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Roofers kicking efforts into overdrive after Hurricane Sandy damage

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 03 2012 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Nov 05 2012 04:21:38 AM CST

Roofers kicking efforts into overdrive

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Roofers are hard at work dealing with hundreds of backlogged repair calls after Hurricane Sandy.  Some companies are warning homeowners to ask lots of questions before they hire a roofer.

 For Erik DeRossi, it's another day and another ladder to climb.

"Crazy, absolutely crazy," he said.

 That's what the last few days have been like for Alick Smith Roofing, where DeRossi is the program manager.  "We woke up Tuesday morning to about 400 phone calls."

 DeRossi even worked on Sunday, his birthday, trying to get caught up.

 First up was Nick Sisonick's house in Allentown.  

 "I knew I'd lost shingles, but I didn't realize in the one spot, that there was a lot gone," said Sisonick.

 The company has eight crews working seven days a week.  After 15 minutes patching Sisonick's roof, it was off to Bethlehem, and  and a more expensive slate roof job.

 Alick Smith Roofing has responded to so many calls, they haven't even patched their own roofs yet.

 "The owner of the company actually has a 60-foot tree on his house right now -- still there -- because he hasn't had time to deal with it," said DeRossi.

 When these guys show up in a neighborhood, suddenly the one job they came here for can become five or even six of them.  At the house in Bethlehem, a neighbor approached who's been trying to find a roofer for days.  DeRossi quickly patched his roof while the crew was there.

 Sisonick said available roofers have been hard to find.

 "They were basically the only people that answered the phone," he said.

 If you have damage, DeRossi urges you to ask potential roofers some important questions.

 "Ask how long they've been in business. Do they have their licenses and insurance?" he said.  "Are they local?  If they're not local, if they're coming from three counties away, you might not be able to reach them if you have a problem down the road."