Snow batters Vail, Eagle County roofs |

Snow batters Vail, Eagle County roofs

Steve LynnVail, CO Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyLuke Popsicle, left, K.C. Reed, center, and Luke Toldol, right, shovel thousands of pounds of snow off the roof of the Vail Professional Building Monday. This has been a particularly busy season for roof shoveling companies.

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado Bob Princes workers have never repaired so many leaks and shoveled so much snow off roofs.This winter has been the busiest in Princes 12 years of roofing in the Vail Valley, he said.His business, Prince Roofing in Eagle, is booked until April for snow and ice removal from roofs and for roof leak repairs. His employees work seven days a week and hes paying a great deal of overtime, though he doesnt pass that cost on to homeowners, he said.

Were all tired, he said. We want summer to be here. Now Prince answers the phones all day only to apologize and tell customers that he cannot help them until spring.I tell you what, its been a hectic winter, Prince said. During the warmer winter days, snow melts on roofs. The water forms a pool and at night it freezes and causes a build-up of ice that roofers call an ice dam. As the cycle is repeated, ice pushes up shingles and gets under the roof. That can lead to water leaking inside a home, destroying drywall, warping wood, causing mold and staining ceilings. Ken Hutchison, co-owner and president of Elk Mountain Roofing & Repairs Inc. in Gypsum, has had three times the number of calls this winter than usual, he said. I think weve been short of snow so many years that people arent used to it, he said. Hutchison could hire several more people to deal with all the roofs, he said. He has had around 70 calls this month from people asking to remove ice and snow and to repair leaks, and he also has had to turn away customers, he said. The volume is just so high, he said. The problem has even worked its way down to Gypsum. Normally this is something you see in the Vail and Avon area.Usually Red Eagle Roofing in Eagle has to lay off a couple workers during the winter, because business slows down, said Tom Ice, project manager for the business. This has been the busiest winter Ice has seen in 15 years in the roofing business in the valley, he said. This year, were actually hiring, so its very good for business, he said. Ryan Verstreater, owner of Rhino Roofing in Evergreen, does not recommend people work on their own roofs. Its really pretty dangerous, he said. Verstreater generally does not come up to Vail except to install new roofs in the summer, but his employees have removed snow and fixed roof leaks this year in East Vail, he said. We helped out a property management company because theyre overwhelmed with snow removal and leaks, he said. With more ice on roofs come more icicles, roofers said. Merck had to remove a 10-foot-long by 1-foot in diameter icicle this winter that went from the roof of a Wildridge home to the ground, blocking its garage. One day the residents came home from work and they could not pull their car in the garage, he said. Merck has seen icicles pierce hoods of cars and go through windshields. He thinks more icicles will fall with the warmer spring temperatures. Its pointy, its sharp, its like a spear, Merck said about icicles. Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or

Support Local Journalism