In every eMagazine issue, Roofing Contractor editors highlight the new products entering the market. Some are hits – innovations that will no doubt make a roofer’s life easier – and some miss the mark. Each year, we try and objectively look at the new entries in the marketplace and determine which could play an important role in the roofing industry going forward with our Editor’s Choice.

Amid all the challenges the past year posed for roofing contractors around the country, the industry was still grappling with how to become more efficient and profitable on-the-job with persistent workforce shortages. Contractors continued to choose and rely on products that helped them do their jobs faster without compromising quality or long-term solutions for their customers.

Despite the lack of traditional means to introduce products into the market via trade shows or in-person pitches, the companies serving the roofing industry didn’t stop innovating or finding creative ways to get the word out. So we listened, watched webinars, participated in virtual demos and took Zoom meetings with just about any company that had something to introduce to the market.

The following products were released within the past year and while assigning value to them may be subjective, there’s little doubt roofing contractors of all sizes and specialties will want to know about them and determine if they can provide an edge. Here are our Editor’s Choice honorees for 2021.

 

NEW INNOVATIONS

Titan XT™ and StormFighter IR™

Titan XT™ and StormFighter IR™

Titan XT™ and StormFighter IR™  TAMKO Building Products LLC

With its new Heritage Proline series, TAMKO brought two laminated asphalt shingles to market earlier this year designed for easier installation and higher performance in extreme weather conditions. 

The Titan XT™ and StormFighter IR™ are a combination of roofing technology and innovation driven by the overwhelming response to the need for more durable products in the market. The flagship Titan XT features an expanded Rapid Fire Zone™ nailing zone, AnchorLock™ layer reinforced common bond, Advanced Fusion™ enhanced sealants and UltraMAX Weathering™ top coating.

The same features are available on the StormFighter IR, which also boasts the WindGUARD high-wind warranty, and is classified by UL for compliance. Contractors raved about the potential savings on nails and reduced maintenance calls for shingle blow-offs during product focus groups. 

MINERAL DESIGN™ • Bitec

Bitec’s Mineral Design™ is a pattern-designed, mineral surfaced modified bitumen waterproofing membrane that provides designers, specifiers and building owners more ability to add colorful designs to their modified bitumen roofs. Bitec’s vast line of color selections includes everything from brick patterns and strip slates to camouflage, and more.

Bitec also offers more customization than ever before for projects with solid designs in 14 beautiful colors. Only the highest quality asphalt and reinforced polyester fabric are used for membranes, and the two are chemically bonded using a process that ensures the strength, flexibility and elasticity needed for long-term protection. 

These Mineral Design options ensure that your membrane is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also impermeable to water, flexible in low temperatures, UV resistant, puncture resistant and highly workable.

Garland’s R-Mer Shield • Garland Co.

Garland’s R-Mer Shield is a standing seam structural metal roof system that stands out because of its ability to withstand wind speeds over 200 mph. That’s unrivaled strength, durability and waterproofing protection at a time when climate is increasingly more important in roofing. 

It’s specifically designed for standing seam roof systems and company officials say it's built to redefine performance expectations in roofing by providing waterproofing protection for 40 years or more. Installation for contractors is also simpler, reducing time and costs on the jobsite. 

Garland’s R-Mer Shield Details:

  • Innovative, high-performance structural metal roof system
  • Can withstand wind speeds over 200 mph
  • Allows for installation of panels up to 24¾ inches
 

DensDeck® StormX™ Prime Roof Board • Georgia Pacific 

Georgia Pacific celebrated the start of the new year with the highly-anticipated release of latest enhancement to the DensDeck product family – DensDeck StormX.

The high-performance gypsum roof coverboard is designed to keep commercial roofs in place under the threat of severe hail impacts and windy conditions. It’s now available nationwide and is the first gypsum coverboard to be classified for use in assemblies that meet FM Global’s Very Severe Hail Standard set in 2019.

It’s the first innovation to one of Georgia Pacific’s signature roofing product lines since 2018, and it couldn’t come at a more important time. Over the past 60 years, weather-related disaster losses increased by more than 400%, and they show no signs of slowing down, as evidenced by last year’s record storm season. With more people in the path of storm dangers, roofing has become an essential part of the infrastructure conversation.

“If your building is in a very severe hail zone or is frequently confronted by the intense moisture of hurricanes, you need a roof board that stands up to attack,” said Mikael Kuronen, Georgia Pacific’s director of product management. “This board is your roof risk mitigator.” 

