R.L. Roofing Employees Pose for Picture on Roof

Michigan Roofing Company Gifts Roof to Youth Shelter

A simple act of charity can mean more to the ones giving than the ones receiving. That’s the case for R.L. Roofing Service foreman Jonathan Hodges and his company’s work on Michigan City’s Anthony Adams House, an emergency shelter for homeless and troubled youth.

A Michigan City News-Dispatch reporter was onsite covering the free roof installation when Hodges asked a seemingly innocent question, “Isn’t this going to be a place for homeless mothers?” After being informed he was working on a roof for a planned youth shelter, Hodges put his face in his hands. “I didn’t realize that,” Hodges said. “I’ve had my own experience with being homeless. I was a ward of the state from the time I was 5 years old. I lived in different foster homes when I was growing up, so I know all about kids being neglected. This really does hit home.”

Jason Coleman, another foreman at R.L., was more than happy to volunteer his time and skill to give Michigan City kids a secure place to call home. Like Hodges, Coleman also had a troubled youth but found a way out in the roofing business. “I used to be one of those kids,” Coleman said. “I started this job when I was 16. I was one of those teens who was at risk; but Rich (Leslie Sr.) gave me a chance, and I’ve been here ever since.”

The 14-man crew spent a day on the shelter ripping up all previous roofing, replacing any rotted or damaged decking, installing high quality underlayment, and placing brand new shingles. By Monday evening the crew was sweeping up the completed job.

Though R.L. Roofing Service took the lead by volunteering their time, labor, decking, and nails, the roof replacement was a group effort. La Porte Seamless Gutter provided new seamless gutters and downspouts, roofing manufacturer GAF supplied the shingles and roofing accessories, and City Lanes provided a free lunch to the crew.

R.L. Vice President of Operations Rich Leslie Jr. couldn’t have been more pleased with his guys. “They really stepped up and were extremely excited to do something for the community. They’re not getting paid for this. They’re taking money out of their checks this week just to be able to give back to the community that we all grew up in and love.”

The shelter’s founder Candice Nelson was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. She had hoped to have the shelter operational by Summer 2019, but major roof leaks delayed its opening. Nelson called GAF, who pointed her toward R.L. Roofing. With the new roof, Nelson hopes to have the shelter open by the end of summer 2020. “I feel so blessed,” she said, shaking her head as she watched the roofers work. “And as I’m blessed, I will be passing it on.”

Roofer and homeowner give thumbs up

Vancouver Roofer Extends Holiday Spirit with Free Roof

If you’re reading a news story about a roofing company, chances are the story isn’t flattering. The roofing industry is notorious for scammers and sticklers, but the truth is the good roofing companies easily outnumber the bad roofing companies you constantly read about.

It’s a breath of fresh air when one of the good guys is recognized, like Vancouver-based Ibex Roof. Ibex continued the fading holiday spirit by offering a free roof installation to La Center resident Kayla Marshall.

Ibex had recently participated in a fundraiser to help a Washington girl battling leukemia. The fundraiser involved roofing companies purchasing ‘bundles’ of roofing material with all proceeds going to help the girl. Ibex purchased four of the bundles but instead of adding the material to their normal stock, Ibex decided to put the bundles towards a free roof for a local resident in need. “We (Ibex Roof) bought three or four of the packages and we were just going to install it, but then we decided to do a roof giveaway in the month of December,” said Sam Etter of Ibex Roof. “We wanted to use this opportunity to give back to the community.”

Ibex posted the free installation contest to their Facebook page right after Christmas 2019. The company picked one contestant at random, La Center homeowner Kayla Marshall. “Her roof was really old and nasty and so it worked out really well,” Etter said. “Her whole thing was that she had kids and she had been debt free up until this point.”

Marshall’s roof was in poor condition and in need of replacement, but Marshall had been forced to redirect all income toward paying off debts and living expenses for her two little girls. The contest came at just the right time. “We were excited to win a roof because we had just got done paying off some bills and we are a one income family with two little girls, so every dollar saved is helpful to us,” said Marshall. She plans to direct the money saved on the roof to other necessary repairs around the house.

This was Ibex’s first time to give away a new roof, but the company seems to enjoy giving. “Kayla was super appreciative throughout the whole process. Everything ended up going as smooth as possible.”

Choosing a Roofer with a Good Reputation

It can be difficult to separate the good companies from the bad companies but looking for a roofing company that gives back to their local community is one of the easiest ways to secure a great roofer and to affect change in your community.

solar panels on roof

Austria Commits to 1 Million Solar Panel Installs by 2030

Roofs have been a part of our lives ever since our earliest ancestors crawled into caves, but it’s taken hundreds of years to get roofs to work for us. The latest trend in roof technology is not new shingles, or new metal, but green-conscious roofing components like solar panels and green roofing. Once an empty, unused space, the roof is now on the forefront of fighting climate change and urban issues like quality of life and the urban heat island effect. Whole countries are making use of roof space, including Austria.

Austria’s new government recently pledged a goal of 1 million roofs outfitted with solar panels by 2030. The nation has pledged to source all electricity from renewable resources by 2030 and to become completely carbon neutral by 2040.

The government and the new laws are led by a coalition of the Austrian’s People Party and the Green Party. The Austrian People’s Party is led by Sebastian Kurz who appointed a super minister for changes in energy, infrastructure, and environmental standards. The roofing and solar panel program has already been fixed into the new government with an agreement that runs from 2020 to 2024.

