Roofing Trends: Weathering the Extreme

Roofing manufacturers develop products that can withstand severe conditions and persuade homeowners to invest more in their remodeling project.

authors Kyle Clapham | March 13, 2019

Over the years, homeowners largely have accepted the cost for improving their windows, siding and decking, among other jobs. When consumers understand the long-term value of a higher-quality product—installed by a professional contractor—they become much more willing to pay the increased price tag. But roofing, for the majority of remodeling customers, always proved to be an exception.

Many people simply tried to limit their expense beyond the cost of material, so they would often buy the shingles themselves and hire someone to do their project on a weekend. But the country has embarked on a process in which more and more homeowners opt to hire a professional, who comes equipped with material samples and perspective on the available products.

As technology evolves and information spreads, the roofing options for consumers will continue to grow in quality as well as quantity. Qualified Remodeler contacted a number of manufacturers to learn about their newest products and to ask them about the trends they perceive right now and in the near future. Impact resistance, appropriate color choices and sustainable materials emerged as themes in their responses.

Perennial Player

Daltile entered the roofing market earlier this year with its launch of Perennial Porcelain Roofing tile, which provides homeowners with durability, comfort and safety, says Doug Pedersen, sales director for Daltile Corporation. The company utilizes Reveal Imaging technology to generate roofing that replicates the colors and patterns of slate, wood and clay, distinguishing each house.

“Homeowners are looking for something special that will help differentiate their house, create more curb appeal and increase the resale value of their home,” he notes. “The roof is one of the first spots potential buyers notice when they step out of the car and look at a home. They now realize they can differentiate their property, not only for future resale, but also for the long run.”

Perennial Porcelain comes with a lifetime warranty, and the thicker roofing material even offers resistance against hail, water absorption, stains and chemicals, Pedersen adds. The company runs a number of tests measuring breaking strength, hail resistance, freezing and thawing. Daltile also evaluates its systems to ensure they remain weather-tight so that water cannot penetrate the roof.

“[With] asphaltic products and standard shingles, users are looking at a lifecycle ranging from 20 to 30 years; potentially, homeowners would have to update standard roofing [three or four] times before they would have to re-roof a product like Perennial Porcelain,” Pedersen explains. “We do see homeowners moving in the direction where they take lifecycle cost into account. They would rather invest upfront and avoid re-roofing costs down the road.”

Made of clay, feldspar, sand and water, Perennial Porcelain gives homeowners a sustainable roof product that allows solar panels to be mounted on top. “Every time roofing is torn off, it results in asphaltic material that ends up in a landfill,” Pedersen says. “With our long-lasting products, users do not have to tear off an existing roof as often and throw it away.”

Daltile has already introduced six colors for Perennial Porcelain, and the company will continue to explore new colors and blends. “If there is anything we can do on the manufacturer side to make installation easier for the remodeler or roofing contractor, we want to make sure we are delivering on that aspect as well,” Pedersen notes.

Engineered Expansion

Ply Gem Roofing has several new enhancements coming to the market this spring. The company will expand its Engineered Slate offering from three color blends to 11 and its Engineered Cedar offering from two color blends to five, while also adding 5-,7- and 9-inch widths to complete its multiwidth engineered slate line, says Jerry Blais, general manager of Ply Gem Roofing & Trim.

“The expansion of our Engineered Slate and Cedar color blends and multiwidth [slate] offerings provide customers with more product options that align with classic and current housing styles and trends,” he adds. “Homeowners, remodelers, architects and designers look for products that replicate natural materials—but [can] perform better over time with virtually no maintenance.”

The company’s engineered roofing uses the latest technology to digitize its Earth-made patterns on natural slate and cedar, and then engraves those images into high-tech molds, Blais explains. “This powerful combination—along with superior material science—provides a product solution that is affordable, beautiful and one that performs over time,” he notes. “And it’s backed with a 50-year limited warranty, a 10-year no-fade warranty and a labor warranty for the first 10 years.”