SOPRA-XPS • SOPREMA USA 

SOPRA-XPS offers a dense, closed-cell composition that provides a long-term R-value (LTTR) of 5 per inch. That makes it one of the greatest compressive strengths in the insulation market, even at low temperatures. 

SOPREMA manufactured five different products for the line for impressive versatility. The first introduced was XPS 20, designed for above-grade exterior walls and residential applications. Roofers can increase the strength depending on the job to support heavier loads. The line earned the coveted GREENGUARD Gold certification, which ensures that the product is acceptable in high-risk environments, such as schools and healthcare facilities. Company officials say it’s one of the "greener" products on the market, as it is composed of 70% recycled content.

DURO-LAST X • DURO-LAST 

Duro-Last has built a reputation on custom roofing solutions for commercial buildings for decades. It’s now taking that customization niche a step further with Duro-Last X, the industry’s first custom-cut roll good membrane solution.

Duro-Last X is available in 10-foot wide rolls that can be custom-cut up to 200 feet in length. This customization provides contractors with enhanced efficiency on roll good installations, which developers say will dramatically reduce the number of T-Patches, end rolls, and scrap contractors have to deal with. 

“The Duro-Last X membrane was designed specifically for contractors that prefer working with roll goods, yet also enjoy the efficiencies provided with custom solutions,” said Steve Ruth, vice president of sales operations.

Custom cuts at the factory phase save contractors installation time on the rooftop, and creates other efficiencies that leave more time for quality assurance.

DURO-LAST X Details:

  • Ideal for contractors seeking roll good solutions with custom-cut lengths
  • Available in 50 mil, 60 mil, and 80 mil thickness
  • Features a smooth matte finish and is also available in standard roll lengths.
  • Compatible with complete line of Duro-Last custom-fabricated accessories
  • Qualifies for Duro-Last supreme warranties
 

 

DryRoof™ SA • CertianTeed 

Residential roofing contractors are increasingly in need for high-performing, yet budget conscious underlayments that won’t snag up a sale. CertainTeed responded to that demand with its newest addition to the underlayment products family: DryRoof SA. The new underlayment is lightweight and prevents water intrusion through watertight seals that surround fasteners and roof penetration points. It’s designed for asphalt shingles and comes with a split-release backing to help with installation. 

Engineers specifically set out to design a product that would act as a wind-driven rain guard that reinforces eaves, roof penetrations and suspect roof valleys. It’s already approved for many roofing codes and construction standards, including Miami-Dade Product Control Acceptance and UL 790.

DryRoof SA Details:

  • Weight per roll: 45 pounds
  • Roll area: 195 square feet
  • Roll length: 65 feet
  • Roll width: 36 inches
  • Meets several codes and standards
 

 

SAFETY

BILCO 2.0

BILCO 2.0

BILCO 2.0 • The BILCO Co. 

Falls continue to be the most deadly and costly hazard roofing contractors face in the field whether on steep slope or low slope jobs. The BILCO Co. has a new Bil-Guard 2.0 design that is stronger and simpler for roofing contractors to install on commercial roof systems. It also has a redesigned, self-closing hinge and positive latching system. 

Its aluminum construction allows for increased strength and rigidity, and is available with a safety yellow powder-coat finish over the corrosion-resistant aluminum rails. It also meets OSHA fall protection regulations (29 CFR 1910.29). 

And crews won’t be caught up with installation concerns as assembly and installation can be completed in about an hour. BILCO has video instructions for assembly available. 

ToughSkin HT Ice & Water Guard • Ox Engineered Products 

As a Michigan-based manufacturer of structural sheathing and thermal insulation materials, Ox Engineered Products has worked on the peripheral of the roofing industry. Not anymore. 

Ox officially entered the roofing underlayment market earlier this year with the introduction of the ToughSkin HT Ice & Water Guard self-adhered underlayment. The product is designed for tile and metal roof installations that can last up to 75 years, company officials say. That’s good for customers, but the underlayment’s main benefit to the roofing contractor comes in the form of additional safety. 

“(It) possesses two crucial characteristics that we know builders are seeking in a roof underlayment product – long-term performance and safety for workers,” explained Todd Gluski, Ox’s marketing director. “The product will not soften or degrade under high heat, keeps the moisture out, and it prevents accidents during roofing installation.”

It’s made up of a rubberized asphalt adhesive base layer that works in high temperatures, and the membrane is thick enough to seal around fasteners, keeping moisture away from the substrate. It’s also good for tight areas on the rooftop because of a lightweight split-release liner made of siliconized film.

