Habitat no longer doing roof projects

Habitat for Humanity volunteers are going out of the roofing “business”. The volunteers will no longer do roof repair or replacement beginning this summer.

Volunteers with the Heart of Iowa Habitat for Humanity affiliate have replaced more than 20 roofs in Greene, Boone and Guthrie Counties since 2012 and put roofs on 26 new construction homes.

The end of roofing comes due to two concerns: volunteer safety and the potential for liability, according to the affiliate’s board of directors.

Volunteers have not sustained major injuries while roofing, but according to a Habitat newsletter, “the risk of a severe fall injury to our greatest resource is ever present.”

There is also the possibility of damage done when volunteers leave an open roof unfinished between work days. “While great effort is given to replacing all torn off areas before closing the work site each day, experience shows that volunteers can sometimes over-estimate what they are truly able to replace by quitting time,” the newsletter states. “Site supervisors take great effort to cover open roofs with tar paper and/or tarps, but without fully covering with new shingles, the potential is high for water to find its way into the home.”

Going forward, Habitat’s Helping Hands home repair program will partner with local roofing contractors. Also, the USDA rural development program, with which Habitat partnered eight times in 2018, can do roof replacements using roofing contractors.

“By turning our roofing projects over to contracted professionals, Habitat will minimize significant safety hazards while reducing the chance of open roofs being exposed to damaging weather between Habitat work days. And that’s what they call a win-win,” the newsletter states.

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