Austria’s new climate minister Leonore Gewessler believes in the power of solar energy to reverse decades of damage from fossil fuels. “Photovoltaics in general and the 1 million roof programme in particular will add substantially to these goals in a world where mobility is to be switched to electric driving and also fossil heating systems have to be replaced speedily during the next decades,” said Gewessler.

Austria’s pledge comes with others to make use of their roofs for renewable energy and higher quality of living. In 2019, New York City passed Sustainable Roofing Laws, which require solar or green roof installation on new roof constructions or large-scale roof replacements. In 2016, Denver, Colorado voters passed the Green Roofing Ordinance which requires all new roof builds and replacements over 25,000 sq. feet to require a green roofing component like reflective roofing, planted roofs, or solar panels.

The pledge also lines up with the Solar4Buildings effort, which calls for solar panel installation on all buildings in the EU. Jasmin Duregger of Greenpeace Austria applauds the efforts by the new Austrian government but recognizes solar panels won’t fix everything. “Energy demand is still rising,” said Duregger. “Only an effective energy-efficiency law can guarantee that we not only cover rising energy demand with solar power, but also replace and phase out fossil fuels.”

Snowy walk in durango

Durango Had to Warn Residents to Clear Snow this Spring

Colorado has seen its snowiest season in years, bringing snow packs across the state well above average. A solid snow pack is always good for Colorado’s environment but too much snow near Durango and the southwest portion of Colorado has officials warning residents to get it off their roof before it causes a collapse.

When Should You Worry About Snow?

Residents in Durango need to clear their roofs but the good news for the rest of Colorado is that roofs only need to be cleared in extreme cases like the situation facing southwest Colorado. Engineers and construction companies know the prospect of heavy snow loads so framing is reinforced to handle serious weight. Unless city officials or other experts are warning that you need to clear your roof, you’re likely okay. A small layer of snow is good for your roof as it acts as extra insulation.

If your home is older, hasn’t been inspected for several years, or was built before modern building code went into place, you could face issues during extreme loads. If you hear creaking or notice a portion of your home is sagging or looks off – you need to clear snow.

How to Clear Snow off Your Roof

In an ideal world you’ll use a local roofing company to clear snow if necessary. Roofing crews have the right tools, equipment, and knowhow to get the job done safely. It’s understood that not everybody can call a roofing company is their roof is creaking at 11 at night – what do you do?

If you must clear snow off your roof, use these tips to keep yourself safe:

Stay on the ground. You can easily clear snow off a 1-story roof from the ground and most two-story roofs can be reached with an extended brush broom. You can even open windows and brush the snow off outside while your feet stay firmly planted inside.

Pay attention to your surroundings. Watch where you’re stepping and know where you’re going if you trigger a mini-avalanche.

Take your time. We know it’s cold out but don’t rush through a clearing. The faster you work the more likely you’ll get hurt. Be deliberate in your actions and know where you’re going next.

Dealing with the Snow

Durango residents are busy brushing storms off their roof but it’s only necessary to clear your roof in extreme cases. If you do have to clear your roof, try using a roofing company first. If it’s an emergency always stay on the ground, pay attention to your surroundings, and work slowly. Snow is typically a good thing for roofs but when it becomes too much keep yourself safe.

Notorious Colorado Roofing Scammer Sent to Prison

Colorado is filled with excellent roofing contractors who do an excellent job but there are undoubtedly some scammers. Luckily for homeowners those scammers are usually brought to justice as is the case for Jeffery Masias. Colorado Fourth District Federal Judge Gregory Werner sentenced Masias to a four-year prison sentence for taking more than $300,000 from 18 different people with no work performed or intent to perform. The judge declined the defense’s request for probation and chose a sentence between his options of two to six years. Masias had pleaded guilty to felony theft.

Masias took several thousand dollars from Colorado residents over a period of two years for jobs including bathroom remodels, deck maintenance and repair, and roofing. Masias ran his haphazard construction company as Masias’ Innovative RAC and did business under other entities.

The Pikes Peak Regional Building Department revoked Masias’s Innovative RAC’s contractor license in December, 2018 before filing a lawsuit against him in the Fourth Judicial Court for unlicensed work and continued contracting without a license. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) also revoked Masias’s accreditation after receiving 17 complaints in a two-year period.

Masias cost dozens across the Pikes Peak Region tens of thousands of dollars including a couple who paid Masias $58,000 for a deck project but were forced to pay another contractor an additional $40,00 to complete it. Masias had made several excuses for the delays and mishaps but the judge wasn’t hearing any excuses handing down the four-year term.

Finding a Reliable Roofing Contractor

It will take years for Masias’s victims to recoup their losses, but you can avoid hiring a scammer by following a few simple steps:

  • Read Online Reviews – Online reviews are a wealth of information on how a company operates. A few bad reviews aren’t cause for alarm but if the company ranks poorly across different review sites – they are no good for your roof.
  • Check Licensing and Insurance – Your roofing contractor must be licensed with your local city and carry liability insurance.
  • Check the BBB – Check that your contractor is accredited with your local BBB. Look for an A+ rating for the most confidence.
  • Get Personal Referrals – Before hiring, ask potential hires for references and referrals. Talk to their previous customers for a unique perspective into how the roofer operates.

Jeffery Masias is a good example of everything that’s wrong in the roofing industry but there are more good guys in roofing than bad. Use the steps above and more to only hire the best roofing contractor.