roofing contractor on residential slate roof making repairs

How the Roofing Industry Successfully Responded to COVID-19

While most Mid-Atlantic states continue to report positive trends in the COVID-19 pandemic, the global health crisis is far from over. The roofing industry will continue to strengthen and fine-tune the measures it launched during the stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders issued at the height of the COVID-19 crisis.

For example:
• In the months before the pandemic hit US shores, roofing manufacturers ramped up production in their plants in anticipation of potential slowdowns caused by the virus’ and its resulting economic impact. In mid-March—roughly a week before New Jersey’s governor issued a stay-at-home order—companies like GAF enacted a trial “work from home” day for staff to identify and address issues that might affect productivity, establishing a baseline for remote operations that they have continued to improve upon since.
• The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) advocated for the roofing industry to keep crews working safely. At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, NRCA lobbied local and national officials and launched a letter-writing campaign to have roofing designated as an “essential business” after many industries were forced to close by state and local governments. Their efforts kept roofing crews on the job in many states, and the association will continue to oversee trends so they can be proactive with their actions should a second wave of the pandemic threaten to close down the roofing industry again.
• Association conferences, sales expos, and educational events quickly moved to digital platforms, allowing contractors and others to virtually attend from the relative safety of their homes and offices. Many companies upgraded their website presences to offer more information and resources to roofers and launched innovative ways to communicate with members including telephone town halls and multiple video webinars.
• Roofing material manufacturers created digital tools for their customers and contractors, including instructional videos and educational webinar series. Roofing companies like GAF, CertainTeed, and Johns Manville launched COVID-19-related web pages outlining best practices, safety protocols, news updates, and links to additional information.
• Still, other manufacturers relied on social media and robust email campaigns to communicate with their members and associates. This allowed them to explain the measures they were taking to keep their employees and contractors safe while continuing to provide essential services to their customers. Even small companies took responsibility to send emails to their customers assuring that they were open for business—and taking the appropriate health and safety measures to continue operating.
• In addition to moving much of its workforce to their home offices, other companies, including Owens Corning, implemented strict cleaning and sanitation protocols, physical distancing, and employee health screenings at all of its locations. In line with many other roofing manufacturers, Owens Corning converted its annual “Owens Corning University Business Building Days” seminar to virtual sessions and created virtual sales kits to distribute to contractors.
• GAF also accelerated the production, testing, and release of an online version of its first at-home selling app.
• The development of a MyABCSupply™ digital program is helping roofing contractors by allowing them 24/7 access to their orders in real time.

Roofing installers, manufacturers and suppliers have shown themselves to be a progressive, forward-thinking group during the unprecedented demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to responding promptly and thoroughly to local, regional, and national guidelines and mandates, the roofing industry has positioned itself to monitor emerging trends and insights in order to be proactive if and when needed.

large red and grey stone home with a grey roof

What’s Trending? Roofing Styles & Materials for 2020

Unless you’re in the construction business, you may not be aware that roofing styles and materials trend just like fashion, music, and topics on Twitter. In fact, every year, roofing styles and materials fall in and out of favor– and 2020 is no exception.

If it’s time for you to consider a roof replacement for your home, your best bet is to reach out to a local roofing company who can advise you on the best solution for your practical and aesthetic needs. In the meantime, think about these options for roof replacement styles and materials to get an idea of what you like and find attractive:

Roofing Styles

  • Flat – This may be the simplest and often the least expensive type of roof to build, but there are considerations that can’t be skipped. Because it won’t drain well, a flat roof needs to be expertly waterproofed. For those in urban areas who wish to turn their roofs into more livable surface area, a flat roof design would be a great choice.
  • Shed – Like a flat roof, a shed roof is a single plane. However, a shed roof is slanted– higher on one side than the other– which allows for far better drainage than a flat roof.
  • Gable – A gable roof is another style of roof that is relatively easy to build and suitable to many different climates. A two-sided configuration that both slope down from a central ridge, a gable roof creates space for an attic and additional insulation. A vented gable room doesn’t collect debris like fallen leaves, nor does it allow snow or ice to accumulate.
  • Hipped – Picture a central ridge from which two long sides and two shorter ones slanting downward. Because its eaves can be configured to provide shade to western and southern windows, the design of a hipped roof is ideal for warmer weather. Its wind and moisture resistance also makes it a good choice for climates where there are frequent rainstorms.
  • Pyramid – A pyramid roof is similar to a hipped roof, except a pyramid is topped by a sharp peak instead of a flat ridge.
  • Mansard – Another variation on a hipped roof, there are two slopes to this unique style of roofing. The lower slope contains dormer windows, and is much steeper than the upper slope. Mansard roofs are especially useful for those who want to maximize their living space, as this style allows for an additional story under the roof.

