Local roofers say they are benefiting from the mild winter, which has allowed them to keep working on homes damaged during a spring hailstorm that caused millions of dollars worth of damage in Lawrence.
Donna Thomas, whose husband, Tim, owns Anchor Roofing & Painting, said Friday that "he'll be working all winter."
"He's been working all these nice days," she said.
Scott Gillaspie, operations manager for Mesler Roofing, said the firm is still "pretty busy from the hailstorm."
"So far we've had a mild winter, so that's helped," Gillaspie said.
Dan Bratcher, residential manager with Topeka-based Weathercraft, said, "We've got several jobs in Lawrence going on now."
Bratcher said most single-family homes have been repaired, but Weathercraft crews still are working on big projects such as apartment complexes and condominiums. Weathercraft, which keeps about six to 10 roofers in Lawrence, also is working on about 25 Lawrence Housing Authority buildings, Bratcher said.
JIM SKIVERS, manager of Lawrence Roofing, which sells roofing materials, expects a second wave of repairs this spring.
"I think you're going to see more roofs going up in the spring than you did" at the high point after the March 26 hailstorm, Skivers said.
Based on his contact with Lawrence roofing companies, Skivers estimates that one of every four composition roofs damaged in the hailstorm and about three-fourths of the damaged wood roofs in town have been fixed.
Skivers said he expects business will pick up after winter. He said a lot of people who put off fixing their homes last year will be the victims of leaky roofs.
"I look for a big boon in the spring," Skivers said.
Skivers believes roofing work has "definitely dropped off since August," mainly because "the out-of-towners left for other jobs." He said out-of-town crews that descended on Lawrence after the storm left to repair damage caused by storms in Billings, Mont., and in Arkansas.
HOMEOWNERS' FEAR of working with out-of-town companies is one reason why many homes in Lawrence still need to be repaired, Skivers noted. He said the local industry couldn't handle all of the repairs, so homeowners who didn't want to risk contracting with an out-of-town company still are waiting for repairs.