Ply Gem develops and assesses new products by exposing them to standard and nonstandard test environments, such as its in-house impact testing. The manufacturer ensures its roofing products meet the industry’s highest tier of hail-impact performance—UL2218 Class 4 Hail Impact—then takes it another step further to confirm those products can exceed industry standards, Blais says.

“This includes testing in more severe conditions to ensure the products perform in the harshest environments,” he adds. “We have many examples of extreme tests, from freeze-thaw cycling to weather testing in Australia, where some of the highest amounts of solar UV rays are found.”

The company helps remodelers succeed by supplying them with the information and tools they need to educate homeowners about the availability of roofing products, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each one, Blais notes. Ply Gem has been developing a product that provides greater performance and resistance in regard to fire, wind, hail and fade. “It’s lightweight, easy to install, and it looks amazing, all within the total cost of owning an asphalt roof,” he explains.

Historic Heritage

TAMKO just released a new Heritage IR shingle that also complies with the UL 2218 Class 4 Impact Resistance. The product contains the popular Heritage shingle construction, reinforced with a heavy polyester fabric applied to the entire backside of the shingle, and with a uniform thickness throughout the reinforced layer, says Greg Wells, director of marketing. The shingle will be available in Colorado this March, and in the Central and Western U.S. later in the year.

“The entire roofing industry has seen growing demand for Class 4-rated products, driven largely by insurance companies—especially in the Western states. Recently, some municipalities in Colorado even mandated UL 2218 Class 4 classification for all new and re-roofs,” he adds. “We anticipate that trend continuing and growing to other severe-weather-prone areas of the country.”

The manufacturer sees more and more homeowners taking a greater role in the roofing product selection, not only with colors and design but also understanding how the product will perform, Wells notes. “Homeowners are staying in their homes longer, and they want to feel good about the length of the protection [in regard to] one of their biggest home improvement investments.”

TAMKO recently moved to a lifetime limited warranty in response to the expectation to provide longer coverage for consumers when they purchase a new roof, he explains. The company works with Hover and Renoworks on digital tools and apps that allow homeowners to see how different products, colors and brands can tie together to create visual appeal on the exterior of their house.

“Contractors are recognizing the trend toward homeowner engagement in the process and using these tools to help lower barriers during the selling process, [which makes] closing the sale easier and faster while improving customer satisfaction,” Wells says. “Some of the tools even calculate specific measurements, material lists and project bids. Homeowners find it impressive and it can save the contractor time.

“I don’t see revolutionary changes coming to the roofing industry but, rather, evolutionary,” he continues. “As the country sees an increase in destructive weather events, we will continue to develop new processes and materials tested to industry standards. [If you] combine diverse product offerings that enable homeowners to show their personality and style with long-term warranty coverage, consumers are more willing to invest in the perfect shingle for their home.”

Impactful Inputs

CertainTeed plans to roll out its luxury metal roofing line, Matterhorn Metal Roofing, in Canada after the first quarter of this year, says Alex Pecora, director of product management, CertainTeed roofing division. The lightweight, recyclable metal panel roofing system replicates the look and charm of real wood shake, quarried slate and barrel tile roofing. A patented painted and coating system offers a hyper-realistic palette that includes a variety of cool roof color options, he adds.

“It is engineered using a deep-drawn steel manufacturing process that makes it stronger than typical steel, offering Class 4 impact resistance, Class A fire resistance and a 130-mph wind rating,” Pecora explains. “Roofs built with Matterhorn have a life expectancy of more than 50 years, allowing it to have one of the strongest warranties in the industry and making it highly suitable for harsh winters and high-wind environments. Due to its longevity and protective characteristics, Matterhorn roofing often qualifies for substantial home insurance discounts.”

