Aldo Bucks Trends with Low Cost Alternative to Industrial Roofing

By Dave Friedman

For 20 years between 1988 and 2008 as a percentage of GDP, US manufacturing tumbled. Near 18 percent in the late 1980s, it bottomed out around 11 percent between 2008 and 2010. However, a bounce-back has begun, and Kannapolis based Aldo Products Co. has thrived serving businesses seeking alternatives to building new roofs. Sales this year are up 40 percent.

Since 1985 Aldo Products has produced elastomeric coatings that help restore metal, membrane, and modified bitumen roof systems. At about 30-percent of the cost of a new roof, the coatings are primarily sprayed on much like paint but do not chip or peel. Because a roof contracts with heat, these white coatings help stymie thermal cycling, dropping the temperature of the roof by half, and leading to less stress on the HVAC system. When installed by an approved applicator, the new roof can be guaranteed for up to 10 years.

“It’s a fallacy that manufacturing is declining in the United States,” said Aldo’s president, Bob Brenk. “2013 is the best year this company has ever had. Sure, we have a niche within a business, but there are over 50 different roof coating manufacturers in the country. We offer a renewable and sustainable way to defer the cost of a complete roof renovation to the next generation.”

Consider the savings of a 50,000 square foot roof replacement. By installing a new metal roof, on the high side at $10 a square foot, the project costs $500,000. Thirty-percent of that is $150,000, and after a decade, you can put up another coating if you want and again wait to build a new roof. Brenk says that replacement cost is just one factor why his business has taken off.

“In the 80’s and 90’s the product didn’t have as good a reputation,” said Brenk. “The product and the installation have been improved. It’s been the perfect storm. It helps reduce energy costs; budgets are a major consideration; and resin and other chemical additives are better than they’ve ever been. We’ve also really been helped with people consciously trying to be environmentally sensitive.”

Not only do the coatings cool down temperatures and help temper the stress and cost of HVAC, but they greatly reduce the amount of tear off material that otherwise would end up in a landfill. Furthermore, a roof coating is considered a restoration with the entire cost eligible for tax advantages immediately. For a company with fewer than 20 employees, Aldo Products is thriving by offering a product that businesses need.

“We’ve worked with a lot of schools over the last few years,” said Brenk. “As they need roof work done, we’re an economical option. What we have fits into the wheelhouse of what they need.”