Take a Deep Dive into SBS Shingles with CertainTeed’s Dan Zernec

This month we sat down with veteran Southeast Michigan-area CertainTeed Roofing Territory Manager Dan Zernec to discuss SBS Shingles and the new opportunity they represent for roofing contractors.  Follow our chat below!

CertainTeed NorthGate Shingles in Moire Black

Wimsatt: “SBS” - Styrene Butadiene Styrene - is a roofing industry term, which is likely unfamiliar to homeowners.  Thinking of how SBS shingles are manufactured differently than their standard laminated shingle counterparts, how does the roofing contractor explain SBS in layman’s terms to a prospective client across the kitchen table?

Dan Zernec: SBS simply is a product that is asphalt mixed with rubber.  This adds some characteristics that enhance standard asphalt roofing products.  This is not new technology, but these enhanced characteristics are becoming more readily available in our market and “what is the next step up”.  Educated homeowners are looking for something more than the status quo.

W: The UL Class 4 Impact Resistance achieved by most SBS shingles is a great selling point for hail-prone and coastal areas, but impact resistance is less of a factor in the Midwest.  So what are the benefits of SBS technology that resonate with our Midwestern homeowners?

DZ: There are some insurance companies in Michigan that do recognize the benefits and do offer some cost consideration for using an SBS impact-resistant product on the home.  It also adds peace of mind for both the homeowner and roofer knowing that they have used a tougher-than-normal product on their roof that protects everything they own.

W: These days, most entry level or economy laminated shingles come with a lifetime limited warranty.  When upselling from an economy laminate to an SBS shingle, how does a roofing contractor communicate the added value of an SBS shingle?

Standard Shingles crack at 0 degrees when flexed, while NorthGate SBS shingles do notDZ: There are benefits to both the roofer installing the product and the homeowner over our already tough products:

  • 40% better tear strength
  • 15% better granular retention
  • 40% better nail pull resistance

(figures represent comparison of CertainTeed NorthGate SBS Shingles to standard CertainTeed Landmark Shingles – ed.)

This provides a better, easier installation and a tougher finished roof. The SBS has great characteristics of flexibility in colder weather, thus installation in colder months (which we experience here) will be an easier process.

CertainTeed NorthGate Shingles in Weathered Wood

W: From 3-tabs and economy laminates to designer, specialty and luxury shingles, different roofing products appeal to different demographics of homeowners.  Who is the ideal prospect for an SBS shingle?

DZ: Anyone!  Style is one of the biggest determining factors for all homeowners when choosing what they will be looking up at every time they pull into their driveway.  Cost is always relevant, but when broken down to how long the homeowner will get the benefits of an upgraded product, it becomes a small amount of money when the roof is installed.  Most people cannot just change their mind later and change the roof, but many do say “I wish I had made the upgrade” once it is completed.  What is lost many times is the fact that even if the homeowner had limited time in the home, the upgraded warranties transfer and the great look of the home will translate into getting the cost back when the home is sold.

W: OK, plug time.  CertainTeed recently launched NorthGate, a shingle manufactured with SBS technology.  Why is now the right time for an SBS offering, and how do you differentiate NorthGate from other shingles on the market?

DZ: We have been manufacturing the NorthGate product in other markets before coming to this region.  The timing is one of the Homeowners wanting something better and different from the standard asphalt products that have been out there.  For the same reason we have introduced a Designer Metal Roofing line called Matterhorn.  CertainTeed prides itself on new and innovative products and offering Homeowners different options for their home. 

Dan Zernec discusses CertainTeed shingles with a customer at the Wimsatt Spring ShowW: Dan, how long have you been with CertainTeed Roofing, and if you don’t mind me asking, what shingle do you have on your house?

DZ: I have been with CertainTeed for 20 years last May.  It has been an honor to work for CertainTeed.  I tell many people that I sleep better at night and get the same peace of mind from CertainTeed that the contractors and homeowners who use CertainTeed get.  My home has Independence Weathered Wood on it that was installed with a 5 Star warranty and full CertainTeed System.  What a great look!

W: Thanks Dan for talking with us today about SBS Shingles!


Wimsatt Building Materials stocks CertainTeed shingles, including their new NorthGate SBS shingle
Want more info on SBS Shingles and how to incorporate them into your selling strategy? Check out our guide How To Sell SBS Shingles in the Midwest!

Tags Steep Slope Roofing Marketing/Sales SBS

About Dave Karras

Dave Karras

Dave Karras is the Marketing Manager at Wimsatt Building Materials.

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