Market Survey: Low-Slope Roofing Market

Western Commercial Roofing Market Continues to Rise

by Marc Dodson, editor


The Western roofing market has continued to grow at a steady pace over the last few years. By all accounts, 2019 should be another notable year for the commercial roofing market. Of course, it may depend on your market as to just how big of an increase you may experience, but almost every roofing contractor involved with low-slope roofing in the West should see improvement. Both the low-slope and steep-slope markets are up this year, and just in time for the holidays.

By all accounts, the stock market is up, investing in future enterprises is increasing, and expanding plant size and warehouse space is on the rise. All this means more money directed toward new construction as well as repairs to existing facilities. As a result, Western roofing contractors are starting to reap the benefits.

2019 Western Commercial Market

Commercial roofing contractors never really experienced the deep recession that was experienced by their residential counterparts, but it was an uphill climb from a few years ago. The Western commercial roofing market began picking up a couple of a years ago and has been increasing steadily ever since.

Almost every one of the low-slope roofing contractors we contacted, as well as several manufacturers, shared the opinion that the final totals for the 2019 Western commercial market would be a banner year. Additionally, figures compiled from our own survey, plus information derived from several industry sources, indicate commercial and industrial roofing construction in the Western half of the United States will continue to increase.

The low-slope roofing market will account for the major share of the total Western roofing market this year, with 56% of the total volume. While the dollar volume as well as the number of squares applied is up, the percentage is down slightly from 57% last year. This is owing to the phenomenal rise in the steep-slope market over the previous year.

Reroofing, as always, dominates the Western low-slope roofing market taking a predicted 53%, about the same as last year. Repairs and maintenance account for 20%, with new construction picking up the remaining 27%.

2019 Commercial Roofing

As far as the popularity of commercial roofing products, we saw some changes again this year. All modifieds, including SBS, APP, and self-adhered, now account for 23.9% of the low-slope roofing market. All forms of single-ply, such as TPO, EPDM, PVC, and CPE, have a combined share of 44.5% and are the number one material in the commercial roofing market in the West again this year. Among the single-ply options, TPO showed the biggest gains by once again claiming the number one spot with a 29.8% market share, an increase of 3.2%. EPDM takes the number two spot with 9.7%, about the same as last year.

BUR, while once a Western favorite, continues its decline. It comes in this year with 6.1%, dropping from 8.3% last year. With new construction taking a larger section of the market, all single-ply products were up in market share. Metal roofing products, both architectural and structural, also saw a rise in their market shares over the past year.

While nobody knows for sure what will happen next year, from all economic indicators, it looks like the national construction economy will continue to increase as building and facility owners spend some money to expand their businesses. With the low-slope segment leading the charge, the steady increase we saw over the last several years will hopefully continue.