Hey everyone! Been a while… as there hasn’t been much to say really. We’ve been plodding along… until…
Torrential downpour rain. Noah’s Flood rain. Waiting-for-that-mudslide rain. Tons of people calling us because their roof is leaking… rain.
Yeah, we’re busy. And no, we can’t come out RIGHT NOW. Sorry… really.
If you (probably don’t) remember the post I made about how the roofing industry went through a financial drought with the actual drought, I elaborated on how roofing has shrunk down over the years around here in SoCal. Roofing contractors and suppliers have steadily been going out of business. And suddenly we get more rain than we have in all the past 5 years COMBINED. Well, the current supply does not nearly match the sudden, massive demand. So we’re maybe 2 months out on our work schedule.
People seem to have a different impression on what roofing is. It appears to be something to akin to corporate-level coordination, where a fleet of trucks and Roofing Guys are ready to go at any moment. Alas, this is not the case.
We also don’t do tarping unless we get a signed contract for work. Here’s why:
I’ve slowly learned that people seem to think once a roofer steps up on their roof to fix it, the entirety of said roof then becomes the sole responsibility for said roofer… until the end of time. The way we tarp roofs is effective, but causes a bit of damage. This is because we use thick plastic and big nails to hold down the thick plastic. The nails cause damage which we then need to repair. And we will only repair them if we come back later to do other repairs. Thus: we only tarp if we are going to be coming back, guaranteed. If we don’t do it that way, every little leak, every WHATEVER, will be a “it’s your fault so I’m not going to pay for it” from people, sometimes followed up by “or I’ll sue.” Good ole’ lawsuits… they make the world turn, don’t they?
Anyways, another interesting issue that’s been developed from the lack of roofers is other roofers coming in from elsewhere, even out of state, to partake in the massive demand. In the business, these are known as “travelers” or even “storm chasers”. They go where the work is.
And unfortunately, oftentimes, another way to label these folks is “thieves.”
There’s no way to contact them if the work later turns out to be poor. Say you do, by some miracle. Well, they’re back in Nevada, or up in Oregon by that time. Even if they are legitimate, there’s no way they are paying for a repair done by someone else, let alone coming back down. You can’t chase them down to press charges, or whatever (unless something blatantly criminal occurs). There’s nothing you can do. So, you have to spend more money, hire a local guy to come out, and then fix the bad work.
We deal with their exploitative work all the time.
The legal term for this is “Unf***ing”. (Well, actually it isn’t. But it should be, because that would be awesome.)
To be fair, this isn’t a blanket statement. No, “they” are not all this way. But oftentimes they are. Furthermore, even if they mean well and are quite legitimate, there is no country-wide standard for the roofing industry. There’s no National Board of Roofers in which approval must be sought from.
Roofing is a trade, not a product. How it’s done here is different than how it’s done in, say, rural Nevada or Phoenix, Arizona. Different climates and states (i.e. different laws and procedures therein) result in different modes for approaching the trade. It’s just safer to not go with them. An exception might just be to tarp the leaking spot for a flat rate, AS LONG as you understand that it’s a temporary fix and you’re going to have to pay more later to fix the actual issue.
Alright so, in sum, if you see a roofer pull up with out-of-state plates… say no. Even if it means your roof is going to leak a while longer. Unless, however, you’re okay with probably not seeing the same guys again, and paying more later to fix the actual problem from someone local like us who actually honors their warranties.