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Sixteen years to the day after Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, Ida, a category 4 hurricane, made landfall with major wind destruction.  Power company Entergy reported Ida destroyed more than 22,000 power poles; more than hurricanes Katrina, Ike, Delta, and Zeta combined. With maximum sustained winds of 150 mph, many homes were impacted leaving the need for significant repairs including roofs.

There is no official estimate yet as to how many residential roofs were damaged. Prior to Ida, Principia’s DemandBuilder® Roofing data product estimated one million squares of residential roofing product demand for the 13 parishes for 2021. If half the roofs in the affected parishes require replacement, demand from Ida alone is 8.5 times larger than the originally anticipated demand—nearly 8.5 million squares.1

Homeowners may be waiting a while. Roofing material shortages already existed before Ida hit due to high demand and low inventory throughout the supply chain. In addition, labor constraints across the industry have elongated new construction and reroofing and repair cycles. In response, the Army Corps of Engineers has activated Operation Blue Roof: a program that installs tarps on damaged roofs. This program allows residents to remain in their homes while awaiting roof repairs and replacements.

How can suppliers, distributors, and dealers support the recovery effort? One step is to understand the scale of rebuilding required and have sufficient supply of roofing materials accessible to the affected areas. For example, Beacon has already published a word of thanks to their branches in South Louisiana for finding ways to open for customers and continue making deliveries despite difficult operating conditions. GAF moved to support longer-term disaster resiliency in the Gulf region by offering a warehouse designed to facilitate distribution of donated goods to nonprofits. The GAF + Good360 Community Redistribution Center is already distributing roofing shingles, donated by GAF, to the affected parishes.

Contact Principia Consulting to learn more about weather related roofing demand in the United States.

1 Principia’s Ida demand estimate assumes full roof replacement of half the roofs in the 13 parishes at 21 squares of roofing per home.