A recent study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) predicts extreme weather — including hail, hurricanes, tornadoes, torrential rain, high winds and heat — will pummel North America with increased widespread frequency.1 With the volatile weather threatening the safety of their investments, homeowners are demanding more from their roof, roofing materials and roofing contractors.

“No longer is the demand for performance products solely coming from customers in the hail belt or along the coast — performance has gone mainstream,” said Scott Campbell, director of field sales, US, IKO. “As roofing manufacturers, we have to answer this need by introducing innovative high performing products into the industry.  Judging by the steady rise in sales of our performance products, it appears we have the right answers.”

A roof, whether for a home or a commercial property, is the most essential aspect of shelter. It silently endures high winds, hail, heat, cold, moisture and flying debris, all the while keeping what’s under it safe. If a roof fails, everything under it may be at risk of damage. Today’s savvy customers know this and they are demanding more. They want severe weather protection. They want higher wind resistance. They want peace of mind. They want it done well, and they want it now.

In response to weather changes and contractors’ desires, IKO is innovating and expanding product lines and services that meet the needs of today’s climate and customer demands. The four most important aspects that define shingle performance — durability, nail holding power, effective sealing and a high impact resistance rating — are the focus for product innovations. And, the company recently introduced its ROOFPRO Contractor Program, a high-performance product in its own right, designed to help contractors build their businesses and provide improved customer service.

“Business is booming. We are juggling increases in repair requests and a lot of new construction,” said Andrew Waler, president, NW Roofing And Siding Pros. “Contractors can be stretched thin with all that’s on our plate. So, in addition to using the best performing products, we’re also looking for manufacturers to help us improve our business practices. If you can find a manufacturer that you trust, that has the products customers want, and tools to help you better serve your customer — it’s a game changer.”

Durability Without the Loss of Curb Appeal

Heavy-duty shingles provide structural integrity. They have granule coverage that protects the asphalt from the harmful effects of the sun and inhibits the weathering process. As one of the heaviest shingles in the industry, the heavy-weight asphalt coating, fiberglass mat, and proprietary granules on IKO performance products offer long-lasting durability.

Durability is key, but so is design. Today’s homeowners don’t have to sacrifice the beauty and curb appeal of their home when choosing high performance products.

“Recent expansions in performance product lines include a variety of high definition color options, allowing your customers to achieve the look they desire while getting the performance they need,” said Mark Okland, product development manager, IKO North America. “We are committed to creating products that allow for homeowner’s peace of mind without the sacrifice of curb appeal”.

IKO has nine high definition colors for its new Nordic shingle, and this year we added four new beautiful colors — Shadow Brown, Emerald Green, Monaco Red and Atlantic Blue — to the popular Dynasty shingle line.

Nail Holding Power Plus Effective Sealing

Strong nail holding power prevents nail blow-through during installation and helps ensure nails won’t pull through the shingle in turbulent storms.

A few years ago, IKO introduced a breakthrough in performance technology with its ArmourZone®. Featured in all IKO performance shingles, the IKO ArmourZone is a 1-1/4” wide nailing surface reinforced by a tough, tear-resistant woven band that’s built into the underside of these shingles. It extends the nailing zone 40-percent wider than standard architectural shingles, so nails applied in this area are optimally positioned to help resist pull-through and shingle blow-off. Accurate nail placement during the installation process helps to ensure strong fastening power. Shingles featuring the ArmourZone carry a limited wind warranty of up to 130 mph (210 km/h).

Shingle blow-off is further prevented by IKO’s FastlockTM sealant strips, which are formulated to be thick and aggressive, creating a strong bond to the shingles below that works to block wind-driven rain from getting underneath and leaking into the home.

Impact Resistance That Performs

Hail, fallen limbs and debris can cause major damage to a roof and that’s why impact resistance is moving up on the list of customer requirements. IKO’s Nordic shingles are Class 4 — among the highest in the industry — and may enable homeowners to obtain a discount on home insurance premiums. Nordic’s polymer modified asphalt coating achieved the Class 4 impact rating through independent testing in accordance with the FM 44732 standards.

Real Time Communication with Customers

The last piece of the performance puzzle is the quick and efficient connection with the customers who need your service.  IKO launched ROOFPRO this year, a fully integrated program that connects contractors with potential customers as they begin the research process. And, predictably helps guide the contractor-customer relationship throughout the buying journey.

The program features The ROOFPRO GO! App delivering leads from multiple input sources directly to contractors’ smartphones. Additionally, the program features a proprietary customer relationship management (CRM) program that is customized for roofing contractors and allows for real-time alerts and responsive communications — from initial interest through installation.

Performance has gone mainstream. Your customers want it from the products you use on their roofs, and they want it in the relationship they have with you. In response, IKO has prioritized the development and expansion of product lines that meet the needs of these climate and customer demands coupled with contractor programs that ease the buying process. Using IKO products gives you durability with curb appeal, more accurate nail placement, a strong bond, and high impact resistance, which equals peace of mind for you and your homeowners.

To learn more about IKO’s performance products and full suite of roofing product solutions, visit www.iko.com.

1 “Climate Change Indicators: Weather and Climate.” United States Environmental Protection Agency. 2016. https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/weather-climate

2 This rating is not to be construed as any type of express or implied warranty or guarantee of the impact performance of this shingle by the manufacturer, supplier or installers. For further detail concerning the test and the FM 4473 standards, see https://www.iko.com/na/publication/specification-test-standard-impact-resistance/wppa_open/ (current as of 6.22.16).