It would be easy to get depressed with the current state of the building industry, with most segments considering themselves lucky to be looking at stagnant growth. But roofing manufacturers are at least one group who are remaining optimistic, and even seeing growth in certain areas of their business. To be sure, most of the roofing category has flattened out recently, but certain product segments are remaining strong and manufacturers are continuing to roll out new and innovative products to meet steady demand — and even increasing demand in some segments.
Many consumers, especially those in the reroofing markets as opposed to new construction, are looking for more value per dollar — even if that means a few extra dollars upfront. “Generally speaking in terms of the entire roofing market, demand for high-end products has slowed some, but it is still growing,” says Ray Rosewall, president and CEO of DaVinci Roofscapes, manufacturers of synthetic slate and shake roofing. “We seem to be doing particularly well in the replacement roof category.”
As homeowners are looking to stretch their dollars, they are becoming more and more astute when it comes to building material choices. They’re still willing to pay a little more initially for features that will not only satisfy their sense of aesthetics but also provide peace of mind with durability, energy savings and less impact on the environment. “Demand for all roofing has softened recently, but green as a roofing product segment is really hot,” says Charlie Taft, national sales manager for EcoStar, manufacturer of emulated slate, shake and tile roofing. “We still see robust opportunities for many high-end products as people are looking at life cycle costs, longer warranties and energy savings more than ever.”
Roofing’s green is gold
Most roofing manufacturers are keen to the growing demand for products that can honestly be called green. Paul Batt, director of product marketing for CertainTeed, says that an ever-increasing interest in sustainability is a big factor, though not the only one. “Certainly we see a lot of consumers choose from the green category because they are interested in helping the environment first and foremost. But they still want to add value to their homes and cut down on energy bills at the same time. Also, past and current incentive programs through the government and local utilities are another driving factor.”
CertainTeed recently introduced their Landmark Solaris solar reflective roofing shingle. The shingles’ granules reflect solar energy and radiate heat far better than a traditional asphalt roofing shingle to help reduce a building’s energy costs. While in the past cool roofs have often been limited to a whitish color, Landmark Solaris is available in five different rich brown and dark gray hues. They feature a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects and withstand winds up to 130 mph when installed as part of a CertainTeed roof system. The line meets all cool roof and Energy Star requirements.
“Historically, roofing has been seen just as the exterior layer of shingles,” says Molly Kwiatkowski, director of roofing and asphalt with Owens Corning. “But consumers are now aware that roofing plays a huge part in the overall energy efficiency of a home.” She says the successful contractors are the ones who help their customers increase their building’s energy efficiency through proper ventilation and a well-insulated attic to maximize a roof’s performance and longevity.
In addition to Owens Corning’s Roofing Essentials line of accessories such as ridge vents and underlayments, the company has introduced their own cool roof shingles to ease the energy burden of a home. Duration Premium cool roof shingles also come in a vibrant color range, including sage, sunrise, harbor fog and frosted oak. These also meet all cool roof and Energy Star requirements, and the company claims that they can lower roof temperatures by up to 10 degrees in warm weather.