For many of us, 2009 brought a trifecta of bad events: The economy went south; the weather was calm; and the Yankees won the World Series. And yes, perhaps those are in the wrong order, tragedy-wise. In the grand scheme of things, it was a year to forget.
And yet companies in the roofing industry, with their magnificent resiliency, figured out ways to survive. Contractors did so by innovating and focusing more on reroofing, service and maintenance work. Manufacturers found new markets for old products and old markets for new products. The industry moved inexorably toward reshaping itself as more customers understood the green building movement not only is real but adds real value.
The year saw undeniable growth of government. Never mind the politics of it, the fact is that government, at all levels, grew larger, more powerful and more present. For the roofing industry, this meant a combination of good and bad news. The good news was more government work. The bad news was more government work.
Some banks that were "too large to fail" were bailed out. Size does matter; scores of smaller banks were allowed to go under. Cash became more of a king than in typical years as consumers and businesses relearned the importance of saving. Until some of that saved money finds its way back into capital investments, the roofing industry likely will remain sluggish.