Top Commercial Roofing Trends
If you’re in the market for a new roof this year, here are some of the biggest commercial roofing trends we see for 2019
The Advanced Roofing team recently attended the annual International Roofing Expo in Nashville where we heard from manufacturers and suppliers of all sizes to learn more about the breadth of products on the market, value-driven services available. and some of the most innovative ideas in roofing materials and technology. Here we share a few of the top trends we saw at the Expo, which is echoed in Roofing Contractor’s 2019 analysis compiled with feedback from roofing contractors, consultants, architects, engineers and designers from across the country.
1. When it Comes to Roof Design, Education, Training and Simple Specs Are Key
There is a surplus of options when it comes to choosing materials and applications for roofing system design, which often makes selecting the best flat roof for your commercial building complicated and overwhelming. Picking products that meet the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) technical standards or offer equivalent warranty terms can get in the way of weighing options that work with the environment and the construction of the building for non-contractors. The problem with this approach is that it often leads to poor designs that do not take into consideration redundant waterproofing and other critical components that skilled roofing contractors take into account. However, the forecast for 2019 trends away from this concept of designing to meet minimum requirements and instead emphasizes education and training, and a simplification on specs for designers, in building a strong roofing system.
2. Using Sustainable Roofing Products That Create Less Landfill Waste
It’s easy being green, and it shows in your bottom line. Sustainable roofing products continue to increase in popularity, and commercial roofing companies and others in the industry are seeking products that go beyond the traditional definition of being created “green” and instead are environmentally-friendly throughout the entire life of the product, including the inevitable roof tear-off. Creating less waste for landfills is key. As a result, we predict a turn away from short-term single-ply roofing systems in favor of longer-term multi-ply modified-bitumen roof systems that require occasional maintenance as opposed to a complete replacement.
3. Shortage of Skilled Workers Continues into 2019
A strong economy continues to fuel the demand for commercial roofing projects, but the industry still lacks a skilled workforce to meet this demand. As a result, many roofing contractors are facing an extensive backlog of jobs with missed deadlines. There continues to be a decrease in new workers pursuing a trade and entering the roofing industry, instead opting for a college education. This, along with a limited scope of knowledge for some within the industry, results in a narrow pool of contractors with the abilities to carry out certain jobs. Training and certification programs are key to developing more qualified workers who have the skills to understand and utilize the array of new, innovative products on the market.
4. Efficient Products Will Help Contractors Meet Demand
While we work to build the labor force, there are effective products and application methods to use in the meantime that save time and increase efficiency. Pre-assembled multi-ply boards require less labor on the job site and offer a more consistent application. Elastomeric STPE-based moisture-curing polymeric adhesives also shorten the timeline for a roof installation over a concrete deck, and liquid-applied protective roofing products extend the life of a roof considerably through weather resistance. Awareness of these products needs to grow, especially among designers, and training is essential for proper installation.