During the recent torrential rainfalls that we experienced, we had a couple of leaks in our kitchen which appeared to be coming from the skylight. Fortunately, it was only one day that my wife had to put out a couple of small buckets to catch the water coming in. I had been contemplating having our cedar shake roof looked at since it is 30 years old and had been doing my research regarding roofing companies, particularly on Homestars. I decided to call Derek of Accountable Roofing Services Ltd. because of the high ratings that he had received as well as the individual comments regarding his personality, competence, fairness and willingness to attend to relatively minor repairs.
I called him on December 11 and he answered the phone right away. When I explained the situation, he said that he was on his way to the hospital because his father was not feeling well. I said that I understood and that his father took priority over my roof. He said that he would go to the hospital and spend some time with his father. He said that he would call me later after he had seen his father. To my surprise, he called me back later in the day and said that his father was stable and that he would drop by to examine my roof on his way home. He lives in Surrey, but he was at Royal Columbian Hospital and our home in Burnaby is a few minutes away from RCH. He came by shortly after our telephone conversation and came upstairs to speak with me. I am disabled and unable to move about.
I explained to Derek that the leaks appeared to be coming from the skylight in the kitchen and that we had a total of six skylights. We had previously experienced leaks from the kitchen skylight as well as two other skylights. After carefully listening to me, Derek went downstairs to check on the kitchen ceiling and then went up on the roof check on all of the skylights. He spent quite a bit of time on the roof and then came in to provide me with his thoughts and advice.
He told me that the cedar shakes on my roof were premium quality “barn” cedar shake shingles which were the same thickness on both ends. He was surprised to hear that my roof was 30 years old since the cedar shakes were in such good condition. His recommendation was that all six skylights be replaced with some repair of the cedar shake shingles. He said that the “caps” along with peaks of the roof required replacing. He said that it was not necessary to replace the entire roof or replace the cedar shake roof with entirely new asphalt shingles.
He said that he would prepare a quotation for the recommended repair. I also requested a quotation for replacing the cedar shake roof with an entirely new high definition architectural asphalt shingle roof.
I spoke to him a week later, just as he was winding down for the Christmas break. He was also in the process of going to see his father at the hospital with some dinner. Although he was busy, he said that he was finishing the quotations. We had earlier agreed that the repairs or roof replacement should be delayed until the spring or summer when the weather would be better. I told him that I was concerned about leaks in the interim. He said that he could come over after seeing his father and attempt sealing the skylight with new caulking. Since he was going up on the roof anyway, he said that he might as well do all 6 of the skylights. He said that he could do it for $450. It was not a nice day. It was raining lightly and he had had a very busy day and was winding down for Christmas. Notwithstanding that, Derek came by after seeing his father in the hospital and went up on our roof. He carefully removed all of the old caulking and applied new caulking to all six of the skylights. He had told me on the phone that he could not guarantee that this would stop the leaks. He was pretty sure that it would, but this was an emergency repair and he could not positively guarantee the work. I said I realized this and was happy with what he was able to do to help us.
I could tell by the time he spent on the roof and the sound of his boots that he was doing a very careful job of removing the caulking and applying new caulking. When he came down, he also provided us with the quotations for the recommended repairs and for replacing the cedar shake roof altogether with architectural asphalt tiles.
Both of the quotations for the cedar shake roof repair plus replacement of 6 skylights and the total roof replacement with high definition architectural asphalt tile were very reasonable. What I found really telling about Derek’s honesty and integrity was his recommendation that I did not need an entirely new roof and that repairs could be done for significantly less cost.
Derek and I spent a couple of hours together on his first visit just talking about how we were both raised by our families and I was really impressed that he and I were of the same mind. My parents raised me to live my life on the straight and narrow and that if you do your job properly, money will take care of itself, and Derek has the same philosophy. He just wants to do a very good job for his clients. I am a retired lawyer and I had the same philosophy in dealing with my clients. Being honest and standing by your word is a good way to live your life.