The International Roofing Expo returned to Dallas for its 2023 event. Held from March 7-9, show producer Informa Markets reports the event featured nearly 600 exhibitors that filled more than 175,000 square feet in the Expo Hall of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
More than 14,000 roofing professionals attended over the course of the event. In addition to visiting exhibitors, they were able to take advantage of 45 educational and break-out sessions.
Attendees came from more than 47 countries, including, but not limited to, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, China, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Germany.
Direct Metals Inc. sells its products through a distributor network and used IRE Dallas to promote its products and point contractors to a stocking distributor from whom they can buy. DMI’s David Quehl reports: “Attendee optimism and enthusiasm were on display at the IRE. Large crowds filled the exhibit hall all three days and the after-effects of the COVID pandemic were in the rear-view mirror. While not every market is setting records, the message from the majority of attendees at the DMI booth is that there is still strength in the roofing market and many expected another strong year. Supply chains have improved, but there are still shortages in some industries. DMI is fully prepared for a strong year with an excellent supply of both DEKZIP and PANCLIP.”
Jeff Regan reports that Hicks Lightning Protection, along with Harger Lightning & Grounding were the only two lightning protection companies represented at the event. “Lightning protection, when applied goes hand in hand with roofing materials and installation,” Regan says. “It is always good to know what new types of new roofing materials are in the future as well as new challenges, such as solar roofs that are incorporated into the roofing material for a better aesthetic look and energy output. These are certainly things to come and new challenges for installers of both roofing contractors and lightning protection installers.
“The IRE Show and Expo lets us get to these roofing manufacturers to work together and come up with solutions for both companies to better benefit the property owner,” he continues. “We certainly learn a lot from attending this show and are able to educate the contractors and the roofing contractors as well.”
Westlake Royal Roofing, which owns Unified Steel Stone Coated Roofing, reports, “This year’s IRE in Dallas was a huge success for us at Westlake Royal Roofing Solutions™. This show always offers a great opportunity to make connections with both contractors and builders — and this year was no different.”
When asked about their impressions of the roofing industry (trends/market demands, interest, vitality, innovations, etc.), they respond: “With an increasing focus on weather and storm resiliency, the industry is looking for code compliance relative to regional climate conditions as well as insurance criteria surrounding product performance. These currently vary from market-to-market. Additionally, the construction industry is still facing a significant labor shortage and residual supply chain issues, which in turn affects the roofing sector. There is great concern about the state of the economy with current inflation and rising interest rates. Many consumers are being priced out of the for-sale housing market, while others are simply holding onto their homes for a longer period of time. We plan to keep a close eye on how these changes continue to affect the building industry.”
Mark Strait, Kirsch Building Products (makers of Sharkskin underlayments), reports he met with new and potential customers as well as current customers. “It’s always nice to get to meet customers who genuinely support the products we bring to market,” he says.
He, too, has noticed a growing trend in the roofing industry: “Long-term roofing products (ROI), along with energy savings materials and systems that provide a GREEN, LEEDS and RECYCLABLE, advantage continue to gain ground.”
One of the most exciting benefits of attending a trade show is experiencing newly introduced products first-hand. Here are a few of the new products from the March 2023 event:
Titanium Fire-rated Underlayment by Owens Corning
Titanium® FR High Temp and Fire Resistant Self-Adhered Underlayment from Owens Corning is designed to provide the Class A fire resistance typically required for roofing assemblies installed in wildland urban interface (WUI) areas.
As the highest classification for fire resistance in roofs per ASTM E108 or UL 790 fire testing, Class A indicates the material as “effective against severe fire exposure.” In WUI areas and other environments presenting a high risk for fire, a Class A roof is required by codes to help prevent the spread of external structure fires. Wildfires have remained a persistent hazard in many regions of the U.S. in recent years.
Proprietary technology in Titanium® FR is designed to mitigate the risk of fire spread to the roof deck under metal, tile, or asphalt roof coverings. The classification is particularly important for metal roof systems as most metal roof products cannot meet Class A fire resistance without either a special fire-retardant underlayment or installation of gypsum panels over the roof sheathing.
This new underlayment offering also supports fire safety in energy generating roof assemblies. As roof-mounted solar panels are often located in WUI areas and are subject to harsh conditions, Titanium® FR provides a Class A fire resistant underlayment that delivers fire resistance and is designed for leak protection under BAPV solar panels. Roof assemblies equipped with mounted photovoltaic (PV) panels are evaluated to assess the ability of the entire assembly to protect a structure’s interior from fire. Most roof-mounted solar panels only meet the requirements for Class C, designating “effective against light fire exposure.” Titanium® FR High Temp and Fire Resistant Self-Adhered Underlayment achieves Class A fire resistance for roof assemblies that include solar panels, even if the panels alone are Class C.
In addition to supporting fire safety efforts, Titanium® FR High Temp and Fire Resistant Self-Adhered Underlayment feature Sure-Foot® technology to support walkability in wet and dry conditions. The new underlayment also features a specially engineered self-adhesive layer to allow repositioning for easy installation on the roof.
Metal Benders by Malco Products, SBC
Malco Products, SBC, introduced its new professional-grade metal benders at IRE 2023.
Metal Benders by Malco have the ability to form 0°-100° bends on straight or curved panels of any length right on the jobsite.
Narrow bearing stance models follow curved panels easily or form straight bends when needed, and wide bearing stance models provide more control for straighter bends. Both variations may be paired with a connector for a modular experience, allowing trade pros to “freestyle” their set-up, in a one- or two-station configuration.
Additionally, the metal benders allow for easy configuration and flexibility on the jobsite by allowing the user to adjust the rollers for different thicknesses and materials, and they can also be customized by replacing the angled roller with an optional 2mm radius roller to allow for “softer” bends for materials like copper, zinc, and aluminum, which can have problems with tighter bends.
S-5! introduced its new SnoBracket™ attachment for mounting snow retention systems to insulated metal panel (IMP) roofs.
The new SnoBracket is specially designed to provide the strength required for snow retention applications but with “sheet-only” attachments. Created specifically for trapezoidal-ribbed IMPs, it comes in two sizes: SnoBracket™ TB and SnoBracket™ RB fitting to popular rib profile dimensioning.
Designed to protect an IMP’s moisture barrier, without the compromise of thermal bridging the SnoBracket features a factory-applied, premium, closed-cell EPDM rubber gasket, creating a positive seal against water intrusion and attaches in-shear using eight self-piercing fasteners (four on each side), resulting in the holding capacity of more than 2,000 pounds in 26 ga coated steel.
Westlake Royal Roofing Website
Westlake Royal Roofing unveiled its new website, WestlakeRoyalRoofing.com. “The enhanced user interface is intuitively designed with easy-to-use navigation and elevates the overall customer journey through product discovery, design inspiration, immersive visualization, and technical education. In addition to spotlighting each of our brands, the site also includes an updated resource library, an extreme weather assistance section, and an opportunity to meet your territory sales representative.”
“The International Roofing Expo is the destination for roofing contractors, suppliers and industry professionals to gather to drive the industry forward,” says Rich Russo, Show Director, International Roofing Expo. “This year’s expo solidified the importance of face-to-face connection with highly engaged and at capacity networking and education events, reflecting the need for hands-on learning. IRE continues to provide resources for roofing professionals nationally and internationally with nearly 50 countries represented. We look forward to continuing to see the growth of the industry and innovation and providing the most up to date information and trainings to the roofing community throughout the year, online at our ConstructioNext platform and at our 2024 event.” MR