Shortage of Commercial Roofing Materials

In the construction industry, a number of factors have contributed to an unprecedented economic climate causing material shortage for commercial roofing contractors.

While unrelated, these factors have collectively slowed roof installations, caused some contractors to shut down, and pushed others to the edge.

Roofing Material Shortage: What You Need to Know

In addition to the brief Suez Canal blockage, severe cold weather causing damage to manufacturers in the deep south, supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and gradual reopening of businesses, COVID caused global manufacturing to slow down and imposed unexpected and frequent price increases.

Adding to the difficulties are continuing problems in transportation, especially in handling freight, which affect contractors’ ability to acquire materials.

Although prices on some construction components (lumber, for example) have come down from the astronomical levels of a few months ago, costs for other critical materials continue to rise.

A Statistics Canada analysis of information shows raw material price index rose 27.7%  year over year which directly affection construction material prices.

Months-long shipping time for some components are causing delays in construction projects. Insulation materials for roofing such as polyisocyanurate (iso), expanded polystyrene (EPS), and other underlayment products are in short supply, with current lead times, depending on product, from seven months to a year.

Availability of these products will continue to be unpredictable, and indications are the economy will remain strong, pressuring suppliers around the globe to keep up with demand. Although no one can say with certainty, current guidance from vendors that supply the roofing industry indicate shortages will likely extend into 2023.

Overcoming Shortage & Shipping Delays

Guycan Ltd. is working to overcome material shortages and shipping delays by planning months ahead and stocking up on critical material inventories.

Commercial building owners and managers will benefit from the same approach in planning well ahead regarding roofing needs.

Facility management plans that call for roof work in 2022 will benefit from projecting roofing projects now so that work can be done in a timely manner. You’ll be less sure of an installation date and your prices will increase the longer you wait.

In the meantime, your current roofing system may need to perform longer than expected.

As part of regular building maintenance, visual inspections of the roof system, rooftop units, and edge and flashing details are required, but it is best to increase inspection frequency in order to identify and fix any minor issues to prolong roof system life.