By Evelyn Witterholt.
At the Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association’s (RCMA) summer meeting, Coffee Shops President, Heidi J. Ellsworth, moderated a panel of roofing industry experts from across the nation that was sponsored by General Coatings Manufacturing Corp. During this panel, they all discussed their experience with roof coatings as well as important industry trends. The contractors on the panel were Mitch Rabin, president of A1 Roofing, Lisa Irby, vice president of Thomas Roofing, Rudy Gutierrez, president of Shell Roofing Solutions Group and Dennis Perry, senior project manager at Commercial Roofers Inc.
The contractors on the panel agree that they have been seeing a rise in roof coatings for the past few decades. Mitch and Lisa discuss how the coating system they have the easiest time selling to customers is silicone.
“Our preferred systems that we sell are silicone systems,” Mitch said. “Being a union company, when we're looking to compete in the marketplace, the silicone is more competitive for us than using a urethane with a fabric or that type of system.”
Lisa added to his point, “The owners of our company were very much, ‘we are not coating contractors’ just because they had a bad reputation. So I convinced them to let us do a project that was a urethane and silicone project and it was very successful and they gave me the green light.”
The panel largely discussed the energy efficiency of roof coatings as being a positive selling point. Rudy says that his company used the energy efficient properties of roof coatings as a strategy for selling them to customers.
“The reduction in heat through a white reflected material on the roof was a good fit for us and that was part of our sales model,” he said. “We were very successful with it. Coatings is a large part of our revenue stream.”
Dennis told us how roof coating jobs make up about 30% of the work they do. One suggestion he has for contractors looking for a product manufacturer is to determine if your company will be partners with them, or just another customer. He also says that the biggest challenge they face is with the coating equipment.
“The challenge is to make sure you keep up with the proper equipment and keep the equipment up and running,” he said. “We're currently running a lot of coating jobs at this time and the proper pumps and everything makes a big difference.”
Evelyn works as a writer for RoofersCoffeeShop, MetalCoffeeShop and AskARoofer. When she isn’t writing about roofing, she’s either at the gym lifting weights or curled up on the couch watching a movie.
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