Roofing Companies Stay Ahead of the Elements

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Every structure from a factory to a church steeple requires a roof, and some local contractors are finding ways to maintain them and prolong their lifespans.

Simon Roofing, based in Boardman, is one of the oldest companies of its type in the country. It created its own restoration coating product, which it manufactures in Struthers.

Marian Nolletti, one of the fourth-generation co-owners of Simon, says her father used to call it “magic in a can.”

She and another co-owner, her brother, Anthony Vross Jr., say the product has stood the test of time.

“It’s cost-effective,” Nolletti says. “It’s sustainable. You’re not throwing your old roof in a landfill. There are a lot of benefits in going the restoration route.”

With more than 60 locations across the country, Simon focuses on service and repair work for commercial, non-shingled, flat, modified and metal roofs.

Regulations vary by state regarding materials, Vross says. Some areas value insulation more than others and coastal regions have high-wind requirements.

“There’s a lot that plays into it, but for the most part, our products are pretty standard as far as anywhere in the country,” Vross says.


Holko Enercon Roofing Solutions of Fowler focuses on flat and low-slope commercial roofing.

Founded in 1977 as an insulation contractor, Holko evolved through the years as the industry has changed, once offering polyurethane spray-on roofs, single-ply roofs and now specializing in thermal plastic PVC, Elvaloy and TPO roof systems.

Vince Holko, secretary and treasurer for Holko, says the latest roofing membranes have the benefits of being very lightweight, fire retardant, cost effective and less labor intensive than standard roofs. Additionally, they supersede a lot of codes including weight restrictions and snow loads.

Kyle Lynch, sales manager at Holko, says lifespans of products can be 20-plus years, so the company is just starting to see a lot of repeat customers.

“We were one of the first ones in heatable thermal plastics in this area,” Holko says. “From what I’ve seen, we were leaders when it came to utilizing that new segment of the market.”

Energy efficiency can be a big deal. Holko notes it can add to the quietness of the building, eliminate thermal shifting and movement on older roofs and add strength to a structure.

Diamond Roofing

One of the youngest but fastest growing roofing companies in the area is Diamond Roofing Systems, which has been around for about a decade. Founder and principal owner John Pilch began working in the roofing business when he was in college.

One of the areas Diamond specializes in is steep roofs, such as the spires and steeples found on churches.

To troubleshoot and inspect them, Pilch employs commercial drone operators that use infrared cameras to find wet places where heat is being lost.

Diamond Roofing Systems, based in Warren, also works on flat roofs and likes to work with companies or organizations with large portfolios of buildings.

“The difference in our model is we don’t chase jobs. We chase customers to partner with and those partners usually have lots of square feet or lots of buildings,” Pilch says.

The company will provide the owner with information about their roofs and how soon they will need to be replaced. They utilize software to upload pictures of the roofs of large chain stores, so the owners or managers do not have to keep an eye on it themselves. Sometimes they add photos of the parking lot, sides of the building and signage, so clients know their condition as well.

“They want to be educated,” Pilch says. “They don’t want to be surprised in 10 years that they’ve got to spend $20 million. They would rather know they’ve got to spend the $20 million and determine how they can stretch this out or offload the property before it goes bad if they’re not making a lot of money on that building now.”

Industry Issues

One of the challenges roofing companies are facing right now is trying to hire drug-free employees. Holko says when they learn they must take a drug test, “some of them just disappear off into the wind.”

Another challenge has been prices. When the pandemic came in 2020, many of the local roofing companies found themselves losing money for the first time. Work shut down briefly and companies cut back on the scale of their roofing jobs, cautious about the money they were spending.

A shortage of materials followed in 2021. Insulation might arrive one week and the roofing materials three weeks later.

“Manufacturers quit holding their price on anything,” Pilch says. “They said, ‘When we ship it from the warehouse, that’s what you’re going to pay, whatever it is that day.’ Our profit margins were down.”

However, things turned around in 2022, even if prices of materials have not returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Looking Ahead

Many area companies are optimistic about growth and the state of the roofing industry in 2024.

Justin Froelich, vice president of TEMA Roofing Services, says his company makes it a priority to educate clients instead of just selling them services.

Using union labor from Roofers Local 71 and architectural Sheet Metal Worker’s Local 33, TEMA does a lot of insulated wall panels, metal siding and metal roofing projects.

Froelich says 2023 was a fantastic year, a safe one without accidents, and he’s excited about the prospects in 2024.

Simon’s Nolletti notes her company wants to grow “organically” and not by acquiring other companies. She hopes to be able to pass the company along to her children, the fifth generation.

Holko says his company already has a full schedule for 2024 and mild weather this winter allowed employees to keep working in the 50-mile area around Youngstown and Warren.

“It’s been nice. It’s going to be one of those years we’re going to actually make money in the first quarter of the year… which happens about every four or five years,” Holko says.

Pictured at top: Regulations vary by state regarding roofing materials. The climate of a particular area often is a factor.