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Tilsen Roofing Company Defines #RoofingExcellence with Vistaβ„’ AR Shingles in Wisconsin

For more than six decades, the Tilsen Roofing Company of Madison, Wisconsin has maintained its reputation for quality and professionalism by strategically adopting the industry’s latest product innovations. This trend was again evident during the fall when company president, Dave Tilsen, chose the sustainably-designed and advanced Malarkey Roofing Products® Vista™ AR roofing shingle for two substantial commercial projects.

 “We feel Malarkey’s value as a family owned business, the use of polymer modified asphalt and The Zone make them an exceptional roofing manufacturer,” Tilsen said.

Vista AR: Midnight Black  Vista AR: Midnight Black

On the Georgian Manor Apartments in the Glen Oak Hills neighborhood of Madison, Tilsen installed 82 squares of the Vista™ AR shingle in the color, Midnight Black. A nearby commercial office building of similar size was also covered in Vista™ AR shingles. The significance of these roofing projects is not merely the reliable craftsmanship from Tilsen, nor the scale of the roofs, but the decision to utilize a sustainable roofing product, made with quality repurposed materials.

Vista AR: Midnight Black

The reclaimed material in Vista™ AR shingles on the roof of an average-size, single-family home equates to roughly 5.5 tires and 350 milk jugs. On commercial properties such as Tilsen’s, those figures grow exponentially. At the manufacturing level, Malarkey’s use of repurposed materials yields a substantial reduction in environmental impact. For every ton of repurposed plastic, 4 barrels of oil and 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space are saved. For every pound of repurposed tire rubber used, one pound of carbon dioxide is prevented from being released into the atmosphere. From its Portland, Oregon facility, Malarkey is manufacturing the Vista™ shingle line, UL 2218 Class 3 impact resistant roofing shingles with proprietary Nexgen™ asphalt, modified with post-consumer or post-industrial polymers using a repurposed, methane recovery energy source.

Supporting the shingles on the Manor Apartments are several other components of Malarkey’s Secure Choice™ roofing system: Arctic Seal® self-adhering underlayment, SecureStart™ Plus synthetic underlayment, and Smart Start™ starter shingles. With the Tilsen crew working fast and efficiently, the project was completed in less than a week.

The company added steep slope roofing installation to their business in the early 2000s, and today the company roofs buildings ranging from apartments, hospitals, manufacturing facilities, hotels, and single-family homes. Interestingly, the company started out as a commercial, low slope roofing installer.

Dave, who has led the business since 1989, assumed the role after the retirement of his father and company founder, Cyril “Cy” Tilsen. The elder Tilsen, according to a report by the Wisconsin State Journal, “served as a pilot on a B-17 Flying Fortress during World War II, completing 29 missions from Molesworth, England. When he returned to the States, Cy Tilsen began working for a local contractor selling roofing jobs,” his son said. “In 1953, he took out a $5,000 loan from Madison Bank and Trust to start Tilsen Roofing.”

Shortly thereafter in 1956, Malarkey Roofing Products® began as a paper manufacturing company founded by Herbert Malarkey near the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon. In addition to producing saturated felt rolls, Malarkey began researching the use of fiberglass mats in shingle production. By the end of the decade, Malarkey made its first 3-tab shingle.  

Like Tilsen, Malarkey is also in its sixth decade of operations, and continually seeking to innovate its products for improved performance and service life, while limiting their impact on the environment. For years, Malarkey’s Legacy® architectural shingle was the only product Tilsen installed. After a significant hail storm in September 2016, Dave Tilsen, second generation owner, said, “ping pong ball sized hail damaged many roofs in the area but after inspecting two houses that we recently installed with Legacy® - there was no damage.” In the severe weather of the Wisconsin climate, Tilsen discovered a product that would be long lasting and perform well, and now he has found another - Malarkey’s Vista™ line, sustainably made, performance driven architectural shingles.

In addition to being committed and active members in the National Roofing Contractors Association, Midwest Roofing Contractors Association, and the Wisconsin Roofing Contractors Association, Tilsen Roofing is also a Malarkey Certified Residential Contractor.