GAF is celebrating 125 years in business and cites “innovation” as the hallmark of their success. I must agree. GAF boasts a long list of innovations that have continuously moved their position in the roofing industry forward.

GAF is celebrating 125 years in business and cites “innovation” as the hallmark of their success. I must agree. GAF boasts a long list of innovations that have continuously moved their position in the roofing industry forward.

Being the first to offer “ready-to-lay” asphalt roofing and the first to use colored granules in roofing material were a few of their earlier successes. Many of us in the business today will not remember all the way back to 1967 when GAF introduced their Timberline laminated shingle. But many have witnessed the growth of this product segment into the commanding market position it enjoys today.

Thirty years after that GAF introduced the first popular certified contractor program. Their contractor programs, as well as those operated by other manufacturers, have doubtless raised the level of professionalism in the roofing industry.

These are just a few of the innovations the people of GAF have brought to the roofing industry. The rest of the lesson will not be touted by GAF, but they would acknowledge that every new product or system they ever introduced was not a huge success. But they have continued to innovate, and that is the most valuable lesson of all. And if staying in business 125 years does not prove it, I do not know what will.

P.S. - Chris King presents the full picture of GAF’s storied history in a feature appearing in the July 2011 issue of Roofing Contractor. Check it out here.