ROSEMONT, Ill. — The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) is calling on roofing contractors to join a letter campaign asking federal and state governments to clarify that roofing is an essential business during the COVID-19 crisis.

As more and more states continue to enact “shelter-in-place” orders and calling for the temporary closure of non-essential businesses, roofing contractors are left wondering whether they can and should continue to operate during these unprecedented times.

To help address these concerns, the NRCA led an industrywide effort on March 19 to send a letter to President Donald Trump asking the administration to provide clear guidance to states regarding essential industry and essential worker designations.

Each regional, state and local NRCA affiliate received a copy of the letter with permission to use it as a template to communicate the roofing industry’s message to state governments. The letter is available at

NRCA CEO Reid Ribble said this has been the top concern of roofing contractors who have reached out to the NRCA. He said it’s been a point of frustration, as there are over 10,000 jurisdictions in the U.S. providing information regarding what is actually an essential service. For instance, Ohio claims most construction is essential, while Pennsylvania states construction isn’t essential.

“I do think there ought to be some national guidance so that collectively as a society we can deal with this,” Ribble told RC. “We’re looking forward to having the federal government weigh in this week on a more clear guidance.”

In the letter, NRCA and affiliate organizations requested guidance from the Trump administration clarifying essential businesses, services and workers be issued to state and local governments and explained why the guidance should recognize the role of the roofing industry in protecting U.S. families and employers.

The letter states the roofing industry’s economic contributions exceed $100 billion, and more than 1 million workers are employed by manufacturers, raw material suppliers, distributors and roofing contractors throughout the country. It also emphasizes that roofing professionals are integral to making and installing products that protect hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacies and other businesses providing critical care and resources to Americans, as well as residential buildings in which families are being asked to shelter in place.

In addition, the letter noted the roofing industry must be able to quickly respond to the impacts extreme weather and natural disasters may inflict on homes and buildings during the spring and summer months.

The letter is signed by multiple roofing industry representatives, including the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, EDPM Roofing Association, National Women in Roofing, the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association, the Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association, the Single Ply Roofing Industry and the Tile Roofing Industry Alliance.

For the latest information and resources during the COVID-19 crisis, visit NRCA’s COVID-19 Resources page as well as RC’s coronavirus coverage page.