The second quarter of 2017 is well under way and there’s widespread optimism that the roofing industry is in growth mode with a lot of future potential. Though not the only reason, some of that confidence is based on the diverse array of new products entering the market that focus on efficiency, productivity and safety on the roof. As is our long-standing tradition, Roofing Contractor editors compiled their favorite products introduced in the past 12 months for the following list, known best as our Editor’s Choice awards.

The selections are based on a criteria that factors in ingenuity and innovation, problem-solving, and potential market impact. While assigning value to the following products is subjective, we hope the information educates roofing contractors and starts an open and free-flowing debate about the top tools and best services the industry has to offer. Here are our Editor’s Choice honorees for 2017.


Switchback Ladder • Werner

Roofing contractors do their best work at all different heights, and despite the industry’s maturity, getting up on the roof safely and efficiently continues to be a challenge. The team at Werner Ladder Co. sees that as an area of opportunity.

The company’s latest innovation in getting contractors to the next level — called the new Switchback Ladder — is designed to provide users with versatility and ease-of-use, serving as both an extension ladder and stepladder in one, lightweight design.

It’s easy to go from one mode to the other with a simple flip-and-click mechanism that changes the height and style of the ladder. This multi-position design provides a maximum reach of 15-feet while in extension mode, the same as a 16-foot extension ladder, and a maximum reach of 11-feet in stepladder mode, equivalent to that of a 7-foot stepladder. From getting on the roof to cleaning the gutters on the jobsite, or moving inventory in the warehouse, roofing contractors can now find a solution for a variety of tasks with just one ladder.

Other features include: a double-step platform; slip-resistant steps; bottom step bracing; and a 225-lb. load capacity.

“Werner is continually innovating across product categories and the Switchback Ladder is the latest example,” said Chris Filardi, Werner’s vice president of marketing. “With the SwitchbackLadder, it’s easy to use, set-up, carry and store and is ideal for both commercial and consumer applications.”

Bibby • Slator, LLC

Shingles used today generally seal so well that roofing contractors often find it very difficult to separate them on a hot day without tearing and damaging additional shingles or flashings. The Bibby’s specially-designed stainless steel teeth make this process easier, especially when pry bars begin tearing the shingles.

The Bibby’s usefulness also continues well beyond when the steel teeth degrade. Once dulled, the blades can be saved to make permanent repairs to shingles that have small holes in them from roof fall protection anchors, pump-jack standoffs and satellite dishes. This allows roofers to quickly and properly repair these shingles rather than replace them. The Bibby is available in special package bundles to GAF Master Elite and Certified Contractors through and also through national distributors. For more information, visit

316L Ultimate Pipe Flashing • Lifetime Tool & Building Products

For years, off-the-shelf pipe flashings used by roofing contractors have had a tendency to fail upon installation or shortly thereafter. Generally, undersized plates and poor material choices are to blame, and the failures result in hidden water and mold damage that may go undetected for years.

The team at Lifetime Tool & Building Products believes they have a solution with the new, patented Lifetime Tool Stainless Steel Ultimate Pipe Flashing®. The product was named Best Sustainable Product at the 2017 International Roofing Expo (IRE) for its long-term performance potential in coastal and extreme UV environments since it’s completely unaffected by salt water, chloride (road salts), extreme UV and thermal movement. All three are major causes of plumbing pipe flashing failures. 


Walkway Granules • Mule Hide Products Co.

The Mule-Hide Walkway Granules create a durable, non-slip surface for walkways and other foot traffic on specific areas of roofs coated with Mule-Hide 100 Silicone Roof Coating.

The colored EPDM granules are embedded in a freshly-applied silicone coating, which produces non-slip, damage-resistant pathways to and around heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) equipment and other spots on the roof that need regular inspection and maintenance. The granules are simply broadcast into the silicone coating, and any loose granules are vacuumed from the surface after the coating has fully cured.

For safety and marking ease, the granules are available in gray and bright yellow. More information is available at

Tyvek Protec Underlayments • DuPont

Improving walkability at imposing heights is a way to potentially improve both safety and productivity on the rooftop. The Tyvek Protec series from DuPont introduced late last year has showcased the potential to do both. Offered in three versions (Tyvek® Protec 120; Tyvek® Protec 160 and Tyvek® Protec 200) each with increasing quality, durability, strength, warranty protection and UV resistance.

