Maintenance Products Should Be on the Upswing
A slowing economy impacted the commercial roofing industry in 2008, but Chris Salazar, Vice President Sales & Marketing for Karnak Corp., expects coatings and maintenance products to show an increase in sales in 2009.
“There is no doubt that the price of oil-related raw-materials, the higher cost of gas, and the slowing economy played a significant role in slowing down the commercial roofing industry,” Salazar said. “While there were some regions that had an increase in business, the majority of the states had a slowdown.”
However, Salazar said coating and maintenance-related products will enjoy a “significant increase in 2009” as building owners and contractors take advantage of the reduced budget options these products allow.
“Building owners are looking for lower-cost solutions to get them through these tough times,” said Salazar, who noted contractors should focus on maintenance in 2009.
“There is no doubt that building owners or managers will select maintenance options over replacement given the current state of our economy,” Salazar said. “Contractors that familiarize themselves with these options will reap the benefits of receptive building owners and managers.”
Of course, Salazar said there are events that might suddenly change the best-laid plans for 2009.
“Short of a miracle improving the economy in the first half, there is very little that can change the reduced budget direction that building owners and managers will be taking this year,” he said.
One area that will be sure to shows signs of upward mobility is energy efficiency, Salazar said. “Energy efficiency continues to be a hot trend, and coatings offer the most economic - and least disruptive - way of obtaining these efficiencies on the roof.”
Salazar believes products that do not offer sustainability benefits would continue to “decline as the market moves toward sustainable options.”
“Products like reflective coatings that offer tangible energy savings and sustainable benefits are still in the infancy stages of growth -- growth that is sure to continue for decades,” he said.