In spite of the continuing struggles of the nation's economy, the 2009 International Roofing Expo (IRE) will go down as one of the best.

In spite of the continuing struggles of the nation's economy, the 2009 International Roofing Expo (IRE) will go down as one of the best.

Yes, attendance was off from prior years, but surprisingly little. All told, the contractors and exhibitors spoke highly of the experience and expressed genuine satisfaction with their decision to invest the time and money to attend.

The IRE led off with a last-minute replacement of scheduled keynoter, Bill Walton, who had to cancel due to doctor's orders. The show’s producer, Hanley-Wood, working with the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), put together a “Power Panel” of key industry executives. The panel fielded a variety of questions mainly centered on the “A” topics of the business climate and green roofing systems with special emphasis on solar.

Key to the success of the IRE is the impressive slate of seminars presented. This year was no different with presenters covering topics from basic roofing business concerns such as keeping the books to business succession planning to garden roofing to legal roofing concerns. There were many more spanning three days of the event.

In addition to the trade show, the IRE features a live demonstration area, a “Green Products Pavilion” and a “New Products Pavilion.”

The entire event was held at the beautiful Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas.

Innovative Products 

There were many innovative products that were featured at IRE 2009. They included:
  • OMG Roofing Products has developed a mechanically attached system that is different from any we have seen. The sheet membrane is loose laid over insulation that has been mechanically attached with special coated metal plates. Then, using an induction welder, the membrane is sealed to the plates forming an aggressive bond.
  • GAF featured their Tru-Slate system that features natural slate roofing that can be installed by roofers without the classical training of regular slate roofing systems. The system is said to be much lighter and less expensive than the conventional systems as well.
  • The Roll Cage is a dispenser for small rolls of metal for flashing. This ingenious but simple device should provide a good way to safely use metal while reducing waste and damage.
  • The Geo Estimator is an estimating service/system that uses satellite technologies for measuring buildings for re-roof bids.
  • There were several varieties of “soft” pavers made of natural and recycled raw materials.
  • Tremco has developed and is marketing a WHITE modified-bitumen adhesive. This will work well with their high-reflectivity membrane systems.
  • Super Nova showed off their hybrid solar collector panel and solar hot water heater panel.
  • Firestone featured their new 120 PSI IsoGard HD cover board. The unique facers and iso core has the look and feel of a winner and is expected to compete with fiberglass-faced gypsum coverboards in some applications.
  • Carlisle showed one of the most innovative solar panels we have seen to date. The system features arrays of tubes that will be able to address nearly any angle required to collect rays on nearly any structure.
  • GenFlex featured new packaging for their line of EPDM roofing products. Realizing there is value in smaller roofing jobs the firm has put together a package that will allow roofing wholesalers to furnish even the smallest jobs without waste.
  • MetalForming showed off the most up-to-date jobsite roll-forming system on the market. Their Schlebach Quadro-Cinco takes instructions directly from Top View roof design software and forms and cuts the panels based on the roof design; amazing combination of roll-forming and computer-based estimating technologies.