Bloxsom Roofing has been in business since 1925, established by O.M. Bloxsom in Big Rapids, Michigan.
Because of the depression, Ottie (O.M. Bloxsom) had many different ways of putting a meal on the table. He made deliveries of both furniture and groceries, then he began roofing. One day, while looking over the neighborhood (from a roof-top view), he said that when he finished the roof he was on, another one would need a new roof and if he were ever able to re-roof the town, it would be time to start over again. Thus, Bloxsom Roofing was established.
The market was more simplified then, mostly sloped roofs with wood shakes, slate, or those newfangled asphalt shingles. If the roofing was low sloped to flat, hot tar was the only game in town.
Later, his four sons began working in the family business. Seeing the growth in northern Michigan, a branch was established in Traverse City in the mid ’50s. In the mid ’60s, O.M. Bloxsom retired, and then in the early ’70s the branches were consolidated in Traverse City, where the company remains today. Both Edward and Thomas Bloxsom Sr. retired from the business in recent years, which places Bloxsom Roofing in the fourth generation of family ownership.
Just as the family business took the natural path of transition from grandfather to grandchildren, roofing materials and techniques used today have greatly changed. It is truly a challenge to keep up with improvements without being used as a proving ground for the latest entry into the roofing market. For many decades “hot tar,” as built up roofing (BUR) is commonly called, was the only type of roofing applied. There are three basic types of BUR – Coal Tar Pitch, Asphalt, and Bitumen – all of which have been reformulated and modified through the years.
The roofing market was ripe for change. The “Oil Crunch” caused BUR prices to inflate. In an attempt to stay competitive, less petroleum was used in manufacturing, causing premature failure of many built up roofs. From that point on, single ply has had a profound influence on the roofing industry. Built up roofing continues to have a strong piece of the roofing market, and materials have been enhanced since the early 1970s. However, modern single ply roofing was not developed ONLY due to cost concerns.