Masonite shingles information website: this website provides detailed information about Masonite™ Woodruf™ fiberboard roof shingles and includes advice for home inspectors, home buyers, and homeowners where these roofing products are used.
Several hardboard-based and fiber cement based roofing products have not performed as well as originally anticipated, experienced early failure, and were the subject of roof warranty claims. Masonite Woodruff™, Cemwood™, Hardishake/Hardislate™, CalShake™ and Fire Free™ are examples of product names that have suffered these problems.
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Wood Fiber Based Roofing, including Masonite Woodruf™ Fiberboard Roofs: inspection, failures, warranty information, replacement
Woodruf™ roof shingles, a fiberboard roofing product, were a Masonite™ roofing product consisting of "pressure bonded fibers designed to resemble natural cedar roofing" sold in the United States into the 1990's and have also been found installed on homes in Canada.
Masonite Woodruf shingles were the subject of a class action lawsuit and settlement concerning the durability of this roofing product - we discuss the Woodruf roofing class action settlement below.
However the Woodruf™ shingle claims period expired on January 6, 2009.
Our photo (left) shows how easily a Woodruf roof shingle panel can be identified if you have access to its under-side.
The roofing shingle product was produced in four-foot sections that were 12" wide and with a nominal thickness of 7/16". The actual thickness varies due to raised ridges that give Woodruf shingles the appearance of a wood shake or shingle.
Original Life Expectancy of Woodruf Shingles
While we have observed statements that the original life expectancy of Woodruf shingles was 30 years, 40 years, and even 50 years, (including some original Woodruf shingle brochures), our sources principally indicate that Woodruf shingles were marketed with a 30 year life expectancy.
As of this artcle's last update (October 2014) there is no warranty service remaining on this roofing product.
Composition of Woodruf™ Fiberboard Shingles
The Woodruf™ shingle fiberboard was treated with a water repellant and a bonding agent to permit outdoor exposure.
This product is softer than Masonite's hardboard products and to remain durable required an installation that permitted good roof drying (similar to the requirement for wood shingles or shakes). This is particularly true because the factory edges as well as any cut edges made during installation were not sealed.
Intended Use of Woodruf™ Fiberboard Roof Shingles
Masonite Woodruf roofing was intended for steep slope roofs and should not be installed on slopes lower than 4" of rise in 12" of run (a 4/12 roof). The shingles were to be installed over roofing felt on a sound roof deck, with a 9" shingle exposure and requiring eight nails per roofing panel.
Special Flashing Required for Woodruf™ Roofing Shingles
Between every Woodruf roofing panel and its abutting neighbor an alumium flashing strip was installed under the butt joint.
You can see this special Woodruf flashing strip at the bottom of the butt joint in the lower center of our photograph (left).
This strip should be 12" in length and should extend to the head or upper edge of the shingle. Flashing for shingle butt joints provided by the manufacturer included a lip at the upper edge to keep the strip from sliding out of place.
A raised ridge in the center of each flashing section acts as a spacer and allows for thermal expansion of the shingles without buckling the roof.
Common Defects and Signs of Deterioration found on Masonite Woodruf™ Roofs and on Fibre Cement Roof Cladding
Masonite Woodruf™-type Roof Shingles
Replacements for Masonite™ Woodruf Shingles?
Question: what is an appropriate replacement for Woodruf shingle roofs?
Reply: High quality laminate asphalt shingles or cedar wood roofing?
To replace a single roof shingle for the case you mention, you might try
A more general question has been brought by several readers about the appropriate roofing material to use when the entire Woodruf shingle roof is ready for replacement.
Our OPINION is that a high quality laminate roofing shingle would be an appropriate replacement for Woodruf in that case.
It may be a difficult argument to claim that the original Woodruf roof met the quality and durability expected by the building owner and that therefore its replacement should be a product of the same original cost. The durability and quality of Woodruf roofing that was anticipated by the manufacturer, roofers, and consumers was unfortunately not met, and is brought into question by the early failure issues that are well documented.
We would welcome suggestions about top-end in appearance and durability roofing products that meet the original life-expectancy claimed for the Woodruf product (and that deliver that performance).
Slate? Not likely to be technically possible due to weight and structure issues.
Wood? A close cosmetically similar roof would be red cedar shingles but there may be local fire and code issues, maintenance costs, etc. that won't appeal to some building owners, not to mention the short roof life if you install wood shingles over solid plywood decking - so is it cost justified to redesign the roof deck or add venting?.
Perhaps cement roofing tiles? Weight and appeaarnce issues. Do you know what product the other roofer wants to install?
All of the Woodruf roofing material information we have readily found is published at this website.
We are looking for early Woodruf Roof Shingle marketing brochures that included life expectancy statements - CONTACT us if you find such documents.
About the anticipated product life, we have seen life expectancy claims of 30, 40, and even 50 years but not a public document with those numbers.
We would welcome your views and added suggestions
Also see Masonite Woodruf® Roofing or Masonite OmniWood® Siding Lawsuit Settlement Notice - PDF file
If you qualify as an Eligible Claimant, you may be entitled to recover under the Settlement. However the claims period expired on January 6, 2009.
