Meet our June Vendor Spotlight, CertainTeed, a leading North American brand of exterior and interior building products!

Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, has helped shape the building products industry for more than 110 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm’s slogan “Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed,” inspired the name CertainTeed.

Today, CertainTeed is a leading North American brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, solar, fence, decking, railing, trim, insulation, drywall and ceilings. A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest and oldest building products companies, CertainTeed has more than 6,900 employees and more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. The group had total sales of approximately $4.1 billion in 2019.


History of the company:

When George Brown founded the General Roofing Manufacturing Company in 1904, he could not have imagined the company’s explosive growth. The company’s name was changed in 1917 to CertainTeed from its slogan, “Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed.” As a company, we have continued to grow as the premier U.S. asphalt shingle manufacturer. CertainTeed acquired both a fiberglass insulation business and several PVC pipe businesses in the 1960s, which led to the introduction of solid vinyl siding into our product lineup. French multinational corporation Saint-Gobain acquired CertainTeed in 1988, an important milestone in our history and recognition of CertainTeed’s strong position in the market. Founded in 1665 in Paris as the Royal Mirror-Glass Factory, Saint-Gobain is one of Europe’s oldest companies and the world's largest manufacturer of building materials. The addition of both gypsum and ceilings in 2007 rounded out the scope of building materials we currently manufacture.

What products do you offer?

CertainTeed designs and manufactures a large variety of materials including: specialty wall and ceiling systems; acoustical ceiling panels; fiberglass, batt/roll, blown-in, and technical/mechanical insulation; residential and commercial roofing products; vinyl siding and accessories; vinyl windows; vinyl fencing; decking and railing; ventilation products; fiber-cement siding; injection molded products; PVC pipe and foundation products; and retractable awning and canopy systems. We also manufacture fiberglass reinforcements. We maintain 60 manufacturing facilities in North America and sell our products in building supply stores nationwide.

What sets CertainTeed apart in the industry?

CertainTeed is committed to World-Class Manufacturing (WCM), which we define as our commitment to continuous improvement and operational excellence. This is expressed in three stages: understanding losses; eliminating losses; and putting systems in place to sustain improvement. CertainTeed utilizes continuous improvement tools such as Lean Six Sigma, TPM (total productive maintenance) and Kaizen. Engaging the process experts – the talented women and men who perform the work – we identify the need or the loss to our business, implement technology to eliminate the problem, and add controls to sustain success. WCM is the driver behind many of these technology improvements. Sustainability is also embedded in everything CertainTeed does and is measured in all of our products. We use life cycle assessments (LCAs) to quantify and interpret environmental impacts, such as emissions and energy consumption, over the entire life cycle of a product, process, or service. Across all our divisions, we try to offer affordable products that enhance users’ comfort and well-being while also reducing overall environmental impacts. For example, CertainTeed operates a program to reclaim and recycle old ceiling panels, which reduces landfill waste and virgin raw material use while saving energy and resources. Our roofing manufacturing facilities recycle a significant portion of production waste into asphalt materials used for road construction. We also integrate recycled content into packaging materials such as corrugated rolls and kraft paper.

 What are the top trends for shingles right now?

SBS Modified Asphalt Shingles – These are asphalt shingles modified with a polymer called styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS). The rubber-like properties of SBS allow for greater flexibility and impact/crack resistance, even in extremely cold weather. This allows for year-round application and makes the product great for areas of the country that experience frequent hail and storm activity. Cool Roof Asphalt Shingles – Cool roof asphalt shingles are formulated by pressing pigmented mineral granules with high near-infrared reflectance into an asphalt-impregnated fiberglass mat. These granules cover the sheet so completely that only a small fraction of the asphalt is exposed, sidestepping the natural solar-absorbing properties of darker colors (even black) without sacrificing color to the naked eye. While standard asphalt roofs can reach temperatures of 150 degrees Fahrenheit or more in the height of summer, a cool roof under the same conditions is typically 50 degrees cooler, saving energy and money by using less air conditioning.

How do you see shingles changing in the next couple of years?

Homeowners are staying in their homes longer and moving less frequently than in previous years. When purchasing a roof, many homeowners want to be sure that their roof is going to function well beyond the length of a 15- or 30-year mortgage. You will likely see a higher demand for shingles with higher fire, impact, and wind resistance. Roof purchases are also trending toward products that offer additional features, such as solar reflectivity, algae resistance, and zero maintenance. In general, homeowners want their roof to do more than just look good. Manufacturers will need to offer products that create additional value.

What is a key tip or hack when it comes to picking out roofing?

Be sure to buy a roofing system built with underlayments, shingles, and accessories made by a single manufacturer. This will ensure all the products selected will function as the manufacturer intended over the lifetime of the products. Complete roofing systems also typically have stronger warranty protections than roofing systems constructed from piecemeal components. Talk to your contractor to make sure you fully understand which products are being used and the warranty coverages they offer.

Why should someone go with CertainTeed?

We are truly here to support contractors by providing a wealth of online resources, credentialing programs, and dedicated, live support. We also provide in-person support at worksites on request to ensure installers are fully supported from purchase to installation. We work closely with our suppliers to make sure contractors have the supplies they need to get the job done quickly and efficiently. We make customer intimacy a priority and use big data, continuous improvement tools, and dynamic listening systems to understand our weaknesses and improve our products and services.

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