NorthGate, a styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) modified asphalt shingle, provides more impact protection than a typical asphalt shingle, he says. Rubber-like polymers enhance weatherability and give the product superior impact performance. NorthGate looks like a standard architectural asphalt shingle and installs just as easily, but offers enhanced resistance to cracking, tearing and surface granule loss, Pecora notes. It usually qualifies for homeowners’ insurance discounts too.

“As storms have become more extreme and frequent, we’re seeing a rising demand for impact-resistant roofing materials,” he continues. “CertainTeed has responded by offering more roofing products with Class 4 impact resistance—the highest rating available. This includes the NorthGate SBS-modified asphalt shingle, which is uniquely adapted to areas with frequent adverse weather conditions.”

Belmont, a luxury asphalt shingle offering, utilizes layered construction and a blended coloration to emulate the classic look of natural slate without the high price tag, Pecora adds. Made of top-grade roofing asphalt and reinforced with a strong fiberglass base mat, the product supplies Class A fire resistance, 110-mph wind resistance (upgradeable to 130 mph) and six color options. The shingle also comes with StreakFighter algae-resistant technology, which uses copper-containing granules with anti-algae properties. Class 4 impact-resistant models are available in select regions.

“Research shows that homeowners are staying in their homes longer than ever before,” Pecora says. “When people [remodel] a home, they want to be sure their roof is made of high-quality materials and supported by world-class manufacturing, so it will last for the life of the home.”

Color Consulting

Boral Roofing recently introduced two additions to its roofing solutions line: the Boral MetalSeal HT Underlayment, and a new collection of concrete roof tile colors for California. MetalSeal HT Underlayment, a self-adhered waterproofing material rated for high temperatures, provides year-round protection against wind, rain, snow and ice dams, says Peter Chalmers, product manager.

“The material boasts easy application and surface traction, enabling safer, easier installation for the entire roof,” he explains. “It meets or exceeds the applicable national ASTM standards and Florida building code requirements for self-adhered roofing underlayment, and [it] is periodic-temperature-rated up to 260 F. It [also] comes in rolls of 216 square feet for a net two squares.”

Inspired by the beauty of the Golden State, the five new neutral shades of concrete roofing tile—Graphite, Sepia, Shadow Black, Oceana and Saddleback Blend—boast all the high-performance capabilities of Boral’s concrete tile line. They are available in four profiles, which complement California’s three emerging home architectural styles: traditional, transitional and contemporary.

“Consumer trends, architectural trends, and innovations in sustainability are three key areas we consistently analyze,” Chalmers notes. “Many trends are subregional, but what we are observing nationwide throughout home designs and remodels is the simplicity effect, which is an effort in the design approach toward reducing the amount of visible ornamentation on a home,” he adds.

The company actively assesses its entire concrete, clay, steel and composite offerings to ensure they include the colors and profiles that address current and future trends. Boral works with an innovations lab to continually improve product formulas and release new products after testing that will meet or exceed all warranties and any applicable third-party certification requirements.

“Two of the greatest drivers in this area are the aesthetic-driven homeowners who understand the long-term value of a home with enhanced curb appeal, and the other are the practical owners who understand the economic sense of a roof system that—in many cases—can both last the lifetime of the home and reduce energy consumption,” Chalmers says. “Our aesthetic efforts are aimed at staying ahead of ongoing architectural trends. Our function-driven efforts [assure] efficiency for installers, and sustainability and durability for owners, helping to realize both long-term energy savings and a low environmental footprint that comes with products designed to last a lifetime.”

Performance Properties

IKO released the Nordic performance shingle line and expanded its Dynasty performance shingle line for 2019. The products have been a response to homeowners who demand high-performance products without sacrificing beauty and curb appeal, says Scott Campbell, director of field sales in the U.S. The company also debuted ROOFPRO, a program to help contractors build business.

“Increased severe weather across North America has further solidified the need for performance, especially wind resistance, in roofing shingles,” Campbell notes. “As we all know, a roof is the most essential aspect of shelter, whether for a home or a commercial property. It endures high winds, hail, heat, cold, moisture and flying debris, all the while keeping what’s under it safe.”

