The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing supply chain issues presented multiple challenges for roofing contractors and the companies that serve the entire industry. But that prolonged period also provided a space for many of those companies to innovate. Whether changes to internal processes and workflow or an increased focus on research and development, roofing appears reinvigorated in 2023. That became clear in Dallas at the well-attended and highly energetic 2023 International Roofing Expo.
Each year, RC objectively looks at the new products, ideas and services entering the roofing marketplace on the show floor. We selected a few that stand out for their ingenuity and potential impact – immediate or long-term. It’s called our Editor’s Choice, and while subjective, the chosen products released within the past year could be the difference for some contractors this year and beyond.
Province Slate Details
- Comes in nature-crafted colors that reflect the progressive aging found on natural shake shingles
- Tiles are durable and designed to resist splitting, cracking, curling and fading
- Aligned with DaVinci’s online, 3-D interactive Immersive Experience program
- Lifetime limited material warranty
Barely a year after being acquired by Westlake Royal Building Products, DaVinci Roofscapes began 2023 touting a new line of premium composite roof tiles in both slate and shake.
The DaVinci Province Slate makes an impression with a 12-inch wide tile and fixed 8-inch exposure designed to evoke a “historical feel” with authentic, natural slate aesthetics. The synthetic tile is also user-friendly from a roofer’s perspective. Each tile backing includes an enhanced rib structure and self-aligning ledge that makes for easier and quicker installations.
“I’ve done at least five or six case studies on it myself,” said Kathy Ziprik with DaVinci Roofscapes. “We had one story where it went on, and a week later, it was heavy rains, 40-50-mile winds and it held up … I’ve got product stories where it held up to Hurricane Irma.”
Malco Products, SBC
Metal Bender Details
- Two-station configuration allows for more contractor flexibility
- Narrow-bearing stance models follow curved panels easily or form straight bends when needed
- Wide-bearing stance models provide more control for straighter bends
- Lightweight and easily portable with features to help with storage
Minnesota-based Malco Products, SBC, expands its reputation for producing high-quality hand tools for exterior and HVAC trades by bringing innovation to roofing. Malco's recent release of Metal Benders highlights the company’s new line of professional-grade, durable tools for metal roofing contractors.
These tools can form 0-degree to 100-degree bends on straight or curved panels of any length on the job site, allowing trade pros to get the job done more efficiently and eliminating the need to wait on wholesale roll formers. Contractors can also customize for different thicknesses and materials by adjusting the rollers — all on-site.
The Metal Benders also have exclusive features most current products in the marketplace lack, including an angled roller to avoid scratching the material on a 90-degree bend, said Nancy Gunderson, Malco’s director of marketing. She also hinted the company isn’t quite done in the roofing space.
“This line is designed with roofing installers and building exterior contractors in mind and with one goal — making jobs faster and easier,” Gunderson said. “We look forward to introducing additional new metal roofing products soon.”
OLD PROBLEMS, NEW SOLUTIONS
NAIL CATCH Filters
NAIL CATCH Details
- Easy to attach to standard gutter downspouts
- Water flows through, but nails and roof debris stay behind
- Eliminates costly callbacks to job sites even weeks after completion
- Easily disposable
Since its breakout at the 2020 IRE, the Catch-All has helped roofing contractors stay efficient on the job site while keeping the area free of nails that cause headaches and costly callbacks. The roofing contractors behind the invention followed it up this year with a new accessory designed to help contractors exceed homeowner expectations when keeping a property nail- and roof debris-free.
The Catch-All NAIL CATCH™ downspout filter is simple to attach to standard gutter systems and adds an extra assurance that any nails or debris from tear-offs won’t wash out onto driveways, yards and landscaping.
Total Grip Details
- Non-invasive installation onto the rooftop
- Uninterrupted connection so there’s no time wasted disconnecting and reconnecting
- Modular design and fastenings for most commonly-used roof decks
- Designed to meet OSHA and ANSI requirements
For more than two decades, FlashCo has been a reliable solution for roofing contractors needing pre-fabricated roof flashings and accessories. In 2023, the Santa Rosa, Calif.-based manufacturer is expanding into the roof safety market with a few products launched at the 2023 IRE in Dallas. One of them, Total Grip horizontal lifeline, has a continuous connection feature that provides roofers safety and saves time by eliminating the need to disconnect and reconnect as the job progresses. There’s also a modular design, giving roofing contractors multiple options to set up the system for different roof applications.
The flexibility allows roofing crews to account for distinct roof features, custom designs and changing weather conditions. It also doesn’t require rooftop penetrations to be effective.
