June hailstorms still keeping roofers busy

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Adam Engram of Harris Construction lays down shingles Wednesday afternoon at a job on Fairfield Avenue. Engram said the crews haven’t been at a loss for work since hailstorms hit Clovis in June.

Kevin Wilson

When he was asked how busy July was, Roger LeClear’s first instinct was to laugh.

“It was, by far the busiest month I’ve had as a roofer.” said LeClear, who opened Big Sky Roofing in Clovis in 2000.

The numbers would appear to agree.

Actually, the numbers seem to scream it out at the top of their lungs.

According to permits filed with the city, there were 560 re-roofing jobs in Clovis in July — a 3,900 percent increase from the July 2009 total of 14.

LeClear said Big Sky usually does about three or four jobs a month, but July saw about 12 to 14 jobs — all of them related to June’s hailstorms.

Karlton Reed, owner of Reed Construction, said his business can handle 30 to 40 jobs in a month, and all he’s doing are estimates that could take the business well past September and October. In the meantime, his crew tries to do temporary fixes until it can do a complete job.

“We’re more concerned with the quality of work rather than how much we can do,” Reed said. “We don’t like to do callbacks.”

Reed has owned his business since 1991 but had roofed well before that.

“(This period) ranks with the 1988 hailstorm,” Reed said. “It wiped out the whole town.”

One thing both Reed and LeClear noticed is the large number of roofers in Clovis who weren’t established in the area before the first hail landed June 12.

Both tell customers to beware of people soliciting work door-to-door, because reputable roofers are usually busy enough to get jobs without such solicitation.

“Maybe they’ll do a good job, but it’s kind of roofer’s roulette,” LeClear said. “If they don’t do a good job, and it’s leaking a few years down the road, they’ll have to hire a local roofer to do it (again).”

The city charges roughly $50 to $60 for a re-roof permit, and took in $30,379 in July alone.

And more permits are on their way, Reed said.

“Hail season isn’t over yet,” he said. “My own house got hailed out, but I haven’t even worked on it yet.”