Both Nordic and Dynasty feature ArmourZone, an innovative 1-1/4-inch wide, reinforced nailing surface that ensures strong fastening power. Nails applied in this area become positioned to help resist nail pull-through and shingle blow-off; in fact, shingles with ArmourZone are designed to resist winds up to 130 mph, and they include Fastlock sealant strips for a stronger bond, he adds.

“Each new product offering is the result of research—both informal and formal—in the field,” Campbell explains. “We take what we learn from long-term relationships, intel from the field and years of experience to innovate a wide range of products that’ll meet most every need. In addition, we take pride in staying responsive to code changes [and] proactively working to stay ahead of shifts in order to help our contractors remain compliant.”

Nordic shingles offer a Class 4 impact resistance rating, which enables homeowners to obtain a discount on home insurance if available in their area, he continues. The product earned the rating through independent testing in accordance with the FM 4473 standards, during which man-made ice balls were propelled at Nordic shingles with an air cannon (rating does not act as a warranty).

Dynasty now comes in four additional high-definition colors—Shadow Brown, Emerald Green, Monaco Red and Atlantic Blue—for a total of 15 shades. ROOFPRO, the new loyalty program, will provide contractors with comprehensive business support tools, Campbell says. Contractors also will benefit from the education resources, industry events, and extended limited warranties.

Metal Mechanisms

The Snap-Clad standing seam metal roof panel from Petersen Aluminum has proven popular because of its performance in extreme conditions and ease of installation, says Rob Heselbarth, director of communications for Petersen | PAC-CLAD. The company thoroughly tests Snap-Clad for wind uplift and fire resistance, as well as other performance standards and codes, he explains.

“Plus, its snap-together seams connect quickly and do not require a mechanical seamer, which saves time and money,” Heselbarth adds. Snap-Clad features an optional factory-applied sealant bead for improved weather resistance, a 1-3/4-inch leg/seam height, and a continuous interlock for enhanced structural performance and wind resistance. The concealed-fastener clip system allows for thermal expansion and contraction while providing extraordinary hold-down strength.

“Snap-Clad can be installed over substrates such as plywood, nailboard insulation, metal decking [and] rigid insulation,” he notes. “A minimum 2:12 pitch is recommended in most applications.”

Petersen invests significant resources into the testing all of its PAC-CLAD metal roof products to assure architects and contractors around the country that its products will meet the requirements of their building. Snap-Clad roof panels meet multiple ASTM standards; they have also passed UL uplift tests, earned approvals from Miami-Dade building codes and the Texas Department of Insurance, and received an ICC ES evaluation report to verify their compliance, Heselbarth says.

“A metal roof installed correctly can last 40 or 50 years, and Petersen roofs carry a 30-year finish warranty against fading and chalking,” he continues. “Also, homeowners might choose metal roofs because of their resistance to extreme weather such as hurricanes. A few of our PAC-CLAD roof panels have survived intact [following hurricane] winds of more than 150 mph.”

The properties of metal combined with the solar reflectivity of the PAC-CLAD paint coating can reduce the cost of heating and cooling a home as well. PAC-CLAD comes in 29 colors rated by the Cool Roof Rating Council and 31 colors rated by Energy Star. Its coating technology reflects sunlight and cools a roof by emitting radiation, saving up to 40 percent of a home’s energy costs.

“As the importance of sustainability continues to grow with homeowners, standing seam metal roofing will remain the ideal platform for attaching solar panels,” Heselbarth explains. “With the proper attachment system, solar panels can be installed on the standing seam without puncturing the roof material. Installing solar panels on other roof material requires the roof to be punctured.”

Innovative Ideas

Malarkey Roofing Products enhanced its Highlander NEX roofing shingles with 3M’s smog-reducing granules, which help remove nitrogen oxides from the air. Integrated throughout the surface of a shingle, the roofing granules have been designed with a specialized photocatalytic coating applied to the base material. The coating blends inconspicuously with various shingles.

