Amid recent rainfall, roofing companies racing against time and weather elements with derecho repairs


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – Clean up after last month’s derecho is on hold because of this week’s rain, and that’s continuing to impact many eastern Iowans still dealing with damage.

“This year has been a killer year,” said Kent Fowlkes, the owner at Scratch and Dent Appliance Warehouse.

At his warehouse, you can see the effects of the derecho from the outside.

“The whole corner of this building just sucked it off the wall, so you can see where I put the siding back on to protect it until they get back to replace it,” said Fowlkes.

Now with this week’s rain, you can also the effects seeping through the ceiling.

“I’m finding more leaks, more spots where the water is getting in so we’re trying to stay on top of that, and keep my place as dry as we can keep it, before mold really sets in deep so we can get it fixed,” Fowlkes said.

But, that’s going to take a while. Tyler Nelson with Old Towne Roofing, who will be fixing Fowkles roof, says he’s seeing an influx of people needing roof repairs.

“We’ve been seeing an influx from large trees splitting their roof in half leaving gaping holes to big parts of commercial buildings dangling over the roof as we have seen here at Scratch and Dent location,” said Nelson.

However, because of the rain, their work is delayed. They can still get preventive work like tarping done, though.

“But tarping can only go so far. People are going to be taking on water around town every day it rains and we’re going to be needing to make repairs fast,” said Nelson.

Right now, they are booked about three weeks to 30 days out, but trying to make headway before the weather gets worse. “We can build roofs into the cold. Now when you bring in the weather elements of snow and stuff like that that’s going to play a big factor into the things,” Nelson added.

In the meantime, Fowlkes is just hoping his business won’t take another hit, and the goal is to keep his store open.

“What’s really going to crush me is we’ve already survived a Pandemic, and now we got an inland hurricane so we’ve already shut my store down just because of the slowness to one side, so how this is all going to go is we’re going to do this (repairs) in sections,” said Fowkles. “So we’ll try to keep our head above water and muddle our way through this.”

Nelson advises during this time, that home and property owners to continue to document any further damage, and if you haven’t tarped your roof have that and any other preventative maintenance done until it can.

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