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Increasing Home Renovation Activity, Construction of Warehouse Facilities Help Spur Increases in Shipments of Asphalt Roofing Products

The latest shipments report from the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) showed a banner year for the industry, with shipments of asphalt shingles – the leading US roofing product – rising at a double-digit pace in 2020, and production of modified bitumen membranes – one of the more commonly installed low-slope roofing materials –posting a rebound.

While sales in the fourth quarter of the year were boosted in part by the need to re-roof structures damaged by the hurricanes that made landfall on the Gulf Coast in August and September of last year, other factors also played a large role in driving shipments of roofing products, including:

  • the high level of home improvement activity undertaken by many homeowners during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • increasing construction of warehouses and other storage facilities to handle the surge of packages resulting from a change in consumers’ purchasing behavior

Both of these factors should be no surprise to regular readers of this site, which has frequently mentioned the upsurge in home remodeling activity in 2020 as many consumers – spending more time at home – sought to repair or modernize their residences. For those with the financial means to do so, one project that was often selected by homeowners was that of replacing an older or worn asphalt shingle roof with a new one. In many cases, these new asphalt shingles were laminated (or architectural) shingles that not only offer homeowners a textured surface that many find to be aesthetically pleasing, but also enhanced resistance to high winds, impacts, and heavy precipitation – thus minimizing the risk of roof damage in the future.

Growth in the construction of warehouses and other storages facilities – nearly all of which feature low-slope roofs – supported demand for modified bitumen membranes. These roofing products offer contractors and other construction professionals a number of performance benefits, including moisture resistance – an important consideration for building owners, as leaks can damage packages, affecting a shipping company’s profitability. Furthermore, many modified bitumen roofing membranes feature peel-and-stick backings that reduce installation times – a key trait, given the need to quickly erect warehouses to handle and ship goods to consumers.

For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, particularly in the Construction and Building Products. Freedonia also offers an expanding catalog of COVID-19 Economic Impact reports, which highlight how various industries are responding to the current crisis with a comparison to recent recessions. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.