July 06, 2011 12:00 AM

GAF Celebrates 125 Years as Leader in Roofing Industry

This year marks the 125th anniversary of GAF, North America’s largest roofing and ventilation manufacturer. The company has a long history of innovation that dates back to its founding in 1886 and has primarily focused on the manufacturing of roofing materials for residential and commercial applications. 

GAF, which formally stood for “General Aniline & Film” was originally active in the manufacturing of aniline dyes, specialty chemicals,  photographic films, and Viewmaster; for a brief time in the 1970s, it was the official film of Disneyland. But its roofing focus is what propelled GAF forward and its commitment to innovation led the company to be the originators of many standard roofing products today. 

Towards the end of the 1800s, GAF was the first to offer ready-to-lay asphalt roofing. This was followed in the early 1900s by the first use of colored granules in roofing materials, the introduction of individually cut asphalt shingles, and the first interlocking asphalt shingles. In 1967 GAF developed today’s most laminated shingle:  Timberline.  In the second half of the century, GAF introduced lighter weight and higher performance asphalt shingles as well as shingles with High Definition® colors. 

The new millennium brought a focus on commercial roofing, with GAF’s introduction of self-adhered TPO membranes and the first pre-coated energy-efficient modified bitumen membranes. In recent years, the company  has introduced the first energy-efficient asphalt shingle available in rich colors, the first capstocked composite decking product, a technology called Advanced Protection to create lower-weight and higher performing shingles, and solar grade TPO membranes. 

Understanding the need to inspire loyalty among contractors and confidence in homeowners, GAF was the first company to create a residential Certified Contractor Program and continues its affiliation with leading contractors across the continent. GAF has also expanded into the composite decking arena, most recently adding a collection of low maintenance boards that mimic premium hardwoods. 

Adding to its list of “firsts,” in 2011 GAF became the first roofing manufacturer to offer an industry-changing, lifetime limited warranty on all laminated and designer shingles. Over the years, GAF’s customers have come to recognize it for its advanced quality, industry expertise, and solutions made simple -- qualities that the company continues to embody today. 

“We are celebrating more than the significant milestone of doing business for 125 years,” stated Bob Tafaro, president and CEO of GAF. “We are also celebrating those who have gone before us; it was their vision, and the confidence they had in GAF that created the company we are today. I’m grateful to all of our customers, suppliers, and most importantly our employees, and look forward to keeping GAF on the path to another 125 years of success.”

About GAF

Now proudly celebrating its 125th year in the industry, GAF has become the largest roofing manufacturer in North America, with sales of nearly $3 billion annually. The company’s products include a comprehensive portfolio of steep-slope and low-slope roofing systems, as well as composite decking, which are supported by an extensive national network of factory-certified contractors. Its success is driven by a commitment to provide property owners and specifiers with the best and safest choice in roofing and by helping supportive contractors and distributors to build their businesses and avoid hassles. 

With a focus on social responsibility, GAF has developed single-ply and asphaltic membranes with superior durability and high reflectivity to meet the most rigorous industry standards while helping commercial property owners and designers reduce energy consumption. 

The Company also supports the roofing industry through CARE, the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence, which has provided education to over 125,000 professionals. CARE’s mission is to help professional contractors and distributors build their businesses through sales and management education, and to provide product and installation training to contractors, distributors, architects, property owners, and related industry personnel. For more information about GAF, visit www.gaf.com.

For more information contact:
Alyssa Hall, Corporate Communications Mgr.

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