American Cemwood roof installation (C) Hugh Cairns D FriedmanAmerican Cemwood Roof Shake Litigation
Other Roof Product Settlement Notices

  • AMERICAN CEMWOOD ROOFING - CONTENTS: American Cemwood Roofing Shake Class Action Settlement Notice & Contact Information. How to Identify Cemwood Roofing Products.
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about American Cemwood Roof shake class action settlement, product identification, failures, & repair advice

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American Cemwood™ roofing failures & warranty information:

this website provides information about American Cemwood fiber cement roofing shingles, shakes, and roof failures, including roofing claims information for Permatek, Permatek II, Royal, Cemwood, and Cascade shakes, and Pacific Slate and Trieste tiles or roof "shingles" and includes advice for home inspectors, home buyers, and homeowners where these roofing products are used.

We discuss claims for qualifying damage to American Cemwood roofing tiles and shakes, including but not limited to: Permatek, Permatek II, Royal, Cemwood, and Cascade shakes, and Pacific Slate and Trieste tiles. List of fiber cement & hardboard roof shingle failures, warranty claims, manufacturers.

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American Cemwood Roofing Class Action Lawsuit Settlement Details

American Cemwood roof installation (C) Hugh Cairns D Friedman

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.

Our page top photo and photo at left of an American Cemwood roof was provided courtesy of Canadian home inspector Hugh Cairns [3].

The roof shown in these two photos by Mr. Cairns was installed in Kelowna, BC in 1991.

As stated in Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction (printed text) and online in CLAY, CONCRETE, FIBER CEMENT ROOF TILE CHOICES:

Permatek fiber cement roofing id photo

Early generations of fiber-cement roofing products using asbestos fibers were used successfully in the United States for over 50 years. Articles discussing these products, including cement-asbestos roofing shingles, corrugated roofing, and related products are found at ASBESTOS & FIBER CEMENT ROOFING.

Newer formulations of fiber cement roofing tiles introduced in the 1980s and 1990s used wood fibers instead of asbestos and were marketed widely in the western United States as a fire-resistant alternative to wood shakes. Made from a mixture of Portland cement and wood fibers, they weighed 400 to 600 pounds per square and were designed to imitate slates or wood shakes.

They promised excellent resistance to insects, fungus, fire, and weathering and carried warranties ranging from 25 to 50 years. Within five years of installation, however, many of the fiber-cement shakes began to deteriorate. Problems included surface crazing, cracking, delamination, and softening and resulted in a number of lawsuits against key manufacturers and several companies abandoning the product.

The problems and failiures in wood fiber cement roofing products were generally linked to high water absorption, which created an alkaline solution that was corrosive to the wood fibers. Some fiber cement roofing products have fared better than others. In general, fiber cement roof products that are steam-cured in an autoclave will have lower water absorption, but they tend to be more brittle.

Comparing Asbestos Cement Roof Shingles to American Cemwood Shingles

Woodruf Masonite Roof Panel (C) Daniel Friedman

Our photo (left) is of asbestos cement roofing shingles, a product that can usually be easily distinguished from American Cemwood roofing shakes and other members of that product family. We provide further Cemwood roofing identification information below.

For information about fiber cement roofing inspection, diagnosis, repair, and repalcement, see ASBESTOS & FIBER CEMENT ROOFING.

Also see MASONITE WOODRUF FIBERBOARD ROOFING and for similar building siding product

see SIDING HARDBOARD for hardboard siding product failures and warranty claims.

American Cemwood Roofing Claims Contact Information

The following information was provided by the American Cemwood Claims Administrator. Independent Claims Administrator for American Cemwood Roofing Litigation Settlement, P.O. Box 162, Lancaster, CA 93584. Contact the Cemwood Administrator at 1-800-708-3266. [Don't bother trying this telephone numnber - Ed.]

Watch out: the current American Cemwood Claims Administrator websites in public distribution not only do not connect to a useful service, the telephone number directs callers to a marketing firm: win a free trip to the Bahamas, and the website directs readers to a "made-for-Ad-Sense" website that provides only links to pages with advertisements, no useful information.

Quoting from original source (that includes product photos): http://www [BADSITE] [BADSITE] html

The Plaintiffs said that the Defendants failed to design, formulate, and test roofing shakes manufactured by American Cemwood Corporation adequately before selling them as durable and suitable roofing products.

