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Supply Chain Disruption
As most of you are well aware, the inconsistent availability of construction materials has been a significant issue over the past 18 months. Manufacturing slowdowns resulting from COVID, recent hurricanes in the south, shipping channel disruptions, and worker shortages have all impacted the supply of construction materials. It takes months to get production back up to meet a sudden spike in demand like the one we see now.
What’s Being Done
In a recent letter to the Department of Energy, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) requested federal assistance to address the current supply chain crisis disrupting the roofing industry.
The letter signed by CEO Reid Ribble requested a comprehensive federal approach to address the shortages. “Without federal assistance, the key material components needed to provide shelter to hundreds of thousands of Americans and businesses could be delayed for many months,” wrote Ribble. “Our industry is vital to addressing current housing shortages and repairing, building, and maintaining schools, hospitals, and other critical infrastructure buildings, but these efforts are in jeopardy as materials are increasingly constrained.”
Timing
Timing is everything, and that’s certainly true in today’s commercial roofing industry. Fluctuations in inventory and pricing are making roofing projects difficult, but not impossible. Don’t wait until the last minute to request a bid or schedule your commercial roofing project. Planning is critical, and if you’re thinking about a roofing project, now may be the time to reach out to a commercial roofer to save your spot on the priority list for materials. Any delay in contracting your project will put you further behind. Also, ask about other options which may be more readily available such as fluid applied roofing systems like Gaco.
When Will Things Get “Back to Normal”?
With post-COVID shortages and high demand from hurricanes are leaving local distributors without stock materials and waiting in a queue with other contractors for an unknown amount of time. Currently, manufacturers are working with the CDC and WHO to get their facilities running at 100%. So, things are moving in the right direction. However, it will likely be another six months before some semblance of normal returns and probably up to a year before we are close to pre-covid availability. Of course, that assumes no further covid or other surprises!
Your Choice of a Contractor Makes a Difference
Choosing a well-established commercial roofing company can make a big difference. They have strong relationships with local distributors and can cut the time needed to get the supplies. They also have financing and credit terms available with multiple suppliers and will have more options.
Postpone or Not to Postpone
The problem with delaying projects is that no one knows precisely when this supply chain disruption will end. The projections above are based on industry and government experts’ opinions, but many things can cause further delays and thus change that timeline. Your best bet is to go ahead and get on the list for your project. Worst, case you can change your mind later, most likely without any sort of penalty, since there are plenty of others lined up to take the product if you decide you don’t want it. Demand is currently high, but the industry is working. Time is the cure as we play catch up.

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