DECRA Roofing Systems has a captivating history dating back to World War II. Frequent bombings on British soil by the German Luftwaffe produced an urgent need to reconstruct many buildings quickly and easily out of makeshift materials. The most common material used were sheets of corrugated metal.
While the corrugated metal provided a quick remedy to reconstruct damaged buildings, evening bombing raids continued to be menacing. The Luftwaffe dropped flairs to help illuminate the bombing runs. Since the new buildings were made of a shiny reflective metal, they became easy targets because they illuminated the bombsite. The problem was compounded during the war years, because the use of oil-based paint to protect and camouflage buildings was impossible to obtain outside military applications.
To alleviate the problem, an emulsion coating from coal products was developed to be applied to both new and existing steel and corrugated iron structures and provide camouflage. The chemical emulsion claimed to be "acid-proof and chemical-fume proof, [with]… a very high resistance to water vapour." Throughout the war this emulsion protected valuable food storage depots. In the years following the war, various attempts were made to remove the functional coating. However, the coating had bonded with the steel so well that removal was virtually impossible. With evidence that the underlying metal had been well preserved, many re-evaluated its potential for continued commercial use.
The original emulsion coating has since been replaced with a much stronger acrylic basecoat. Over the years, DECRA Roofing Systems has made advancements in production, styles, color, and installation methods, but the product’s origins will forever remain an ingenious solution to a wartime crisis that has benefited people around the world for over 50 years.
Today, these DECRA shingles look like any other shingle. However, they are primarily composed of structural grade steal with an aluminum zinc alloy coating, called Zincalume Plus. This helps improve the corrosion resistance of the steel. If the shingle should ever chip, the zincalume should prevent it from rusting. On top of that is an acrylic priming system and a basecoat that helps bond the stone granules and protects against water and UV light. In addition to providing an attractive appearance, these granules and the overglaze that encapsulates them also give the shingle an additional layer of protection.
Because these are metal shingles, they are extremely strong. In fact, they have the highest impact rating that is available from Underwriter’s Laboratories - a Class 4. These shingles will be able to withstand a severe hailstorm without any major structural damage. In addition, steel is a non-combustible material. These DECRA shingles, especially when combined with the fire retardant wood we’ve used in our rafters and roof trusses, give the house a considerable level of fire protection.
To install the DECRA Shingle Plus to the roof, the shingles are secured to battens that are nailed to the decking. Unlike most shingles, which are nailed at the top, the lower part of the DECRA shingles are nailed or screwed into place. You have to have a wind strong enough to actually rip the nail or screw in half to get the shingle off. In fact, the DECRA Shingle Plus comes with a 120 mph wind warranty. Homes
with this type of shingle performed extremely well in the recent Florida Hurricanes.