Nearly Half of Roofers Report Increased Business in Q3


By Gary Thill

In what's expected to be the first of many such industry market forecasts, roofers reported a mixed bag between the second and third quarters of 2020, with just under half reporting increased reroofing business and less than 40% reporting increased reroofing contracts. 

The findings were the results of an NRCA poll that was conducted during a live townhall with nearly 2,000 attendees. The poll was the beginning of a monthly market forecast NRCA plans to launch. 

Here are the results of the initial poll from the townhall:

Customer Inquiries: Number of customer inquiries for reroofing services received in the third quarter as compared to the previous quarter:

  • Increased more than 25%: 15%
  • Increased 5% to 25%: 31%
  • Stayed about the same: 30%
  • Decreased 5% to 25%: 17%
  • Decreased more than 25%: 6%

Project Contracts: Number of contracts for reroofing services that your company executed in the third quarter as compared to the previous quarter: 

  • Increased more than 25%: 15%
  • Increased 5% to 25%: 23%
  • Stayed about the same: 38%
  • Decreased 5% to 25%: 17%
  • Decreased more than 25%: 7%

Aging of Receivables: Aging of your receivables from third quarter for completed reroofing services as compared to the previous quarter: 

  • Customers are paying you about as quickly as the previous quarter: 48%
  • Customers are paying you more slowly: 37%
  • Customers are paying you more quickly: 14%

Along with those poll results, the hour-long townhall featured leaders from various aspects of the roofing industry. NRCA CEO Reid Ribble said that while it’s been a “robust” year for residential roofers, commercial hasn’t fared as well. Ribble and the other industry leaders on the call seemed to share the same message: while the industry fared okay in the third quarter, uncertainty about the election, ongoing social unrest and cases of COVID-19 “are making folks a little nervous” about the fourth quarter, said Brian Pallasch, executive vice president and CEO of the International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants. 

Dan Quinonez, Roofing Coatings Manufacturer executive director said travel restrictions combined with state and regional virus restrictions have made it harder to get to job sites and look at material sources, causing jobs to extend out further. 
Virus restrictions also caused many testing agencies to close down, making new product approvals extremely difficult, said Mike Hubbard of SPRI. Meanwhile, ongoing weather events are causing supply delays. “We’re hoping to see lead times come down dramatically over the next 4 to 6 weeks,” Hubbard said. 

Looking toward 2021, the roofing leaders called out the following key trends:

  • Continued residential increases due to more people staying home.
  • Boom in commercial business due to backlog of work from restrictions and growth in regional warehouse facilities.
  • Higher intertest in energy efficiency and resilient design, especially in areas with climate change challenges.
  • More opportunity for coatings work as customers look for lower-cost ways to extend the life of their roofs.
  • Roofers relying more on labor saving and productivity enhancing technology such as drones, video conferencing and virtual bids.