The portfolio of products is suitable for new construction, reroofing projects, and as a secondary water barrier on steep-sloped roofs, regardless if it’s under asphalt shingle, tile, metal, cedar or slate.

During the 2017 IRE, attendees crowded the demonstration area to watch industry-recognized expert Walt Tomala, of TNT Contracting in Springfield, Mass., show the underlayment’s industry-leading walkability capabilities in dry, wet and dirty conditions.

“Tyvek® Protec is a game changer in the way we look at synthetic underlayments, especially where water is concerned,” he said.

Jim Ash, global roofing market segment leader, DuPont Protection Solutions elaborated, “Tyvek® Protec underlayments are lightweight and durable, making them an excellent secondary moisture layer that are easy to install. More importantly, their unique embossed top sheet helps with walkability and protects builders when encountering hazards like dirt and water on the roof.” Ash adds, “DuPont Tyvek® building envelope solutions provide for the greater good by not only helping to secure the home and what’s inside it, but by also helping to secure the safety of its installers.”

For more information, visit


Smart Plug Roof Patch • Quarrix Building Products

In an industry where repairs can get complicated, costly and timely, it’s certainly a relief when you discover a product that helps in minimizing all three of those issues. A new product featured on the show floor at this year’s IRE, the Smart Plug Roof Patch from Quarrix Building Products does just that.

Damage to the roof from storms, animals and more are rather common and the Smart Plug is a simple resolution to such problems. Designed to cover the small holes on the roof, the Smart Plug Roof Patch is a solution that homeowners and contractors can both agree on. Alternative methods like cutting and bracing plywood to fill the holes, or covering it with sheet metal can be timely and go against local building codes.

Built to save customers time and money, the Smart Plug is installed in a matter of seconds using only a nail gun. Made from 24 gauge galvanized steel and 7/16” OSB sheeting, it can hold more than 700 lbs. Available in two separate sizes, the 8” is designed for patching holes left by box and slant back vents, while the 12” size is better suited for filling holes left by turbine vents. For more information, visit

Extendable 52” Fiberglass Conveyor • Cleasby Conveyors

This truck-mounted conveyor extends to 52” and has an all-fiberglass frame that makes it more flexible than traditional metal conveyor systems. It will ‘spring back’ upon impact with building surfaces rather than bend or dent.

Another feature is its durability. Fiberglass won’t rust and has the potential to reduce the time and costs involved with repairing metal equipment fatigue. For more information, visit

Omnimax Velcro Shingle • Omnimax Roofing, Inc.

Though the market-ready version won’t be available until later in the year, this innovative product drew a lot of attention during IRE in Las Vegas. Developed by twin brothers from North Carolina, OmniMax offers a new alternative to asphalt shingle composition and installation. It’s made of 60 percent recycled tires and provides durability and flexibility that traditional asphalt shingles don’t.

Its creators also tout extremely high-impact capabilities, wind resistance and the ability to reduce potential leaks. But the ‘wow!’ factor involves how it’s installed. The shingles are velcro, and instead of nails, a patented system of industrial strength hook-and-loop fasteners adhere the entire shingle to the roof’s surface. That has implications for both long-term performance and installation, and the developers aren’t thinking small.

“OmniMax wasn’t created to compete with asphalt, because asphalt simply cannot compete,” boasts Daron Akins, company founder. “OmniMax is designed to replace asphalt in every way with regard to roofing.”

Visit for more information.

F-Wave Revia • F-Wave, LLC

They say you can never have too much of a good thing, and in roofing, the same holds true for shingle options. When it comes to the roof, shingle choice is an extremely important part of the process. Shingles can make or break the overall appeal of the roof, so it’s important to know all of the options, and be on the lookout for new and improved lines of shingles.

New to the industry this year, the F-Wave Revia synthetic roofing shingle product line from F-Wave, LLC made its debut at the 2017 IRE. This unique shingle line is designed without asphalt or granules, and boasts ZFT Technology, which delivers on strength and defends the roof against the elements.