To be an Eligible Claimant, you must:
Eligible Claimants do not include persons, associations or entities who made claims or filed lawsuits against Defendants other than in the Smith class action, if they were represented by counsel other than Plaintiffs' Class Counsel in the Smith class action, and their claims or lawsuits were resolved by payment based upon the entire square footage of Masonite Woodruf roofing on the structure, full release or judicial action
The Woodruf shingle claims period expired on January 6, 2009. Current information about Masonite Woodruf settlement and claims assistance is available by calling 1-800-256-6990. This information is available on the Internet at: http://www.masoniteclaims.com.
If are experiencing a problem or failure with Masonite Hardboard Siding or other wood fiberboard siding products see SIDING HARDBOARD.
Also see fiber cement or asbestos cement siding information at SIDING, ASBESTOS CEMENT
Reader Questions: how do I determine the life expectancy of mymy Woodruf or Masonite Roof Shingle, where is my warranty & where is the explanation of the replacement roof choice and its life expectancy?
How do I get warranty info or any documentation explaining the life expectancy or comparable replacement for Masonite Woodruf? - Ben 2/27/2013
The contact information for the manufacturer of your roof is in the article just above. If you can provide the product name of what's on your roof and a reasonably accurate guess at when the roof was installed, the company should have no trouble giving you a copy of the appropriate warranty. It's important to have a good idea of when the roof was installed or when the material was manufactured because like many manufacturers, roofing product manufacturers may offer different warranty terms for products made during different eras.
If you are asking about the life expectancy of a replacement product you'd need to specify what the product is.
If you are asking about the existing product, given the failures already reported, and with not a shred of information about your particular installation, with respect, I'm doubtful that a guess about the remaining life of your roof would be more than wild arm-waving.
Most home inspectors, seeing a known-problem-product will be reluctant to bet their house and kids'education money on promising you any remaining life whatsoever, or more accurately, would report on the evidence of current leakage and give a warning that you need to be prepared (financially) to replace the roof at any time
If you can provide the product name of what's on your roof and a reasonably accurate guess at when the roof was installed, the manufacturing company should have no trouble giving you a copy of the appropriate warranty.
Watch out: It's important to have a good idea of when the roof was installed or when the material was manufactured because like many manufacturers, roofing product manufacturers may offer different warranty terms for products made during different eras.
List of Fiberboard Roof Shingle Companies Warranty Claims & Website
(George Podrug provided Masonite Woodruf roofing information for home inspectors in 1999)
See WARRANTIES for ROOF SHINGLES for our complete list of roofing maufacturer contact information and various roofing claims, settlements, and warranty information.
Reader warning: plagiarist alert: beware of Infinity Roofing & Restoration who have copied our original InspectAPedia.com ® article above. Infinity's page http://www.infinityrooferblog.com/expired-roofing-alert-masonite%E2%84%A2-woodruf%E2%84%A2-fiberboard-roof-shingles/ (October 2010) plagiarized original text from this website. Notice sent 2x 10/27/2010. Only the claims lawsuit text at the very end of this document is public domain.
Continue reading at ASBESTOS & FIBER CEMENT ROOFING where our page top photo of material described as asbestos-cement roofing looks a lot (from the ground) like wood-fiber cement roofing - or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
(June 28, 2012) Mark said:
We have purchased a house with these shingles and would like to get another 5-10 years out of the roof, what can we treat them with or what do you recommend for paint?
Mark I have not come across a recommended treatment for wood-fiber type roof shingles; my own experience is more with similar siding products. That leads me to suggest first that you have the roof inspected closely (not by walking-on) to find out its actual condition; Delaminated, soft, swollen materials do not benefit much from any treastment, but possibly a roof paint coating will bond, waterproof, and extend the life.
(June 30, 2012) Mark said:
Dan, we live a relatively dry climate, the roof looks in good shape would a clear or tinted stain work? There are some stains on the roof that we would like to cover, thinking a semi transparent deck or fence stain, any thoughts. Mark
It may help cosmetically to apply a tinted stain, and it probably will help the roof life. Before applying it, because this is a wood product material roof, I'd discuss the question with your local fire inspector and if necessary the pigmented stain manufacturer - you don't want to accidentally amend the fire resistance of your roof in the wrong (unsafe) direction.
(Apr 11, 2012) David DiGeorge said:
I understand "repairing" a damaged roof is not an acceptable option and that an individual's insurance company is responsible for replacing the roof if damage/shingle "failure" has occured. Is that a correct assumption? thanks, dave
Question: reader opines that some Woodruf roofs perform well
(Feb 19, 2012) Dennis Humphrey said:
On this site, you state credentials of "owning a roofing company, having an insurance background and doing inspections for insurance companies." I too have those credentials, with my "insurance background" being dealing with adjusters for over 25 years of my company's existence. While I agree that SOME Woodruf failed miserably far sooner than anticipated, MANY others have continued to perform as initially claimed. It's my understanding the downward spiral began with some sort of mixing of the batch plants in different area of the country.
That observation aside, it's rare for a "30 year" shingle to actually last 30 years, especially in Cheyenne, WY, where I reside and work.
