSlate System for about another 15-20YRS.

However, the roof that we have installed has weathered several severe weather events and faired very well…knock on wood.

Its total crap. Im a slate roofer by trade, I know slate roofing . The GAF product will be off the market soon, mark my words. No headlap,hooks, felt strip “and dont try to BS me about that either” . Its an insult to even try to call it a slate roof. If you want to go cheap put up grand manor.

I’m sure it competes well with slate’s several 100 year track record. Telephone lines, and all other plastic products probaly have been around 1000 years also with an excelent track record too.
Why look to a 15-20 year span. All my roofs are geared for 100+ years.

Why look to a 15-20 year span?

I figure that 15 to 20 years would be the adequate time for Tar Monkey, tinner666 and RooferJ to convince me otherwise. Just kidding, that would allow enough time for me to see the roof evolve and evaluate any call-backs.

I am certain that the traditional Slate roof would qualify as superior when competing head to head with a TruSlate roof.

However, with cost in mind, I wonder how much more it is worth.

If I had unlimited resorces I would always go for the traditional Slate roof.

For those of you who have installed the TruSlate roof:

Was it on a commercial or residential job?

Why did they end up choosing TruSlate over the traditional Slate?

I have done well talking them out of it, and will continue to do so. We will be starting a Ludowici tile job on a residential late fall. should last 100 years. On another job were installing vermont slate with 20 oz. vallys. You have to believe in what you do, its not all about making money off people.

RooferJ, would you be able to tell me what the cost is for a square of vermont slate costs?

Just the per square slate cost would be great.
What size is that?
How much does it weight per square?

RooferJ you have a great site with a great photo portfolio.

12"x18" sea green about $295. per square plus shipping. prices vary but the installation is the money.

“GAF boi?” What? Are you 13 years old? “Boi?” Really?

I asked a few questions about the performance of the product and you never answered them but merely asked for the questions to be re-phrased.

As I said, I prefer traditional 3.0" head lap slate applications. With that said, I think Truslate is pretty good, not great, but pretty good and has its place. You don’t and that’s fine.

I was just asking what it is that you did not like about it for which there was no concrete answer.