A Company Update from Advanced Roofing CEO
As we wrap up the first quarter of 2022, we remain busy in all business segments, including roofing, HVAC, and solar, with one of the most extensive backlogs we’ve ever experienced. The worldwide materials shortage continues to be a big problem, especially regarding pricing. We’re all seeing and feeling these cost fluctuations in our daily lives. As a company, we are having difficulty getting prices from manufacturers, so our contracts will note that materials pricing will be confirmed at the time of the order.
This worldwide shortage of raw materials has created many challenges for construction and roofing, with everything considerably behind production schedules. We are working with all our customers to navigate these waters by using our purchasing power, longstanding relationships, and inventory to secure and stockpile items which put us in a better position than most. We can purchase and store materials to get them to you quickly with seven buildings throughout Florida.
Commercial Roofing Trends in 2021
As I mentioned, the shortage of raw materials is having a significant impact on our industry. With this constant flux and uncertainty, we recommend that building owners and property managers plan their roofing projects out with several options if materials are unavailable or prices increase further.
The shortages have affected the product trends we’re noticing for 2022-2023. For re-roofing projects with insulation, we see Lightweight Insulating Concrete (LWIC) being a great alternative over ISO boards since it’s more widely available and less costly in comparison.
LWIC competitive advantages are that it is long-lasting and provides a more durable roof system that can also add slope to the structure. LWIC roof insulation is a sustainable resource as it can stay in place during your next re-roof. This added benefit helps to reduce construction waste and labor costs while installing future roofs.
Hurricane Season 2022 – Is Your Roof Prepared?
Even though we just entered spring, our team is hard at work preparing for the upcoming hurricane season. This is the perfect time to have us inventory your roof to check for debris, drainage, etc. We will have materials on hand throughout the season, though I’m unsure how much. We may need to provide temporary patches before installing a permanent solution. Customers can rest assured that we will be on top of our game, as we’ve always been, getting your buildings safe as soon as possible.
We can never be too sure of what the season has in store. La Niña (the cool phase of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation climate pattern) kept a firm enough grip on the tropical Pacific in February 2022 that experts now think there’s a greater than 50% chance it will last through summer. In a La Niña cycle, wind speed and/or direction over the Atlantic oceans are less strong and constant. This results in more tropical storms and hurricanes forming, which can lead to an above-average hurricane season.
Preparedness is critical, so it’s essential to stay on top of maintenance and repairs to increase the lifespan of your roof and its ability to withstand a storm. With a project lead time for new jobs of 12-14 months, now is the time to check the condition of your roof. The 179D tax deduction gives commercial building owners a break on maintenance, repairs, and capital improvements on commercial roofs and HVAC property. Owners can deduct up to 100% of the cost from their taxes in the year when the work was completed, so be sure to check this out. Also, remember – roof coatings systems can extend your system’s roof service life and warranty. Click here to learn more from our webinar earlier this year.
Join us for our online webinar “Hurricane Season Preparedness: Is Your Commercial Roof Ready?” on May 5 from 11 am to 12 pm. We’ll go over tips to prepare your commercial roofing system, rooftop air conditioning, solar energy equipment for a hurricane or significant storm, and more. Register here.
Solar Energy Trends for Businesses
We’re excited to welcome Julia Barton to our Business Development team at Advanced Green Technologies (AGT). Julia and the team are busy with a robust backlog of solar projects throughout Florida, and the demand for solar carports and roof systems is forecast to increase into 2023. Overall demand for commercial solar will remain strong for the next three years as the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) phases down from 26% to 10% after 2023. The credit drops to 22% next year, so if you’re considering solar, give us a call as soon as possible to get the most savings.
There are a few new projects in the pipeline that we’re excited about, including a large-scale commercial battery energy storage system (BESS). We are also working on a few notable projects, including installing a solar roof at Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems America in Orlando. The 1.715 mW roof features Astronergy CHSM72M – HC 415W panels with a PanelClawFR ten racking and Canadian Solar 100KW inverters. The system has a potential energy offset of 13% of Mitsubishi’s total energy usage and will be completed in October of this year, so stay tuned.
We’re also breaking ground at four sites within the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Big Cypress Reservation. The total 448.49kW system features a combination of a rooftop, Carport and Ground Mounted Solar arrays, using Chint inverters and a Flexgen Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) at each location. These systems are a first of their kind in Florida, with the ability to provide control over the utility grid, diesel generators, solar inverters, and the BESS at the same time.