“Our new horizontal lifeline system is a great product for the market,” said Bill Bartell, FlashCo’s vice president of sales and marketing. “It’s an engineered system that is non-invasive. With our roofing and waterproofing background, we can really help roofers sell the system and keep it watertight too.”
Total Grip Details
- Seamlessly integrates with any asphalt shingle
- Can be installed in new or existing roofs
- Produces as much energy as traditional rack and panel solar system
- All-black, stylish look that balances style with efficiency
CertainTeed was among the first major building materials manufacturers to tinker with solar absorbing and reflective shingles. The Pennsylvania-based company has now taken the next step with its Solstice Solar roofing line, which integrates asphalt shingles in a way that designers say makes it easier for roofing contractors to add solar to their current service offerings.
CertainTeed developed Solstice with a roofer’s perspective, according to Phoebe Kwan, general manager of Solar Solutions at Saint-Gobain, CertainTeed’s parent company. It addresses concerns about solar not complementing a home’s aesthetic charm and durability to ensure it can endure years of weathering in extremely challenging conditions.
Pinnacle Sun Shingle
Atlas Roofing Corp.
Pinnacle Sun Details
- HP42® technology
- 3M-brand Scotchgard Protector
- 3M smog-reducing granule technology
- 3M Cool Roof technology
Atlas Roofing Corp. has a history of marketplace innovation and making a splash at industry events. After a few years of corporate self-reflection — fostering a company-wide rebrand — Atlas returned to the IRE show floor this year with new shingle products aimed to address resilience and energy efficiency of homes in every market.
The Pinnacle Sun® is the latest addition to Atlas’s signature Pinnacle product line and, like its sister shingles, is available in a wide assortment of colors. But, unlike the others, its advanced technology reflects the sun’s radiant heat — and can actually help improve air quality.
Within each shingle is 3M’s smog-reducing granule technology with a photocatalytic coating, which sunlight activates. The sunlight turns smog into water-soluble ions that dissipate naturally. The shingles are manufactured to meet the Cool Roof Rating Council’s standards for Solar Reflective Index and may comply with city and state building codes for reflectivity.
The broad color selection allows homeowners to make a dramatic statement for curb appeal and helps pull heat from the roof.
“We really think there’s going to be demand for products that help promote energy savings and energy efficiency and also continue to build our sustainability story,” said Stan Bastek, Atlas’ vice president of sales and marketing.
Tech Stack Details
- Centrally connect roofers in the Owens Corning Roofing Contractor Network with business services
- Leverage and enhance partnerships with key Owens Corning business service partners
- Efficiently manage leads and keep customers engaged throughout the sales process
- Help growing businesses prepare to scale with access to lead nurturing and customer review data
Earlier this year, Owens Corning introduced Tech Stack, a curated suite of digital resources designed to help contractors build business through an ever-evolving mobile experience for customers.
The program is a customer relationship management portal that connects roofing contractors to Owens Corning Business Service partners through a central hub. Roofers can access tools to support sales and marketing, service leads, manage customer review requests, and more.
The easy access will help contractors create impactful presentations for clients, running from estimates, quotes and contracts to accounting and other administrative support. Partners include Art Unlimited, CompanyCam, HOVER, Ingage, JobNimbus, Leap and Podium.
“Owens Corning developed the Tech Stack to help contractors win,” said Jon Gardner, Owens Cornings’ national training and development leader. “The toolbox of digital resources is designed to optimize business processes, drive efficiency, and add value from a prospect’s initial website visit through installation and generation of new customer referrals.”
EagleView Technologies Inc.
Tech Stack Details
- More than 20 years of proprietary aerial and drone imagery that covers 94% of the North American population.
- Geospatial information that ensures geolocation accuracy, geometric quality, and photometric quality
- High-resolution imagery that allows for feature identification, extraction, and change comparison
- Multi-source cloud imagery storage
EagleView Technologies has a history of game-changing innovations for the roofing industry regarding aerial imagery, software and analytics. Now it’s ready to take on what’s next in the new technological frontier and go way beyond roofing.
The Washington state-based service provider will open its platform to commercial enterprises, municipalities and government organizations for strategic customer and partner access. That includes using EagleView’s vast library of 20 million-plus square miles of geospatial images taken over decades.
It’s a machine-learning-based program that will allow future customers to use and build upon their multitude of imagery and data collected over two-plus decades. The connectivity can potentially speed up workflows, innovation and service delivery in multiple fields, said EagleView CEO Chris Jurasek.
“We are opening access to the capabilities that have made EagleView an industry-leading geospatial solution provider," he said. “Now, companies across all industries from architecture, engineering, and infrastructure to wireless service providers will be able to build solutions utilizing our proprietary software, imagery and property data sets.”