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Oil Prices Affecting Asphalt Shingle Roofing Costs?

Jun 4, 2008
As oil prices hit a new high, increased costs are evident in every facet of our lives. Most people first notice the pinch to their pocketbooks as they're filling up their gas tanks. For homeowners, the costs of general home maintenance and upkeep are certainly on the upswing as well. For those homeowners with asphalt shingle roofs considering a roof repair, more cost increases may be on the way.

The rising costs of roof repairs can be attributed to several issues. As with any business, transportation costs have greatly increased, meaning that transporting supplies and daily driving are taking a significantly larger chunk of roofing companies' operating expenses. In Georgia for example, many Atlanta roofers have tried to hold off on passing that increased cost of doing business on to the consumer.

Oil - A Roofing Company's Double Burden:

However, roofing companies actually have a double burden to bear. Not only have their transport costs risen, but the cost of one of their main supplies is quickly increasing. Most Atlanta roofing companies rely on asphalt shingles to complete their work. Asphalt shingles are made up of several layers, including an inner reinforcing mat, a hard asphalt and mineral coating, a mineral granule surface, and a mineral dust coating on the back. It takes two different kinds of asphalt to create a shingle: a soft asphalt in the mat, and a harder asphalt for the outer surfaces. Since asphalt is created from crude oil, the cost of asphalt shingles is directly tied to that of oil. As oil prices rise, so must the price of asphalt shingles.

Despite rising prices, asphalt shingles are still the most commonly used in roofing today. Even as they become more expensive, they're still a great value and tend to cost less than other options like copper or slate. They wear well and are less expensive to replace as they age. Asphalt shingles are also available in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes to fit any home.

The Impact to the Atlanta Roofing Industry:

However, now that their prices are continuing to increase, Local Atlanta roofers are put in a tough position. In order to stay in business, they must continue using asphalt shingles, despite the rising costs. Their increased cost combined with the increased costs of gasoline to power trucks and roofing equipment adds up to a much more expensive job than homeowners may have been looking at in the past. Atlanta roof repair companies have no choice but to pass a portion of the costs along on to their customers.

For some Atlanta roofers, this has meant fewer jobs at a time when their expenses are jumping. Roofing companies both large and small are shaking from the painful blow dealt to them by the rising prices of gasoline, via oil. Some companies have increased costs by the bare minimum amount, meaning that they barely turn a profit on most jobs. Smaller increases in pricing can be better understood by the customer. Since about 85% of homes are covered with asphalt shingles, for many, it won't be a choice of whether or not they should have roof work done, but how urgent the situation is. Those with serious roof problems will need repairs or even reroofing, regardless of price. Those who are considering a new roof for aesthetics will most likely put the project off for another time, probably waiting until gas prices drop.

The trickle down costs of increased oil prices are a surprise to many homeowners. Despite the increased costs of roofing supplies and materials, for many Georgians a roof repair in metro Atlanta will not be an option, but a necessity.
About the Author
Tim McLoughlin and KTM Roofing are dedicated local Atlanta roofers that specialize in roof repair in metro Atlanta. Tim is an expert on Atlanta roof repair companies and the reroofing industry.
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