Big fields of open roofing are easy to cover. The devil is in the details. Flashing, vents and gutters cover such a small area but often take the most labor because they’re put in harm’s way to divert endless streams of water, year after year. The likeliest sources of intrusion don’t get the glamour but definitely get the attention of the roofing industry. There are a number of vendors who have spent careers addressing the challenges of weathering, debris, impacts and neglect that roofing components experience.
Tile, that 4,000-year-old roof, has always had some high-performance features. From a venerable and reliable roofing material to an energy-saving, storm-resistant material, tile roofing is undergoing something of a makeover. While there are a fair amount of new products and styles, many of the recent developments in the tile market are simply the result of measuring and quantifying the properties there were there all the time.
As the concern over fossil fuels reaches a fever pitch in the American consciousness, a number of solutions are being offered to save energy, save money and save the world. Products like cool roofing and superior insulation have penetrated the market enough to leave room for more innovations, and solar continues to get more attention with every sunrise.
In the process of making roofing history, parts of ancient rock formations were manufactured into tiny granules that would spread success to a number of products and companies. It was 75 years ago when the Wausau plant of 3M shipped the first colored roofing granules, marking a new era in roofing.
Even after years of excellent growth, there is still a lot of room for metal roofing to expand. According to the National Roofing Contractors association’s most recent annual survey, in 2005 the overall share of metal roofing was 4 percent of low-slope new construction, while the share for new steep-slope installations was 28 percent. While metal can be found on virtually any roof, it still takes an investment not only to buy it, but to sell and install it as well.
Asphalt represents a significant investment on the part of contractors and manufacturers. Beyond equipment and infrastructure, the attachment to asphalt is almost emotional because it has served its calling so well and done it with such longevity. Its versatility and dominance may be unmatched in the roofing business. From self-adhered underlayments to mineral surfaced cap sheets, asphalt can be found in just about any layer of a roofing system, and companies continue to spread the word about its benefits.
There's been a lot of water over the roof since 1981, when The Roofer Magazine (as it was then called) premiered. With artistic covers, human interest stories, the latest news and expanded coverage of new innovations, the magazine helped usher in a new era for the roofing industry. Emerging at about the same time as a membrane known as single ply, the advent of The Roofer was another indication that the image, marketing and selling of roofing was about to change forever.
The marketing of metal roofing has come a long way. The life cycle costs of metal roofing are making an impact with consumers, and the curb appeal of a metal roof is registering with many homeowners as well.
The versatility of spray foam roofing has created some excellent market avenues for producers and applicators. Certainly roofing accounts for a significant portion of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) consumption, but there are growth areas for residential insulation and "green" coatings.