As the editors of Roofing Contractor attend industry trade shows in the fall and winter - especially METALCON, the International Builders Show (IBS) and the International Roofing Expo (IRE) - one thing we are always on the lookout for is new products.

As the editors of Roofing Contractor attend industry trade shows in the fall and winter - especially METALCON, the International Builders Show (IBS) and the International Roofing Expo (IRE) - one thing we are always on the lookout for is new products.

That’s part of our job description, and it’s also great fun. After the IRE, we put our heads together and share the new products we saw that are interesting, innovative and, in our opinion, show great promise in the industry. Of course, we’re especially interested in products that help contractors do their jobs better, faster, and more efficiently. We announce the winners of our “Editor’s Choice” awards in the April issue.

One promising trend this year was the sheer number of new product introductions we saw. After a couple of years in which we saw fewer new product announcements than usual, this year it seems we saw more than expected. There were new membranes, new tools, and new developments in software and aerial measurements everywhere you looked at IRE. Solar products continue to advance, and this year roof-mounted wind turbines were on display at IBS. New safety equipment also took the spotlight at this year’s trade shows with the new OSHA residential fall protection compliance directive (STD 03-11-001) being enforced beginning June 16, 2011.

Look for our winners in the April issue and let us know of new products, systems and services you’ve spotted that can help contractors improve their businesses. We just might spotlight them in a future issue.