Roofing Materials

  • Asphalt Shingles – Easily the most often-used residential roofing material in the US, asphalt shingles are an easy-to-install and economical option. Fiberglass or an organic material like cellulose can be used to reinforce asphalt shutters to provide greater strength and longevity without altering their appearance.
  • Clay and Concrete Tiles – Clay tiles can be flat, scalloped or ribbed, and are extremely durable. Because they are very heavy, they should only be installed professionally. Like clay, concrete tiles are durable, heavy, and add interest and texture to a roof, but they are also less expensive.
  • Metal Roofing – When it comes to weather resistance, metal roofs are at the top of the list. Metal shingles and panels are available in stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and zinc.
  • Wood Shingles and Shake – A popular choice for hundreds of years, wood shingles and shakes turn an attractive, subtle shade of gray with exposure to the elements. Shingles are typically cut by machine; shakes have a more roughly-hewn look, as they are usually cut by hand.
  • Slate – Available in traditional shades of green, grey and black as well as exotic purples and reds, slate roofing brings a unique elegance to roofs of all types.

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Thank You For Voting For PJ’s Roofing!

We would like to thank everyone who voted for us as Frederick Magazine’s “Best Roofing Company in Frederick”! Stay tuned to this blog to see how the results turn out!

PJ’s Wins Best Roofing Company For 5th Consecutive Year

Breaking news! For the 5th year in a row, we were just named Best Roofing Company in Frederick and we couldn’t be happier!

We would like to thank EVERYONE who voted for us in the Frederick News Post’s 2019 Best of the Best Awards! Thank you so much and we look forward to a great 2020!

large cabin with standing seam green metal roofing

Roofing Trends That Can Help Revitalize Your Home

Once you have lived in a home for some time, it’s easy to just overlook its faults and see it the same way you’ve always seen it. However, homes change over time, and portions of your home are certainly not in as good of condition as they were years ago. One area to pay particular attention with regard to aging is the roof. As the years go by, and Mother Nature takes a toll, the condition of your roof is going to degrade.

If you are ready to do some work in an effort to revitalize your home, consider the trends below.

Playing It Safe – With Regard to Color

Rather than trying to turn heads with the color of your residential roof, the current trend is to stay a little closer to the middle of the road. That means keeping the tones rather neutral, with something like a grey or light brown to blend in nicely into the surrounding environment. The precise color you select for your new roof will obviously depend on a number of factors, such as the look of your home as a whole, the landscaping you choose, and even the aesthetic offered by the rest of the neighborhood. It’s certainly okay to pick something that stands out a bit, but if you are interested in keeping with current trends, you’ll remain somewhat on the conservative side of the palette.

Keeping It Minimal

This next trend matches up closely with the first point we made, as neutral colors can be seen as a minimalistic choice. In addition to the color, other decisions that can keep you on the minimal side of the ledger include avoiding intricate designs, bold lines, etc. Opting for a clean look is something that will serve you well not only in the short term, but also in the long run as trends evolve over time. Keeping things simple is rarely going to be out of style, so even when other trends come along, you will remain proud of the roof you have chosen.

A Focus on the Environment

Finally, the last point we are going to touch on is a trend that everyone should hope will stick around for the long run. The use of environmentally-friendly roofing can not only do favors for the world around us, but it can also do a great job of protecting your house. One piece of the sustainability puzzle involves using materials that can be sourced in an eco-friendly manner, and also can be replenished over time. Also, roofing that does a good job of insulating a house can be helpful to the environment, as less heating and cooling energy will need to be used to maintain a comfortable temperature inside. One of the best options on the market today with regard to environmental impact is metal. A metal roof offers excellent energy-saving performance, it can last a long time, and it will look great, as well.