Understanding the Rising Costs of Asphalt Roofing

No one can deny that asphalt based shingles have gone up dramatically in price over the last decade and the reason is all tied to the price of oil.

Asphalt shingles are made from the sludge that is left over after refining crude oil into gasoline. When gas rose to prices topping $4 per gallon, refineries saw that as an opportunity to invest in technologies that further refine the crude and in turn make them more money. You see, they’re now refining the crude down even more to squeeze every last drop out of a barrel. This means they are able to make more gasoline per barrel, but unfortunately that means there is less sludge left over to make asphalt. Low supplies of sludge coupled with high demand have driven up prices.

This is also why many road projects have gone up dramatically in price.

So there you have it. Even though, as I write this, the price of gas has gone down, the technologies that oil refineries have been using as of late are still there and as long as it is more profitable to sell it by the gallon as gasoline, the price of the sludge we rely on for asphalt will stay high.


Jim McGuigan is a GAF Certified Roofing Contractor living in Brown Deer Wisconsin and servicing all of Southeastern Wisconsin.

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