Metal Roofing Outlook

Forecasts for the 2020 United States and Canadian metal roofing market are becoming clearer as the prime spring and summer roofing season approaches.

According to the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA), the metal roofing business is predicted to have another strong year, holding steady and even trending up slightly in 2020. That assumption is based on FW Dodge market share data, which states that the 2018 United States metal reroofing residential sector was 13% of the overall total, up from 11% in 2017, making it the second most preferred roofing material.

“While it’s impossible to say exactly what this year may hold, based on what we’ve seen and the latest economic conditions, we are confident that residential metal roofing will continue to experience strong demand and gain in popularity as United States and Canadian homeowners become even more familiar with its many benefits,” said Renee Ramey, MRA executive director.

On the regional level, the United States Southern and Midwest regions are driving the most interest in metal roofing. The MRA fielded the most consumer inquiries and interest from states including Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee, with Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and the Dakotas also leading the pack. Interest in metal roofing also continued to spike in Florida and Texas, two areas that suffered extreme weather events and subsequently had strong repair and remodeling activity in 2019.

In fact, the top reasons homeowners typically give for wanting a metal roof include the need for greater protection and reliability in extreme weather and climate conditions and longevity, long-term value for the dollar spent. They also increasingly appreciate the wide variety of styles and color options they can get with metal roofs as compared to the limited choices available with other materials, according to MRA consumer research studies.

The MRA predicts that recent global events, such as the devastating wildfires in Australia, may have a spillover effect among homeowners in the states and Canadian provinces that are particularly susceptible to these types of dangers. That includes mountain states such as Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Arizona, which still lag behind other regions for metal roofing adoption but have high potential given the threat of wildfires. Indeed, interest in metal roofing has spiked recently in California and other areas where wildfire danger has already hit home.

Heightened environmental concerns among United States and Canadian citizens also may pique greater interest in metal roofing this year. With residential solar systems and net zero homes becoming increasingly common, the long-term benefits derived from installing quality metal roofs are being recognized for lowering energy use, reducing a home’s carbon footprint and preventing waste, since metal roofs can be 100 percent recycled at the end of their long life.

Yet even today, lingering misconceptions and issues remain somewhat of a barrier to residential metal roofing’s growth. The lack of qualified, experienced installers means homeowner demand is outpacing supply in certain regions. In some locations, outdated neighborhood rules and restrictions that don’t reflect today’s best practices for resilient home building can be an obstacle to getting more protective metal roofs installed. Some homeowners still falsely believe metal may be noisier than other types when in fact, properly installed metal roofs transmit no more sound than other types of roofs. As is the case for all roofing industries, a handful of disreputable fly-by-night manufacturers and/or installers can undercut the market by selling and installing inferior material and coatings, tarnishing the industry’s overall reputation.

For 2020, MRA’s top priority will include confronting these issues by increasing homeowner education and access to accurate, up-to-date information, generating awareness of the many benefits of quality metal roofing and emphasizing the quality standards set forth by its manufacturer, contractor and ancillary members.

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