Top 10 Most-Read Articles Puts 2020 Challenges in Sharp Relief


By Gary Thill

Roofers can be forgiven for wanting to see 2020 fade away in the rearview mirror. From the pandemic to societal strife and all the ways they disrupted business and life, the past year was trying at best and tragic at worst. In the midst of it all were some of the most fraught elections in history. 

A look back at the most-read articles of 2020 puts this collective anxiety in sharp relief — and provides a reminder of the challenges to come. Here’s a look at the top 10 articles roofers read this past year and a brief reminder of what they were about as the industry looks forward to a new year: 

  1. Why Industry Leaders Say the 2020 Elections Could Be Good for Roofers: With the 2020 presidential election apparently decided, and divided government again the result, industry leaders expressed cautious optimism for what a President Joe Biden might mean for the industry. They also urged roofers to set aside partisan concerns and focus on business fundamentals. 

  2. Combating Coronavirus: How Roofers are Pivoting — and Finding Opportunities — Amid the Pandemic: Earlier this year, roofers were raring to get started on what looked like the beginnings of a banner year. The economy was roaring, and jobs were plentiful, even the weather seemed to be cooperating. Then the first reports of coronavirus started coming in — and everything changed. 

  3. International Roofing Expo Adds a Virtual Conference and Expo in 2021: The International Roofing Expo, with the full support of the NRCA, is excited to launch a virtual conference and expo in 2021 in addition to their physical event. The virtual event will be held on March 2-4, and the in-person event is rescheduled from April to August 10-12 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV.  

  4. Roofers Need to Guard Against 'Waves' of Liability Lawsuits: With many states reopening and employees coming back to work, it may seem as though the worst of the pandemic is over. But roofing companies need to start taking extra precautions now to prevent “waves” of liability lawsuits that are likely coming from workers and customers. 

  5. 2020 IRE Show Breaks Records, Makes History: As of press time, final numbers were still being tabulated. But show organizers said there was no question that the 2020 show broke records in attendance and size. Size-wise, more than 540 exhibitors showed their products and services across 171,000 net square-feet of exhibit space — dwarfing the next biggest show, which had 152,000 net square-feet of space and 497 exhibitors. All those exhibitors brought in record crowds as well with attendees from across the globe filling the halls at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center.   

  6. Roofing Report Paints Grim Picture for Q2; More Optimism for Q3: As economies reopen nationwide and roofers begin to look toward the future, new survey results paint a fairly grim picture for the next quarter, even as some optimism remains for the third. But those same roofers largely fear that 2020 business will be down compared to 2019, according to results from a new survey of industry leaders. 

  7. Florida Roofer Arrested for PPP Fraud, Could Face 30 Years in Prison: A Fort Myers, Florida, contractor has been arrested and charged with attempting to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) meant to help keep workers employed during the coronavirus. Casey David Crowther, 35, has been charged with making a false statement to a lending institution. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison. 

  8. Congress Gives Roofers Critical Extra Time for PPP: As roofers move forward with recovery, the federal government gave a much-welcomed helping hand with new guidance on PPP loan forgiveness and new legislation that extends the amount of time and flexibility to use the funds. 

  9. The Upcoming 2020 Elections Have Far-Reaching Implications for the Roofing Industry: As the 2020 elections approach in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, a severe economic recession and the worst racial strife in decades, it is apparent much is at stake for the future of our democracy.  

  10. Storms, Material Shortages, Volatility Converge with Market Slow Down: In the wake of two major weather events — the derecho that tore through the Midwest and Hurricane Laura that ripped over Texas and Louisiana — a perfect storm threatens to hit the industry, as material shortages exacerbated by storms converge with a rapidly decelerating market and an increasingly volatile election season.