As I sit in my 70 degree office writing this morning, I’m reminded of all the people who work outside for a living. When I woke up today and checked the weather, it said the high temperature is supposed to be in the low-twenties with a brisk North West wind. The current temperature is 11 degrees with a 20 mph wind and most construction workers have been on the job for at least an hour and half already. Winter in Iowa is rough on anybody or anything that needs to be outside.
I admit that I’m soft when it comes to hard work and cold weather. Most of my professional career has been working in an office crunching numbers and taking for granted that there are many people out there who actually make the work happen that give me numbers to crunch. I know I’m biased when I think about the most difficult jobs to work in the winter but in my humble opinion, being a roofer is one of the toughest.
Roofers are some of the most amazing people you will ever meet. They show up every morning no matter how hot or cold it is, they put on their hard hats and harnesses and they go to work. They don’t complain, they don’t ask someone else to do the dirty work, they just get it done. They are loyal, trustworthy, genuine, and kind. Yes, I said kind. I’ve seen roofers come to tears when discussing people or places that are important to them. They may look tough on the outside, but they have some of the biggest hearts you will find. I would trust my life to a roofer.
Most people, including myself, never think twice about what it takes to keep water from getting inside a building. If there is even a pin hole in a roof, water will find it and end up where it doesn’t belong. It’s the roofer’s job to make sure there are no pin holes or big holes in a roof for water to get in. There are an endless number of variables that need to be considered when designing and installing a roof. How big is it, how many roof drains are there, will there be scuppers, or parapets, or pitch pans, or curbs? How about gutters, and down spouts, is it mechanically fastened or fully adhered. Will it be TPO, EPDM, PVC, fleece back, or metal? The list goes on and on. And, oh by the way, it needs to be installed whether it’s 100 or 13 degrees outside.
There is a lot of talk right now about what it means to “Make America Great Again.” America is already great because of people, like roofers, who do their job day after day without complaining or asking for anything more than a decent wage and for someone to care about them. So please remember all the construction workers, maintenance workers, factory workers, custodians and others we take for granted every day. And please, if you get the chance, hug your roofer today. You’ll be glad you did.