Roofs provide one of the most fundamental functions of a building: shelter from the elements. They must endure drastic temperature swings, long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, high winds, rain, hail and, depending on the climate, snow.
In conflict with these performance and durability requirements, much of the roofing industry is driven by highly competitive economics and thin profit margins. Since shingles are rarely recycled, the 15- or 20-year typical life span of asphalt composite roofing products makes them highly resource-intensive. The National Roofing Contractors Association estimates that 75 percent of the dollars spent on roofing in the U.S. are for replacing or repairing existing roofs.