Hurricane Irma puts demand for Central Florida contractors 'through the roof'

Collis Roofing specialist says company receiving nonstop calls

LONGWOOD, Fla. – There’s been a high demand for roofing repairs since Hurricane Irma swept through Central Florida.

Employees with Collis Roofing said Friday, less than five days after the storm, that they’ve received tons of calls for jobs, and they’re not sure how long it will take to complete them.

Andrew Mosher, a sales and estimate specialist for the company, said the calls have been nonstop, but that he and his colleagues are doing their best to respond to each customer.

"We're trying to just get everybody scheduled as fast as we can,” Mosher said.

Mosher said most of the damage they've seen is from Irma's strong winds, and while they hope to help each customer who calls, they're trying to prioritize the homes with the most damage.

"We're seeing houses that had trees come down on top of them,” Mosher said. “Those we're going to try to get to tarp before we get to the couple of shingles here and there."

The high demand for contractors means it could take a while before a contractor gets to a specific home.

In the meantime, it’s not a bad idea to start making calls. Mosher suggests first making sure to hire a licensed contractor.

"By asking someone on your property to do work for you, you're somewhat opening yourself up to liability,” Mosher said. “A licensed roofing contractor is going to have the liability, the worker's comp, so if something does happen, you don't have to worry about that."

And be patient. Mosher said he’s not sure how long it will take to get to every customer, but wants people in need of repairs to know that each contractor is working as quickly as possible.
"Everybody is just trying to make the best of it right now and we're going to do the best we can to service them," Mosher said.

Mosher said the weather in Central Florida in the days since Irma, which has included some rain and lightning, has also slowed contractors down because it's unsafe to work in those conditions.

Other contractors are low-staffed at the time because they sent their employees to Texas to assist with Hurricane Harvey relief, not knowing that Central Florida would soon see some of the same issues.

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