Raising the ‘Roof’: Soy-based roof rejuvenator finds its niche

Since 2018, soybean oil has been instrumental in rejuvenating roofs across the United States, helping grow the Roof Maxx business to more than 600 location in just two years.

“We are disrupting a multi-billion dollar roofing industry and finding our niche market with Roof Maxx,” said Michael Feazel, co-founder and CEO of Roof Maxx Technologies. “Shingles are becoming thinner and wear out much quicker than they ever have before. Because of that, we sold our roofing company after 25 years and started Roof Maxx.”

As a partnership between Feazel and his brother, Todd, Roof Maxx is the world’s first roof rejuvenation spray treatment and first sustainable roofing solution that saves property owners more than 80 percent on roof replacement costs.

“This product is applied quickly, has virtually no mess and is safe for people, pets and the environment,” Feazel said. “With over 85 percent coverage in the United States, we are in 49 states and are continually adding new dealers every week.”

Created by Battelle Labs and now under continued development with Airable Labs, a partner of the Ohio Soybean Council, Roof Maxx now has a dedicated team of researchers working on this product every day.

“It is critical for soybean farmers to invest in new technologies like Roof Maxx to help generate demand for our product,” said Jim Willers, chair of the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) product development action team. “Checkoff dollars are available to help products reach commercialization, and Roof Maxx continues to be an example of what types of success can happen from our support.”

Roof Maxx is Class A fire testing certified after one treatment. A USDA-Certified Biobased Product, it was named one of the Top 10 Most Inspiring Startups in 2019 by the World Bio Market and Columbus Business Journal’s Tech Company of the Year in 2019.

“Their success is in their work. Roof Maxx has been a leading example of how connecting soy-based technology with a really good application can create a demand for soybeans,” said Mike Youngerberg, senior director of product development & commercialization for MSR&PC. “New dealers are joining the organization, people are seeing the cost savings, and farmers are building a demand through checkoff investments. It really is a win-win for everyone.”

The Ohio State University conducted a treatment study and found that a single Roof Maxx treatment on a 17-year-old shingle, allowed that shingle to pass the flexibility test that new shingles go through before being placed on the market.

“If Roof Maxx can rejuvenate shingles back into a near-new form, the cost-saving strategy to customers and property owners is huge,” Youngerberg said. “Shingles are not what they used to be, but soybean oil is now leading the way with new products to create a cleaner, more environmentally friendly market.”

A boost from a ‘shark’

One of the biggest achievements thus far is the recent partnership with Kevin Harrington, one of the original sharks from the hit television show, “Shark Tank.”

“Having the credibility of a ‘shark’ has been amazing,” Feazel said. “Beside his connections and understanding of how to grow in the market, Kevin and his son opened their own dealership in Tampa, Florida. That just goes to show the kind of backing the product has.”

Since 2018, Roof Maxx has kept 54,000 tons of roofing debris out of landfills and hopes to maintain those numbers at a monthly rate in 2021.

“About 80 percent of our sales are coming from maintenance-minded people, while 20 percent are coming from those who need a roof now,” Feazel said. “Today’s roofs only last about 15 to 18 years, but with Roof Maxx, we can extend that life by an average of 10 years.”

When shingles start to shed granules that end up in the gutter that is the perfect time to apply a Roof Maxx treatment. In Minnesota, a Roof Maxx application could extend the life of the roof by up to 12 years.

“Depending on where you are located and the climate of where you live depends on the timeline of when a Roof Maxx application may be needed,” Feazel said. “For someone in the South with a little more expansion and contraction due to the warmer temperatures, we say somewhere around five to seven years. In Minnesota, it could be upwards of 10 to 12 years from the original roof installation.”

Helping people save money, conserve natural resources and keep shingles out of landfills have been the driving force of their success.

“It has been exciting to watch the growth of this market and really see checkoff investments flourish into a product being used across the United States,” Willers said. “The Ohio Soybean Council and Airable labs really have done a nice job in developing this product and now soybean farmers will continue to reap some of the benefits with Roof Maxx’s future success.”

To learn more about the soybean checkoff investments in Roof Maxx and to locate a dealer near you, visit roofmaxx.com or call 1-855-RoofMaxx.

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