The Tribe will have the ability to power its critical infrastructure in an outage, smooth-rolling brownouts (an intentional or unintentional drop in voltage in an electrical power supply system, used for load reduction in an emergency), and reduce utility demand without ever touching a button with the state-of-the-art Flexgen control system, batteries, and the AGT solar arrays. The solar arrays will replenish the batteries daily in a long-term outage, providing long-term resiliency with the existing diesel backup generators.
Companywide Training and DevelopmentBrow
Our ABC apprenticeship program continues to make an impact when it comes to labor, with 16 graduates in 2021. ARI started the ABC Roofing Apprenticeship Program seven years ago as Florida’s first apprenticeship program for roofing. We recently changed the curriculum from a three-year program to a two-year program utilizing newly revised NCCER curriculum content. Quality Control Director Glenn Watson participated on the SME board that contributed to the development and creation of content along with other SME participants across the country and in association with NRCA personnel.
We look forward to welcoming this year’s class. Registration starts on July 18 for the 2022-2023 semesters in the South Florida and Orlando offices.
Advanced Roofing in the Community
Our communities need our help now more than ever, so I’m proud of our company’s longstanding commitment to helping our neighbors in need. We partner with more than 40 charities every year, and quite a few are close to my heart, including the National MS Society. For the past 18 years, I’ve led the ARI team in my favorite event, the annual “Bike MS” fundraiser. Together, we’ve raised more than $700,000, which has helped make great strides in research. When I first became involved, there were only 16 identified genes for the disease. Now, the genes are in the hundreds, and scientists make medicine that works. It’s been a rewarding 150 miles to bike each year, and I do it for my two nieces and countless friends I’ve met through the ride over the years who are living with MS. This year, the ARI team and I raised more than $60,000 for the “MS Bike to the Palm Beaches” on March 19-20. Thank you to all who supported our ride.
I’m also excited to be a part of the American Hear Associations’ Annual Heat Walk which I’ve co-chaired. Once again, our team was one of the top fundraisers for the walk that took place on March 13 at Nova Southeastern University, raising more than $7,300 for this great cause.
The 4th Annual Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward Construction Career Day, where teenage kids explore their career paths, was a huge success this year! I wanted to thank the following ARI team members who volunteered their Saturday to help:
- Anthony Bullard
- David Baytosh
- Faustino Perez
- Josh Poris
- Kevin Kornahrens
- Malcolm Davies
- Mark “Bonnie” Scotford
- Marvin Martinez
- Roberto Cotton
- Terry Tilson
- Woody Weatherford
- Walter Black
ARI was voted the best training session of the day by the kids, thanks to our great leader, David Baytosh, who knows how to make the day fun and the kids feel special. The students engaged with lots of questions, and it was great to have so many supervisors and construction managers give the kids individual hands-on training and see our team in action as great teachers. And a shout out to Josh, as the warehouse set up all the materials and equipment, we needed for the day to be a success.
We also had a special surprise visitor this year. One of our employees from the apprenticeship program, Walter Black, happened to be driving by and saw the ARI tent. Walter, who has been with ARI for 1.5 years, grew up as a member of the Boys & Girls Club where the event was being held. He stayed for the day and spoke to the kids about how he used to be in their shoes and has now made a career at ARI, growing each semester through our apprenticeship program. The kids enjoyed his firsthand experience.
Another passion I share with our company is the environment. As you may know, I am a member of the Broward County Climate Change Task Force, and on the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation board, so the futures of the Everglades and the oceans are very important to me. There are a few bills currently in Tallahassee for Everglades restoration that is promising, and Guy Harvey’s K-12 marine virtual learning platform is coming out as well. Both initiatives offer promises for our future generations to restore and protect our environment.
Looking Forward to the Second Half of the Year
As we know, it’s getting increasingly difficult to predict the future, but Florida’s economy continues to look bright, with lots of growth and money flowing into the state. Historically, as real estate prices increase, people spend more on their roofs. But the shortage of materials and labor will continue to be a challenge for our industry, one of the biggest I’ve experienced in the 40 years since I started Advanced Roofing with just one pickup truck. The labor shortage continues with no end in sight, even as our company provides raises and expands its recruiting efforts beyond state lines.
These challenges will continue throughout 2022, with the first quarter of 2023 hopefully seeing some sort of normalcy with materials and pricing, so hang in there. As always, we will continue to provide exceptional customer service that hopefully makes navigating the challenges of these past few years a bit easier. Let’s make it a great rest of the year, hoping for a brighter and peaceful 2023!