ToughSkin HT Ice & Water Guard Details:

  • Woven and non-woven reinforcement layers (laminated together)
  • Overlapping adhesive sealing strips at the seams
  • A UV-shielded waterproof layer for protection from rain, snow, and ice
  • A top layer with SlipSafe® Technology to reduce slips or falls
 

Ol’ Sparky Generator Roofmaster Products Company

Having adequate power on the jobsite is essential for productivity and can also be a safety issues for crews. Roofmaster Products Company set out to address both with the Ol’ Sparky Generator set.

A new design makes those working with it capable of operating a pair of robotic welders for thermoplastic roofing systems at the same time. That’s because it’s powered by a 20 horsepower Honda engine and gas tank capable of holding up to 11 gallons. It is CARB and EPA compliant, and a carbon vapor canister is included. 

The generator’s wheels and heavy duty frame are part of the standard Roofmaster NFL wheel kit, and the HD lifting eye makes for easy movement on the jobsite, including rooftops. Battery not included. 

 

OLD PROBLEMS, NEW SOLUTIONS

FOAMULAR NGX

FOAMULAR NGX

FOAMULAR NGX Owens Corning

Owens Corning’s latest innovation in extruded polystyrene, FOAMULAR NGX insulation, contains a proprietary blowing agent that completely eliminates HFC 134a. It delivers a 90% reduction in blowing agent Global Warning Potentials (GWP) compared to legacy FOAMULAR insulation and is optimized to demonstrate a greater than 80% reduction in embodied carbon.

Created to meet anticipated demand after Canada and several U.S. states enacted stringent new environmental regulations to address concerns about high GWP and hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) blowing agents, this product demonstrates the fusion of smart material and resiliency. Officials say more than six years of research and development went into the intricate process of reducing blowing agent GWP without compromising performance.

Owens Corning took going "green" with this product the extra mile. A sustainability team used an environmental calculator to evaluate how switching from a competitive XPS product could reduce GWP. The potential is akin to taking 1,500 cars off the roadway, official said. It’s also manufactured with 100% wind electricity, is GREENGUARD Gold certified, reusable, and certified by Scientific Certification Systems to contain a minimum of 20% recycled polystyrene.

FOAMULAR NGX Details:

  • Highly resistant to moisture and retains its high R-value even after prolonged exposure to moisture and freeze/thaw cycling
  • Sustainability Profile validated by a third-party verified Environmental Product Declaration and Optimization Report
  • A greater than 80% reduction in GWP qualifies as 1.5 products towards LEED 4.1 points or Options 1 and 2 under the Materials and Resources: Environmental Product Declaration
  • FOAMULAR NGX is Underwriters Laboratory (UL) Listed and Factory Mutual (FM) approved, and is available in all states and Canada
 

Seal-Fast® Liqui-Flash Mule-Hide Products Co. 

Sealing complex and non-traditional spaces on the rooftop takes a particular combination of versatility and strength that Mule-Hide Product’s Seal-Fast Liqui-Flash provides. As such, the sealant is an exceptionally versatile maintenance and repair solution. The one-component, 100% solids, non-shrink, polyurethane sealant can be used in typical and difficult-to-access applications, including flashings, skylights, and pitch pockets.

It's also compatible with a wide range of substrates, including metal, polyurethane foam, aged smooth asphalt, aged modified bitumen, aged PVC and aged EPDM. Use on TPO systems requires Mule-Hide Si TPO Primer. The new Seal-Fast is also compatible with Mule-Hide Products' acrylic and silicone roof coatings, making it an ideal choice for polyurethane foam roofs damaged by hail.

Seal-Fast® Liqui-Flash Details:

  • Single-step application process using a brush or a ribbon nozzle
  • Can be used on TPO roofing systems when primed with Mule-Hide Si TPO Primer
  • Seal-Fast Liqui-Flash is available in three colors – black, white and gray
  • Packaged in 10-ounce caulk tubes, 20-ounce sausage tubes, 1-gallon pails, and 3.5-gallon pails
 

WIND CLAMP 2X S-5!

Metal roofing’s increased popularity in both commercial and residential settings has sparked a new wave of innovation on the manufacturing and installation fronts. The latest edition from S-5! is designed to increase wind resistance for metal roofs, particularly in the wake of the record hurricane and storm season we just experienced in 2020. 

Now the third of S-5!’s WindClamp series, the new WindClamp 2X is designed for specific double-folded standing seams. The small aluminum clamps are placed over the seam to prevent separation from the roof’s mounting clip. The clamp-to-seam technology has been described as highly cost-effective, and a solution to preserve rooftops in some high-risk roof zones. 

