Edmonton man donates roofing skills to homeowners in need

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Edmonton man donates roofing skills to homeowners in need
WATCH ABOVE: An Edmonton roofing company is finding a unique way to help out in the community. Sarah Kraus has more on Rivercity Roof Rescue – May 10, 2019

An Edmonton roofer wants to ensure everyone has a dry roof over their head as we head into spring.

Chris Workun has been making a living as a roofer for the last 14 years. He recently started his own company with a friend.

“We’re new to business and we want to start ethically and help as many people as we can along the way,” he said.

So they started up the Rivercity Roof Rescue, a spin on their for-profit business, Rivercity Roofing.

“We donate $2 per bundle [of shingles] — that’s straight out of our pockets,” Workun explained. “We don’t just tack on $2 a bundle — that goes right into a fund for materials. Labour is on us.”
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Then, they take requests for roof repairs from people in need.

“Seniors on fixed income, people with illnesses, it’s really stressful,” he said. “All you have to do is send us an email, call us, Facebook us and we’ll see what we can do to help you out.”

Workun has already helped more than half a dozen people with free or discounted roof repairs. He estimates the average donated job would have normally cost about $200.

“Minor repairs, replacing shingles that have holes in them, adding drip edge to the bottom. Some companies come in and they don’t do the proper steps, so they just have little leaks.”

On Thursday, he was volunteering his time at the GiveBack Garage in northeast Edmonton.

“When it rains or it snows and it melts, or starts to come in, the whole roof actually starts to leak,” explained founder Barb Sharpe. “There was spots all over the place.”

The GiveBack Garage collects all sorts of donations and distributes them to people in need, for free.

This spring, that proved challenging as water coming off the roof started pooling inside — where donations are kept.

“Everything gets soaked,” Sharpe said. “We have to ensure that bags are tied, that lids are sealed properly. If not, it’s a matter of possibly destroying the entire bag, or the entire load of stuff that’s there to begin with.”

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Sharpe said she doesn’t have the means to get the roof repaired on her own, so Workun came to offer his services.

“They didn’t overhang the metal roof enough, so the water is dripping back behind the eavestrough, rotting out the fascia. So I’m putting some drip edge in,” he explained.

He also siliconed screws that were placed improperly, so they were not water-tight.

“He ended up coming in and fixing it, which actually helps us out quite a bit because we’re going to be insulating here right away,” Sharpe said. “We can’t have a leaking garage. It’s absolutely amazing, the kindness that has come out.”

Rivercity Roofing has a queue of about seven repairs already and hopes to fix two entire roofs later this summer, if they can save up enough.

“I’m a homeowner,” Workun said. “I’ve been broke before. It sucks. A roof that leaks, if you can’t afford to fix it, can rot trusses. it can do so much damage.”

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