Sunshine on a cloudy day

We can all find things to be grateful for during a difficult time

Gas prices are on everyone’s minds these days—and for good reason. A typical roofing company could see an increase of more than $40,000 this year alone to fill its trucks with gas. Even small gas-powered equipment is more expensive to operate. And if you have a truck-mounted crane with its engine running all day, that will cost more, too.

Because almost all roofing materials are affected by the price of oil, more uncertainty in material pricing will prevail this year. Polymers used to make insulation and roof membranes are affected by the price of oil, so those items will be subject to volatility as will asphalt shingles and polymer-modified bitumen, which have significant amounts of oil in them.

Roofing fasteners also will be affected. When fasteners are manufactured, they are cooled and lubricated with oil during the threading process. And because steel is a heavy product, the cost of shipping the wire to manufacturers will go up as well as the shipping of the finished product to your shop or distributor.

In fact, every product you purchase will be affected because trucking costs are rising exponentially. That means everything you buy is costing more and will continue to rise until consumers say “no” to the purchase.

As if this isn’t enough bad news, we all have been watching the nonstop coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Every day, we are taken into the lives of families either trying to flee Ukraine or remain in their homes safely. The Ukrainian economy has been devastated as has the Russian economy, both of which are affecting the economy here. Seemingly everywhere we look, the skies are darkening.

So what’s the good news? There is always good news and something we can be thankful for. For example, demand for roofing services seems to be holding up. Not every industry can say that. COVID-19 seems to finally be waning. Life is getting back to a version of normal.

The NRCA staff is working in the office a few days per week. We get to see our friends and colleagues in person rather than via a computer screen. I am proud and thankful for the work they do every day on your behalf. I missed seeing them face to face!

I also am thankful for NRCA’s volunteer leadership. As we finish our fiscal year May 31, Rod Petrick will finish an unexpected two-year journey as NRCA’s chairman of the board. And he did it with his usual affable smile even when getting bad news.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our normal operations, it seemed to place a larger burden on folks like Rod, Immediate Past Chairman of the Board Nick Sabino and incoming Chairman of the Board Kyle Thomas. Because so many meetings were done virtually, all three spent too many hours in committee meetings, which intruded significantly on the daily work of their own companies. Each did yeoman’s work—heavy lifting that often goes unseen by the broader roofing industry. Their titles may suggest glamour, but I can assure you the work doesn’t.

The same can be said of our Executive Committee members. Each one oversaw several NRCA committees for two years. And each one did amazing work with you at the front of their minds.

Finally, I am thankful for COO McKay Daniels and Chief Financial Officer Harry Ryder. The three of us often found ourselves in tough decision-making situations. Working with these two wise men made my job infinitely easier and more fun. I trusted them, and they trusted me. I always was taught to surround myself with people smarter than myself, and with these two? Well, they fit the bill in so many ways. By being surrounded by folks like this, my life is easier and enriched at the same time. Now, that is something to brighten a cloudy day.


This column is part of News + Views. Click here to read additional stories from this section.


Be the first to comment. Please log in to leave a comment.