“We are reinventing steep-slope roofing with a unique approach that incorporates contractor insights to create features and attributes that make Revia easy to install, durable and tough for great workability, and premium profiles to fit every home style,” said Scott Mcdonald, president and CEO of F-Wave.

Designed with the customer in mind, these shingles are fashioned to ensure attractive curb appeal, while evading repeating patterns.

Available in three varieties including premium dimensional, hand-split shake and slate, the F-Wave Revia is easy to install. For more information, visit

Sol R Skin Thermal Underlayment • International Insulation Products LLC

Educating homeowners on their roofing options remains to be an important aspect of the overall ‘customer experience.’ With such a diverse amount of products available, it’s important to let customers know the most convenient route for their unique application. Roofing underlayments in particular, are better than ever, and there’s certainly no shortage of options when it comes to choosing.

Changing the underlayment game this year, International Insulation Products LLC has invented a new, unique roof underlayment. Equipped with the highest R-Value on the market today, the Sol-R-Skin is a radiant barrier that unites the traditional aspects of a roofing underlayment with the added thermal and fire characteristics of thermal insulation.

This patent-pending technology utilizes quality materials to benefit home owners in several ways.  First, to protect the roof of the home from weather and other common issues, as well as to reduce the home’s energy use and protect against hidden fire hazards.

The Sol-R-Skin consists of three bonded parts, including a 99 percent scrimmed reinforced high-polished aluminum, a layer of fiberglass and a layer of synthetic underlayment. This unique underlayment meets new energy and fire codes, and can be used in a wide variety of roofing applications including composite shingles, stone coated steel, clay tiles and metal roofing. For more information, visit


AB-02 — Leading Edge

On paper, laying adhesives appears like a straightforward process, but any roofing contractor with reasonable experience knows that clogs and replacement tips can slow production.

The AB-02 aims to solve these problems with an integrated self-cleaning system. The patent-pending design includes a two-part adhesive applicator that won the best new product at the IRE.

When the AB-02 is in the off position, the A and B resin lines are shut off and compressed air is introduced through a third connection. This forces adhesive all the way through the applicator and the plastic tip. Company officials said field tests show improved efficiency because the AB-02 keeps reduces the need for tip changes and wasted product. For more information, visit

D.I. Revolution • D.I. Roof Seamers

Let’s be honest, roofing is hard work. And, as we all know, hard work is even harder on the body. So when a product comes along that’s designed to aid in eliminating some of that work-related tension, it’s always worth checking out. Especially if it comes from a trusted, reputable company.

One such product, The D.I. from D.I. Roof Seamers, is a crimper that performs 90 degree crimps in a simple and fast manor. Designed to eliminate the necessity for an electric roof seamer on minor projects, this product significantly reduces the amount of time and labor required to crimp.

Awarded Best Residential Product at this year’s IRE Product Showcase, the D.I. Revolution is engineered to move the crimping process along smoothly, allowing contractors to finish jobs both ahead of schedule, and below budget.

Available in several variations to fit the specifications of any roof panel, the D.I. Revolution kit comes equipped with a 19” extension shaft, a six month limited warranty, and a user guide. For help in severe weather conditions, the kit also includes an iM2600 Pelican Storm Case. An additional extension shaft is available for installation to provide assistance on low-slope products. For more information, visit

R-Mer Force • The Garland Company, Inc.

Protecting the building from damage is the ultimate goal when producing a roofing system. R-Mer Force from The Garland Company helps contractors do just that, and in an easy and attractive manor. This flashless metal edge system is designed to save time during installation, as well as cut costs on both labor and material.

R-Mer Force is fastened to exterior walls with aluminum anchors, leaving behind no penetrations on the roof’s surface. Fascia cover pieces are connected to the installed anchors which aids in protecting the building from harsh elements. R-Mer Force is offered in a variety of colors to fit the building owner’s needs, and comes equipped with both high-performance steel and aluminum options.

“R-Mer Force is a great addition to our line of metal products because it embodies our commitment to performance-driven solutions that offer unique benefits to customers for the long-term,” said Tom Diamond, P.E., Garland senior product manager “Any time we can combine strength and protection with ease-of-use, it’s a win-win for everyone.”

This metal edge system meets building code ANSI/SPRI ES-1 requirements for structural integrity and wind resistance. For more information, visit