On September 6, 2017 the British Virgin Islands took a direct hit from Hurricane Irma. The Category 5 storm unleashed sustained winds of 185 mph on the islands.
Afterwards, 85% of the island’s houses were severely damaged or destroyed — especially their roofs. But not Brent Brydon’s home. His composite shake roof handled the intense storm with just some shakes bent up by the winds and a few minor problems.
“Roofs were stripped off homes all over the island,” says Brydon with Providence Engineering and Project Management Ltd. “Bark was peeled off trees. It looked like a war zone. Yet, our roof sustained very minor damage.”
Brydon, an engineer by trade, relates that most roofs on the island are metal. Many of them were blown off.
“Failures were often related to compromised building practices rather than the specific roofing material,” says Brydon. “When we selected our DaVinci material back in 2008, we beefed up the installation method. Instead of using nails, we used stainless steel screws and washers on the shakes. In this environment, that has made a huge difference.”
As an engineer, Brydon thinks ahead to anticipate “weaker” aspects of any building project. He consulted with a DaVinci representative when placing his original roofing order about his idea for enhanced security of each shake. His advance planning paid off.
“There were wind gusts up to 200 mph during Hurricane Irma,” says Brydon. “We lost just a few ridge cap shakes. In addition, a few regular shakes had been torn in half. Some of the two dozen bent shakes were literally moved by the wind, but they stayed in place. Even though the roof has been through many storms, it still looks and performs great, which makes us very happy.”
Staying with a Winner
Now, almost 15 years later, Brydon is ordering more DaVinci product. He’s getting ready to add a second structure on his property in Trunk Bay on Tortola. He will again use the DaVinci Multi-Width Shake in the Tahoe color blend. And, he will again use screws and washers to install the composite shakes.
“We’ve seen first-hand how these tiles hold up over time and through extreme weather conditions,” says Brydon. “This is an impressive product. As soon as we decided to create the new studio suite/villa rental unit on our property, I knew we would go with the tiles. They’ll help maintain some consistency in the character of architecture on our property. And, most importantly, we believe they’ll help protect the structure from future storms.” l