Q&A featuring Keith Lowe, VP of U.S. Residential Sales, IKO North America

The roofing industry gained positive momentum in 2016. Can we expect the same in 2017? Keith Lowe, VP of U.S. Residential Sales for IKO, shares some of the latest trends on the radar for this year.

Keith Lowe - VP of U.S. Residential Sales, IKO North America

Q: What was the state of the roofing market in 2016, and how do you expect will that affect activity in 2017?

Keith: We expected the overall roofing industry to grow a small percentage in 2016, with new home construction remaining about steady and remodeling construction continuing to grow in North America overall.

In the U.S., in particular, the market actually finished much stronger than we initially anticipated — largely due to growing storm activity, especially in the Southwest region (namely Texas). We anticipate this momentum to continue in 2017, as we don’t expect storm activity to slow down. Plus, there remain a large number of potential homes that are still in need of re-roofs or roof repairs from storm damage caused in 2016.

Q: How about the market for asphalt roofing shingles?

Keith: Looking to the future, we still expect asphalt roofing shingles to remain the top roofing material used throughout North America — by a large margin.

In fact, to help meet the high demand for asphalt shingles, IKO has invested in construction of a new 250,000-square-foot shingle plant in Hillsboro, Texas, which will focus on the Southwest region. Its completion will mark our ninth North American shingle plant and will solidify IKO’s national U.S. footprint.

Q: Will environmental regulations continue to be prevalent in 2017?

Keith: Yes. Manufacturers and contractors alike are continuing to keep a watchful eye on Title 24, which outlines the energy efficiency standards required by the California Building Standards Code. For residential applications in particular, roofing shingles with reflective granules, or cool colors, are used to help potentially decrease energy costs associated with air conditioning.

To help contractors meet the requirements, IKO offers its Title 24-compliant Cambridge™ Cool Colors. The shingle line includes five color options — Dual Grey, Arctic White, Desert Gold, Valley Oak and the newest color for 2017, Amber Burst.

We also anticipate an increase in residential roofing products across North America that meet ENERGY STAR® standards.

Q: What are some of the latest residential roofing product trends?

Keith: IKO’s Product Development Manager, Mark Okland, discusses a few of the latest residential roofing product trends here.

Another growing trend we’re seeing is product innovations that help make installation of residential asphalt roofing shingles quicker and easier for contractors, such as an enlarged nailing zone and roofing accessories.

For example, we’ve recently introduced our newest IKO Nordic™ IR® performance shingles. One of the innovative features of the shingles’ advanced design is an enlarged nailing area — the “ArmourZone” — that makes installation faster, easier and more accurate for contractors.

Plus, there are roofing components specifically designed to make installation easier for contractors, while also providing peace of mind for homeowners.

For instance, the new IKO Ultra HP® High Profile Ridge Cap Shingles offer a high-quality alternative to using cut-up roof shingles to protect and beautify the roofline. Aside from their aesthetic benefits, they are also easy to install thanks to their pre-formed, rolled design, which features a curved edge that doesn’t require additional cutting or folding on the roof.

Ultra HP Ridge Cap Shingles are part of IKO’s complete PRO4™ roofing component system, which is comprised of four essential elements to help protect vulnerable areas of the roof: eave protection, underlayment, roof starters and ridge cap shingles.

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