“When sunlight hits the shingles containing the smog-reducing granules, radicals are generated and transform nitrogen oxide gases into water-soluble ions, improving air quality,” the company says in a press release announcing the inclusion of smog reducers. “For the average-sized home and roof, the total smog-reducing capability of the shingles is equivalent to more than two trees.”

Highlander NEX shingles also feature 3M cool roofing granules, which reflect solar rays to cool the roof and the home. Malarkey now offers NEX polymer modified asphalt in all of its roofing shingles—executing a plan to upcycle materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill. NEX uses upcycled material to extract valuable polymers that help improve shingle performance.

“On an average-sized home, with a roof of roughly 3,000 square feet (30 roofing squares), that is covered in Malarkey roofing shingles with NEX polymer modified asphalt, the upcycled content is equivalent to more than five rubber tires and [over] 350 plastic milk jugs,” the company notes.

“We are in a critical position to improve our products’ sustainability [both] for our customers and the health of the planet,” says Rich Robbins, vice president of sales for Malarkey. “At our scale of production, we can make a demonstrable impact. For instance, each ton of upcycled material prevents 7.5 cubic yards of material [as well as] several barrels of oil from entering the landfill.”

NEX polymer modified asphalt also shows extreme flexibility and responsiveness to temperature fluctuations, allowing the roofing granules to remain embedded in shingles over time. To help remodelers learn its products and installation requirements, Malarkey runs a Certified Residential Contractor program, which offers enhanced warranties to members who install full roof systems.

“Sustainability is at the core of our product design,” says Jim Fagan, president/CEO. “We strive to include innovative technologies that improve our environment in all aspects of our operations.

Professional Process

Owens Corning engineers TruDefinition Duration FLEX—its most advanced shingle ever—so that the product delivers enhanced flexibility and excellent performance in harsh weather conditions compared with standard shingles, says Scott Schumacher, director of marketing. It acts as a good example of how to integrate performance in shingle design and construction, he adds.

Made with a proprietary blend of SBS polymer modified asphalt, the shingles feature SureNail Technology and provide the highest impact rating available: UL 2218 Class 4. Duration FLEX also offers 42 percent better nail-pull resistance against wind compared with standard shingles, Schumacher notes. Built-in flexibility helps the shingles resist cracks and tears in all-weather installation conditions, bestowing more than 10 percent stronger tear-strength compared with traditional shingles.

“Duration FLEX shingles are also manufactured for efficient installation and are formulated to lay flat more quickly than standard shingles for a clean, finished look,” he explains. “The rubber-like flexibility that helps the shingle withstand expansion and contraction stresses also helps minimize loss of granules and helps protect the shingle against UV rays.”

Owens Corning recently introduced ProSell, a digital app designed to streamline and expedite the residential roofing sales process, from sales pitch all the way to order processing. Available to all Owens Corning Roofing Contractor Network (OCCN) members in the iOS App Store, ProSell is a seamless, step-by-step resource that spans every phase of the residential roof sales process. The app was developed using Leap, a digital platform that simplifies and automates the home service sales process including estimating, financing and contracting, as well as real-time communication.

ProSell includes a digital pitch book along with comprehensive product data to support efficient and accurate estimating. Once homeowners select products, the app generates an on-site estimate supported by EagleView and Hover. ProSell can also support financing integrations and execute the contract with credit card and eCheck processing, Schumacher says.

“For companies signing up for the ProSell app by April 1, 2019, Owens Corning will waive the $500 one-time set-up fee and monthly $35 per-user license fee for one year,” he continues. “An optional upgrade is available that provides extended benefits. The introduction of the ProSell app [has expanded] Owens Corning’s portfolio of digital contractor tools. In 2018, Owens Corning introduced the OC Connect Resource Center, a redesigned web portal and one-stop resource for OCCN members to access tools that help support and grow their business.” QR

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