A FAR more reasonable replacement for the Woodruf product would be, at the minimum a Malarkey Legacy or Owens Corning Duration Storm "Impact Resistant" laminate shingle, and a more reasonable replacement would be a Certainteed Presidential IR "Impact Resistant" Designer Shake. For the impact resistance factor alone, the standard 30 year replacement laminate makes no sense.
Whether or not the Woodruf performed as anticipated in total life expectancy, I can virtually guarantee you have seen none at all to very few that have been "hailed out."
The "high end" designer type shingle Woodruf was sold as, prompts my leaning toward the Presidnetial IR, At the LEAST, the incredible impact resistance of the product steers me strongly to believe the Impact Resistant Legacy to be a minimally acceptable replacement if I was a homeowner and possessor of a Woodruf roof. I'd certainly like to hear your thoughts. Thanks. - (July 16, 2011) Dennistoddandco@aol.com
Thanks for the remarks, Dennis. Certainly we appreciate hearing another view and reading more information about the performance of Woodruf roofs and reasonable replacements for them. You make excellent points. Working together makes us smarter. - Daniel.
(July 10, 2011) joseph g. loisel said:
I have woodruf masonite shingles---showing the wear etc. question: can they be cleaned-treated-painted-? would this extend their longevity---i remember intially they did not recommend staining them.
Joseph often we can extend roof life by painting or treating shingles; but take a close look at yours; if they are soft and/or delaminating badly, the cost of the paint job could be a waste of money.
(July 24, 2012) Scott Shepard said:
DaVinci shake and/or slate would be the high end replacement for Woodruf, Cemwood, or Pematek. Eagle also is devoloping a product called CE DUR but it is not in production yet
After the recent hail here in Colorado, the problem was that the elastomeric coating was blasted off by the hail. Ive seen some that were treatred a few years back and those that were not treated at all . Not much difference. The Divinci or Eagle product provide a Class 4 inpact, Class A fire and the 50 yr warrenty listed as the original specs of the Woodruf style material
(Feb 13, 2013) Frank said:
Scott Shepard contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I need the original specs of the Masonite Woodruf. Or a link that shows the original specs
Scott Shepard-How can I reach you? Does anyone have any documention or appraisal award letters regarding masonite woodruf? ITel or engineering reports would be helpful too.
Question: warning on dangers of walking on a Woodruf roof.
(Dec 4, 2012) MacK said:
I think you should post a warning on the extreme dangers of walking a Woodruf roof. As a home inspector, I used to see dozens of these in the damp Pacific Northwest. The smallest amount of moisture turns them into an ice-like surface, and you cannot wear Korks on these roofs.
Even knowing how slick they were, I took a wild 15 foot ride down a roof that only ended when I slammed into the wood-frame chimney chase (I will only walk a Woodruf if I can put a chase behind me), and the roof appeared to be dry at the time. I just missed seeing a small shady spot where the dew had not evaporated.
Thanks, MacK. I agree that there can be many reasons to stay off of a roof even though that may sorely limit the ability to assess its condition. Those include at least:
Inspection standards make clear that it is the inspector in the field who should determine whether or not to limit any inspection topic or procedure (and to inform the client of that limitation and its implications).
Question: Woodruf roof warranty information
9/3/14 Terry said:
(Aug 24, 2014) Terry said:
Did anyone manage to get the original warranty information for the Woodruf roof. My roof was damaged in the June hailstorm and I am having trouble with the insurance company approving the cost for a DaVinci roof. Asphalt would degrade the appearance and value of the home. HELP! The roof was installed in 1992.
Not that having the original warranty will help a claim but you might want to see inspectapedia.com/roof/Roof_Warranties.htm
Even if it were available, you wouldn't want to put the same material on the roof as was found defective.
Ok ... I'm trying a different approach. It is my understanding that the Woodruf Masonite roofing was quite a bit more expensive than asphalt shingles back in the early 90's. A roofer told me he thought they ran around $300 to $350 a square (vs around $80 a square for asphalt at the time.) Does anyone have any information on the pricing of these shingles in the early 90's?
Question: insurance company sending Woodruf roof failure samples to "an engineer"
9/9/2014 Doug said:
Please Help. I am having a re-inspect on my Woodruf. They denied it previously because they thought it was shake. They are coming back and taking samples to send to an engineer. This shingle is failing; crumbling, curling, expanding, you name it. Anyone know why they would send it to an engineer? What was the warranty 30,40,50 yrs? I am not clear as to why the insurance is fighting so hard on this roof. Any ideas? Anything I can say to this adjuster?
I can but guess that "they" is your insurance company since certainly any roofing manufacturer's rep ought to be able to identify the type of roofing material installed. And I can only further guess that the insurance adjuster is not sure how to identify roofing nor its type of failure.
As long as their engineer is actually someone with experience and expertise with roofing materials and roofing failures you should be OK.
I'm unclear why your insurance company would be involved in a product failure claim, but perhaps it's because your policy excludes that sort of leak-damage loss.
The warranty period is irrelevant if it's a Woodruf roof as the status of that product and warranty claims are already established. If you know this is what's on your roof you might want to print this page and pass it on to your insurance company.
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