Neighbours step up to help Winnipeg man with leaky roof

A roofer fitting a shingle. File/Global News

A Winnipegger decided to help an older neighbour in need when he realized the man’s new-looking roof had been poorly installed and was leaking after heavy rainfall two weeks ago.

“When I showed up, it looked like a new roof,” Chris Popel told 680 CJOB, “but after my inspection, there was no underlayment on the roof, which was causing all the leaking in this gentleman’s kitchen, and it felt like he was being taken advantage of.

“When I’d gone over, he was walking around in a little bit of a walking boot, and he had homecare coming over, so I felt he was a bit of an easy target to take advantage of.”

Popel contacted local roofer Derrick Kolly, of Agassiz Roofing, to check out the situation, and Kolly found much of the same — a poorly-installed roof with sub-par materials.

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“To the eye, it looks like a new roof, but when you inspect it and look at some shingles … it wasn’t quite applied properly. The singles themselves weren’t sealed. I could literally lift every single shingle off. It just wasn’t a very good installation of materials, and the materials used weren’t that good either.”

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Kolly said the decision to step in and help the man repair his roof was an easy one.

“It felt like the right thing to do at the right time. We’ve got a lot of stuff to deal with in everyone’s lives right now, so if we can take one last stressor off of him, we can make a difference.”

The problem, he said, is the lack of regulation in the roofing industry, which can make it easy for someone unaware to hire an inexperienced roofer who doesn’t do an ideal job.

“Unfortunately, the roofing industry in Manitoba is fairly unregulated, meaning anyone with a truck and a ladder can start a roofing company tomorrow.

“The best piece of advice is to get multiple quotes with reputable companies — those that have an online presence with multiple reviews on multiple channels.”

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Popel said both he and Kolly feel good about getting involved.

“We actually just dropped off the materials, and there are smiles all around. We all have the mentality that one person can’t change the world — but maybe we can change the world for one person, or at least ease the burden.”

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