Business

Rainy season prompts deluge of calls for roofers in Eastern Iowa

Weather increases leaks, and then demand

Workers for Pa’s Roofing remote the old roof of a home in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Workers for Pa’s Roofing remote the old roof of a home in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
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With all the recent rain, roofing companies are scrambling as they deal with an influx of calls in addition to the challenge of getting work done because of the resulting saturation.

“This is one of the wettest later summers-early falls that I’ve seen in years,” said Marc LeConte, owner of High Quality Home Maintenance in Cedar Rapids.

“Trying to get things done that we’ve already committed to, get those customer’s jobs finished off, it’s harder to do because of the rain,” he said.

“And then we have new customers, or the repair calls we get for leaks that have just shown up. Every leak that was minor now seems to be halfway major because of all this rain.

“We can’t get to them as fast as we normally do.”

Dan Saunders, owner-manager of Pa’s Roofing and Construction, also based in Cedar Rapids, agreed.

“This weather definitely increases our demand because more people have a tendency to have leaks, so we are getting more calls, but then it presents an issue with us getting it done,” he said.

Pa’s operates three crews each day that start work early each morning until dark on any day there’s no rain, including weekends.

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“If there’s a 30 percent chance or greater of rain, we won’t tear off a roof. So we are waiting the weather out. When it’s abnormally wet like this it puts the pressure on,” he said.

Roofers also face a challenge in coming weeks as colder weather settles in.

“This is the time of the year where we start looking at the calendar trying to figure out if we have enough work days left to help the homeowners that are on our schedule as well as the ones that will be calling in the next couple months,” said Rod Manson, president of Tri-County Enterprises Inc. in Cedar Rapids.

He noted that the rain affects business in several ways as Tri-County’s services also include work on windows, siding and gutters.

“Last year we were doing 10 or more roof each week, but that was a different type of year because there were several hailstorms and less rain,” he explained. “This year we are down to five to seven roofs per week because of the rainy weather. We’re hoping for good weather from here to Christmas so we can get caught up.”

As crews work to catch up, LeConte said it’s especially helpful when customers are able to stay patient.

“Of course, water issues cause mold issues and mold issues cause all kinds of other problems that homeowners are trying to avoid,” he said. “But every day that is rains it sets up back another day.

“If we can’t get to customers on the days we thought we were going to get to them because of things outside of your control, it’s nice to have patient customers.”

LeConte said his company traditionally is booking work about a month in advance, but given the recent weather and workload, they are about two and a half months out.

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