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The market’s recovery has opened customers to new options. “The recession caused people not to step up their purchases,” says Mark Hansen, vice president of sales and marketing at DaVinci Roofscapes. “They really cut back on upgrades. Now, that’s coming back, in part because those who wanted upgrades held off until now.”

Thermostat-OSB-Radiant-Barrier-SheathingThermostat OSB radiant-barrier sheathing from Georgia-Pacific is said to reflect up to 97% of the sun’s radiant heat, helping to lower attic temperatures and improve efficiency. It is said to keep attic temperatures up to 30 degrees cooler and can save as much as 17% on cooling energy consumption. Its blue edge coating helps prevent moisture intrusion and edge swell.

That interest in better products spans many of the key roofing products. “There is a long-term trend to converting from three-tab asphalt shingles to laminate shingles,” says Christopher Kasprzak, product and program manager at Owens Corning. “There’s also an emerging trend toward more synthetic underlayments away from organic felt.”

Using the proper underlayment is important, stresses Gary Davidson, national accounts manager at Metal Sales Manufacturing. “Rather than use 30# felt, metal-roofing manufacturers recommend high-temperature synthetic underlayment that will span the life of the metal roofing. It’s part of a system solution.”

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That’s also true for radiant-barrier sheathing, mostly in the South. “Some builders are making radiant-barrier sheathing a standard part of their homebuilding and using it to differentiate themselves, especially in a very competitive market,” says Rick Marsh, associate segment market manager at LP Building Products.

The upgrades often result from perceived value for the premium. “The asphalt roof’s service life is known to be short, so more homeowners are looking for efficient, durable options to create a longer life,” says Headwaters’ Davis. “As a result, more people are turning to poly and metal roofs. They see the benefits of the materials’ longevity and energy efficiency on their long-term savings. They understand that the initial cost will be higher but that the longer service life will pay back the incremental cost. And they won’t have to mess with replacing it again.”

Proarmor-Synthetic-Roof-UnderlaymentProArmor Synthetic Roof Underlayment from Owens Corning offers a slip-resistant, fusion-back coating technology that helps protect from sliding against the roof deck. It helps create a stable walking surface with minimal tearing around fasteners that could lead to water infiltration. It is a qualifying accessory in the Total Protection program that offers an extended system warranty.

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