Professional & Expert Roofing Company Serving Calgary Since 1989

EMCO Plant Tour and Vanguard Shingles

My History with BP Shingles goes back to 1986. As a sub trade working for AK Contracting, I installed thousands of BP roofs and was always impressed with the consistency and quality of the shingles. When I started Sunk Roofing it was only natural to get an account with BP.

With their location at the time in Calgary, BP sold their products directly to the roofing companies, bypassing the distributors.

What really impressed me was their warrantees and how they stood behind them. This is still true today. For most of the 80’s and 90’s the majority of the roofs we covered with BP 3 tab Citadel and Rampart.

So when Brian Astle invited me to Edmonton to tour the EMCO/BP shingle plant I thought it was high time I made the journey. I was curious to see how the product, which I had installed on so many roofs was made.

My best gal Sue and I made the trip up to Edmonton on the 16th of March. We met Brian and Gabriel at the Sawmill Restaurant, which was only a couple miles from the plant.
We had a relaxing lunch and then off to the plant.

Gabriel was the tour guide; he seemed to know the plant inside and out. First stop was the boardroom where we got our hardhats, glasses and steel toes. On the table were one shingle and a few promotional items. The shingle is the latest from EMCO called the Vanguard.

“Vanguard 42 IR shingles are manufactured with a superior fiberglass mat as well as technologically advanced elastomeric modified asphalt.
This new Weather-Tite shingle meets and exceeds the Underwriter’s Laboratory highest Class 4 rating for impact resistance, making it one of the most durable shingles on the market. Vanguard 42 IR shingles offer superior protection against wind, rain, snow and hail. “

With a claim like that I had to test the shingle myself.

First Nik’s “Granule test”; I took out a loony and tried to gouge the granules right off the face of that shingle. The granules laughed at my loony, and stayed put. Great retention. Next “Nick’s spring test”. I rolled the Vanguard up in a tight ball. When I released the shingle it slowly unfolded and found its original position.
Next up – “ the Mangle test”; I bent the corners. This would have destroyed most shingles, but not the Vanguard 42 IR. It relaxed back to its original position. I was impressed. But there is more…

This shingle comes with a double sealing strip and a wider reinforced nailing zone. I see why EMCO is so excited about this shingle and I believe it is destined to become one of the best roofing shingles made in Canada.

Proceeding into the plant, we began our tour in the older part of the building where they make tarpaper. The paper they make from recycled wood newsprint cardboard and such. In days gone by this tar saturated paper, among other things, was used to make shingles. Today’s shingles use a fiberglass matt. Emco also has other additional markets for their tarpaper.

Over to the shingle line, on this day EMCO was making Dakota 3 tab shingles. We watched as the fiberglass mat whizzed by on rollers into the tar bath. Out of the tar bath and into the granulator for a computer generated color finish. Next was the sealing strip and cellophane strip, and on to the cutter.

Then they were plastic wrapped, and vacuum sealed. At the end of the line I was counting a bundle about every two seconds coming off of the line. It all was very impressive.

It is obvious that EMCO is committed to putting out top quality products, as most every step in the line has ongoing testing of the products as they produce them.

This is just what you would expect from a company that has been successful for over 100 years.

Nick Sims ©

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