“The magic is not in a generic ‘seam clamp,’ or in a seam clamp that ‘fits okay’ or ‘fits’ multiple seam profiles,” said S-5! CEO Rob Haddock. “The magic is in knowing how to design a seam clamp for this purpose and for a specific panel profile. S-5! WindClamps can increase strength by 100, 200 or even 300% with test protocols to prove it.”

WIND CLAMP2X Details:

  • Prevents multiple failures – including seam separation and clip disengagement
  • Cost-compelling alternative for new construction
  • Can also be used in retrofit applications for compliance
  • New ergonomic grip that provides operator comfort and enhanced protection
  • Will meet current codes and wind standards
 

 

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES/TECHNOLOGY

Predictive Sales AI

 

Predictive Sales AI

 

Predictive Sales AI Spectrum Communications & Consulting, Inc.

The power of artificial intelligence (AI) is penetrating the roofing industry and is no longer just fodder for the future. Predictive Sales AI is a weather monitoring and lead generation engine powered by AI. It’s built to enhance every step of a contractor’s sales funnel by allowing roofers to connect with specific homeowners in storm-affected areas long before the first hail ball strikes. 

It identifies and cultivates those audiences using AI solutions like Digital Door Knocking, AI digital referral lead generation, and custom ad campaigns. The new technology captures more digital leads with engagement tools that promote conversion by making it easy for leads to connect with your business, and providing insights into customer homes. 

Unlike other weather forecasting software and apps, Predictive Sales AI takes users into the storm with real-time data on how it’s impacting regions and neighborhoods. It also merges that data with a decade’s worth of storm-related information for a specified area.

The goal is to leverage and harness weather forecasts as well as information related to the swath of damage left behind in a storm’s wake so contractors can make better decisions on where to focus resources. 

“Playing offense and taking control of weather information, rather than reacting to these weather events when they happen – there’s so much opportunity there,” said Victor Gensini, Ph.D., a professor at Northern Illinois University and the company’s vice president of atmospheric data science. “You can use artificial intelligence and machine learning to make better decisions about staffing, projects, materials needed in real time.” 

Learn more at https://www.spectruminc.com/.

RhinoBond with OptiWeld  OMG Roofing Products

OMG Roofing Products’ exclusive OptiWeld Technology optimizes the energy required to generate consistent, high performing bonds with installed OMG RhinoBond Plates. And it calibrates automatically, taking that disruption out of the installation process. 

By optimizing the temperature of the RhinoBond Plate during the welding cycle, the new technology eliminates the manual calibration to assure the best bond possible. The process saves valuable time and labor for contractors during the daily set-up. OptiWeld Tools also track completed weld-cycles so that contactors can monitor daily productivity. In addition, contractors can troubleshoot from the menu and easily access the online owner’s manual. 

Convenience for the contractor continues with the LED touchscreen that allows them to select preferred language (currently English or Spanish) and all the important keys to operate properly.

RhinoBond with OptiWeld Details:

  • Valuable time savings with automatic calibration
  • Features an LED touch screen interface to control functionality
  • Tracks completed weld cycles to monitor daily progress and productivity
  • New ergonomic grip that provides operator comfort and enhanced protection
  • Bold new graphic look to differentiate the thousands of RhinoBond Classic tools already in the market
 

AccuLynx and Roof Hub  AccuLynx and SRS Distribution

AccuLynx has been making life easier for roofing contractors in the field and office for years. SRS Distribution launched its Roof Hub desktop order and materials management system at the 2020 International Roofing Expo in Dallas as a web-based extension of its popular mobile app that arrived on the scene a year earlier. Now they’re teaming up to empower roofers to create faster, more accurate estimates and facilitate a more seamless material ordering process.

SRS Distribution customers who use AccuLynx will now be able to access SRS products, see their specific material pricing and place electronic orders for materials directly from AccuLynx. This convenient and streamlined workflow eliminates the need for AccuLynx users to log into another system to gather material costs or place orders.

"For over 10 years, AccuLynx's mission has been to provide roofing contractors with innovative technology that helps them manage and grow their business while simplifying the way they work," said Mike Stein, AccuLynx CEO. "We are proud to integrate with companies like SRS Distribution to drive even greater efficiencies for our customers.”

AccuLynx and Roof Hub Details:

  • Manage jobs from a single, cloud-based app
  • Combines customer relationship management and project management functionality
  • Integration makes it easier than ever for roofing contractors to estimate job costs and place orders directly with local branch
  • Tools supporting the roofing sales and production process, including estimating, photo-sharing, aerial measurements