Minnesota Soybean Business

Taking it to the Maxx: Soy oil helps to restore roofs

September-October 2019

Through checkoff investments and research, soybean oil is helping keep roofs over people’s heads, literally.

“Soy methyl ester (SME) has an identical chemical makeup to petrochemical oil,” says Michael Feazel, co-founder and CEO of Roof Max Technologies. “Now I know why they call it ‘the miracle crop.’ Soy helps bring a roof back to life.”

In the past 15 years, Feazel reports nearly every major roofing manufacturer has been subject to class action lawsuits. Asphalt shingles contain petrochemical oil that allows a roof to contract and expand and become water proof; however as it dries out, it becomes brittle and the roof requires replacing. Using SME Roof Maxx can extend the life of a roof at about half the cost of full replacement.

“We essentially restore and rejuvenate the asphalt with soy,” Feazel says.

Roof Maxx can treat about 90 percent of roofs, and extend its life at five years per treatment; on average, the company can treat the roof up to three times. About 80 percent of the homes Roof Maxx treats are used for preventive maintenance.

“If you think you need a new roof in like three or four years, and it’s looking rough, if you treat it then, we can get you out 15 years,” Feazel says. “Protect and beautify. That’s the ultimate goal with Roof Maxx.”

Finding new partners

About three years ago, Roof Maxx collaborated with the Ohio Soybean Council, which funds the research and development, along with testing from Ohio State University. Today, Roof Maxx boasts more than 300 dealerships across the country, including Minnesota and South Dakota.

“We couldn’t have done this without the soybean checkoff, and I say that a lot,” he says. “It’s been an invaluable partnership.”

Mike Youngerberg, senior director of product development & commercialization for the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC), says investing checkoff resources into companies that promote and use soybeans is a way for consumers to see, in action, the many uses of soybeans. MSR&PC is working with state soybean organizations to develop a comprehensive plan to promote promote Roof Maxx’s sustainability.

“By using soybean oil, Roof Maxx is being both economically and environmentally beneficial to consumers,” Youngerberg says. “This is a great example of how states use their checkoff dollars wisely.”

Feazel says he looks to Goodyear’s Assurance WeatherReady tires, which has a soy-based compound, as the gold standard for recent developments in soybean uses.

He wasn’t an expert on the legume before Roof Maxx, but Feazel is singing the praises of soybeans today.

“I know a lot about soybeans now,” he says.

Roof Maxx dealers in Minnesota

James Purtle – Roof Renew (612) 791-5635

Matt Kitzmann – Evo Roof Technologies(507) 398-5576

Steve Johnson & Joe Eckert – clear choice (608) 526-3582; (608) 526-3582

Heath Lembke/Steven Chicos – NorthStar Summit LLC (507) 676-1388; (507) 696-8419 –


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