The U.S. roofing industry produces more than 12.5 billion square feet of shingles each year. At the same time, the industry generates around 11 million tons of waste from tearing off shingle roofs that have passed their useful life.
While many roofing companies are happy to simply continue replacing roofs, Mike and Todd Feazel decided to do it differently. After 24 years spent building a premier roof replacement company in Columbus, Ohio, the brothers sold the business to pursue a greener path by stretching the lifespan of sloped shingle roofs while reducing waste in landfills and saving money for consumers.
“At Roof Revivers, we don’t replace roofs, we specialize in taking older roofs and giving them more life,” said Mike Feazel co-owner of Roof Revivers.
The process includes a roof inspection and “tune-up” to fix any problem areas before they wash the roof to allow for a complete application of RoofMaxx – a sealer that penetrates the shingle and brings it back to life and also happens to be soy-based.
“When we started researching products, we weren’t looking for soy, but we’ve learned a lot about soy since then,” said Feazel. “The product was actually developed out of the University of Maryland while they were working on a lubricant for grinders used in the roof to roads program.”
The asphalt was getting gummed up on the blades of the grinders and clogging the machines; and researchers discovered the soy-based lubricant was a perfect fit as it could penetrate the asphalt and keep blades clean while also being environmentally friendly to be used outdoors without fear of toxic residue. Those same qualities created an ideal recipe to restore flexibility and water repelling qualities in roofing shingles.
“We feel there is a huge market potential, it’s not a replacement, but a preventative maintenance product to boost an aging roof’s usefulness by five or ten years,” said Feazel. “And the process can cost up to 90% less than a roof replacement.”
An application of RoofMaxx extends the life of shingles for five years and can be re-applied to extend the life of a roof for up to 15 years. The average life for many of today’s standard shingle roofs before needing some repairs is around 15 years, meaning reviving the shingles could double their useful life and reduce the number of times a homeowner needs to replace their roof – saving them money and keeping waste our of our landfills.
While there are many recycling programs for shingles, the resources that go into making them – including millions of barrels of oil – are still better left unused. In addition, roof tear-offs produce waste that is full of additional debris such as wood and nails that can be hard to separate and cause damage to machines that grind the shingles leaving a large part of the waste to continue to make its way to landfills.
While the Feazel brothers weren’t specifically looking for a soy-based product, the properties and capabilities of the soy-based RoofMaxx provided a perfect fit and drives demand for U.S. soybeans.