St. Albans is a scenic community of towering bluffs overlooking the Missouri River, with breathtaking estates that blend refined outdoor living, architectural integrity and beauty. But with this picturesque setting sometimes comes severe seasonal weather, which can damage houses, particularly roofing.

In April 2014, a high-powered storm system swept St. Albans and the surrounding St. Louis area. Tornados, torrential rains, high winds, and golf ball- sized hail pummeled the region, cutting a swath of costly damage. In St. Albans, one of the hardest-hit towns, home roofing was ravaged by the storms.

Fortunately, the previous year local residential roofing contractors and exterior restoration experts Aspen Touch, LLC introduced St. Albans homeowners to Inspire® Classic Slate Roofing from The Tapco Group, an industry-leading provider of premium building solutions. Brian Teipel, Aspen Touch, LLC co-owner and seasoned contractor, installed Inspire Classic Slate on two St. Albans homes.

Little did the homeowners know that the next year, they would be the envy of their neighborhood – and not just because of the architecture-enhancing aesthetics. It was the extreme spring weather that made them the talk of the town – and Inspire Classic’s incredible durability.

Amazingly, the Inspire Classic Slate roofs were the only two in the subdivision left unscathed. Despite being hit just as hard as neighboring homes by what Brian described as “racquetball-sized hail,” the Inspire Classic Slate roofs weathered the storms with grace. The homeowners and neighbors were astonished. Brian soon received calls from other residents requesting Inspire Classic Slate to protect and enhance their homes.

“Inspire Classic Slate is awesome. It installs faster than natural slate, is unbelievably durable, and has a beautiful clean look. It stands up to anything, and stands apart from the other roofing in the subdivision,” said Brian Teipel. “All of the real slate, wood shake, and asphalt roofs were damaged by hail, but our Inspire Classic roofs weren’t even nicked. Classic is a harder, thicker material that also holds ice’s weight better than other roofing, a big benefit for weather extremes.”

Brian added “When St. Albans bylaws changed to allow composite slate roofing, not solely composite shake as before, it gave homeowners more great choices. With Inspire Classic Slate, you get top-tier roofing plus the backing of Tapco, an innovative leader who will be here for the long haul. I looked at four companies before picking Inspire Classic Slate. I was so impressed by its composition and on-roof aesthetics.”

Brian’s first Inspire Classic Slate job for a St. Albans home had majestic results, despite its challenging turret, which required tapered tiling. Aspen Touch’s crew had extensive experience installing Inspire Classic Slate, ensuring the job’s success from rooftop to turret tip.

Over the last two years of working with Inspire Classic Slate, Brian has also discovered the value of its design and installation versatility, which allows it to work seamlessly with any style home. It also offers broad, distinctive color palettes. “You get the aesthetics of real slate with far greater durability. The diverse color choices are striking too,” said Brian. “Classic Slate protects houses better than any other roofing product I’ve worked with for 25 years. Its Class A fire rating, 110-mph wind uplift rating, plus Class 4 hail and hurricane protection provide peace of mind.”

Working closely with Midwest-based Arrowhead Building Supply, Aspen Touch, LLC gained local jobs as word spread that Inspire Classic Slate defied Mother Nature. Arrowhead Building Supply is the largest wholesale supplier of residential roofing in the St. Louis region. They aim to provide easy-to-install, low-upkeep solutions. Inspire Roofing fits the bill according to Rick Pogue, Chief Management Officer (CMO) and Principal of Arrowhead.

“Arrowhead believed in the Tapco Inspire Roofing brand before we even went to market. We selected it based on its track record of superior quality and their reputation for outstanding customer support,” said Rick Pogue.

“Inspire Classic Slate Roofing is incredibly strong, affordable, and has a terrific warranty. It’s perfect for houses that aren’t designed for real slate’s heavy weight, and it offers slate’s aesthetics for one-third the cost – without the hassles inherent to slate roofing. Classic Slate has also proven it can weather the toughest hailstorm and stay as stunning as the day it was installed.”

Bobby Nichols, Branch Manager for Arrowhead’s operation in St. Peters, MO, took the original initiative of sending Inspire Classic Slate samples to Brian Teipel at Aspen Touch, LLC and the St. Albans project was soon underway.

“Tapco and Inspire have provided highly responsive service and support every step of the way. They truly stand behind their products, they’re excellent at problem solving, and everyone loves their innovative solutions. Inspire Classic Slate Roofing is in a class by itself,” concluded Bobby.

The Tapco Group is a U.S. Green Building Council member. For more information about Tapco or Inspire roofing, you can visit, call Joan at 314-878-0102 or email