They said that the Defendants should have known that the shakes failed prematurely, but that they did not take them off the market until April of 1998. Claims about personal injury and emotional distress are not affected by this case.

The Defendants have denied, and continue to deny, each and every allegation and all charges of wrongdoing or liability of any kind.

In a class action, one or more people called “Class Representatives” (in this case, Roy Richison is one of the Class Representatives) sue on behalf of people who have similar claims.

All these people together are a “Class” or “Class Members.” One court resolves the issues for all Class Members.

The Court did not decide in favor of the Plaintiffs or the Defendants. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. That way, they avoid the cost of a trial, and the people affected will get compensation.

A partial settlement was previously reached with Weyerhaeuser Company Limited (formerly known as MacMillan Bloedel Limited) and Weyerhaeuser (U.S.A.), Inc. (formerly known as MacMillan Bloedel (U.S.A.), Inc.).

Under the partial settlement, a $65 million settlement fund was established, plus a $40 million guaranty to be paid if an additional settlement was not reached with American Cemwood and its insurers ($105 million in total), and attorneys for the Class Members pursued litigation against the other Defendants, including American Cemwood, and the Defendants’ insurance carriers.

Weyerhaeuser has already paid $20 million of the guarantee, which will be returned if and when the additional settlement is approved and any appeals are resolved. To date, about $48 million has been paid to claimants.

The settlement is currently paying valid claims at a rate of $125 per “square” of roofing shakes.

Notice of the partial settlement and the certification of a Class as to all the Defendants was given to Class Members in 2000, which also gave Class Members the option to exclude themselves from the Class.

On May 26, 2000, the Court gave “final” approval to the partial settlement, and potential Class Members who did not exclude themselves are legally bound by the settlement and the class certification decision, and can’t bring a separate suit against any of the Defendants about the claims in this case.

The terms of the previous settlement can be found in the Partial Settlement Agreement at

How to Identify American Cemwood Roofing Shakes, Permatek Shakes, and related products:

Cemwood roof shake

There are two primary ways to determine whether or not you have Cemwood or Permatek shakes.

First, if you were involved with the reroofing of your home, you may have your own Cemwood/Permatek records. Such records may include a warranty, contract for installing the product, or proof of payment.

A second way to determine if you have Cemwood or Permatek shakes is to carefully examine the product on your roof. Cemwood and Permatek shakes are formed of a composite of Portland cement and wood fibers. They are a textured product and replicate the look of traditional wood shake.

The Cemwood shakes at left appear to ahve been coated/painted in an attempt to prolong roof life.

Watch out: when inspecting a Cemwood any other roof, be careful about walking on cemwood roofs or any other roof surface that is fragile, as you are likely to damage the roof and may convert a roof of uncertain future life to a need for an immediate re-roof job. Stay off of roofs that are fragile, wet, slippery, moss covered, steep, or have any other safety concern that leaves you uncertain about your abiltiy to make a safe on-roof inspection.

American Cemwood tapered shake

Cemwood shakes are tapered. They are 22 inches in length and come in random widths of 12, 7 and 5 inches.

Cemwood roofing shakes were sold in two colors: driftwood (light grey) and umber (dark brown).

On the top side of Cemwood shakes, above the exposure line, the letters "AC" are sometimes imprinted on each shake. [So you'd need to remove some of the roofing to see this marking.]

Permatek fiber cement roofing id photo

Permatek Shakes Permatek and Permatek II shakes are uniform in size: 14 inches wide by 14 ½ inches long, and have four different shake-detailed patterns.

Permatek fiber cement roofing shakes were sold in a number of colors: mocha (medium brown), driftwood (light gray), umber (dark brown), greyflash (dark grey) and tanflash (tan).

The word "PERMATEK" is sometimes imprinted on the back side of each shake.

List of Fiberboard & Fiber Cement Roof Shingle Warranty Claims Companies & Websites

Masonite roof settlement notice and claims website (not useful) (C) InspectApedia American Cemwood shingle warranty website page image (C) InspectAPedia Jan 2015 Fire Free Roofing Claims website page image (C) InspectApedia

George Podrug provided Masonite Woodruf™ roofing information for home inspectors in 1999.

Defective Hardboard Siding (similar products): see the detailed article series on hardboard siding beginning at SIDING HARDBOARD


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