A Checklist for Getting Your Home Ready for Cold Weather

As the weather gets colder and we move toward huddling up inside for a few months, we have an opportunity to inspect our houses and make sure that our family stays happy, healthy, and well throughout the cold months. There’s a lot to do, but we have time to do it if we put our minds to it. So, in these last dry days, when it’s still easy to jaunt around outside the house, it’s a good idea to inspect every inch of the place so that if something’s wrong, you find it when it’s easy to fix.

Electrical and heating—consider energy audit now

Before we enter the coldest months, you should consider an energy audit while you can still get it done. You’re about to use a lot of energy to keep your house warm, and having someone come by to help you minimize that is not a bad idea.

During an audit, you can also check your heating and air conditioning systems for function and leaking and flip your filters so that you know everything is in order to keep you warm and toasty. There is nothing worse than finding out that your furnace is broken on the first morning that’s cold enough for you to want it. 

Make sure your chimney is clean

You’re also about to use your chimney for the first time in months, so you should make sure it’s clean and order firewood because it’ll be harder to get in the midst of winter.

The change of the seasons is also time to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Not only is it good to regularly check them, but you’re also going to be burning a lot more material this season if you have a fireplace or woodstove.

Check the outside of the house next

Outdoors you want to go around your house and check your paint, caulk, and the seals on your exterior wood, as it’s all about to be much wetter for a few months. If you see anything that’s crumbling or gapping, just scrape off that paint or caulk and apply fresh.

You should also check your decks, concrete, or asphalt on your patio, driveway, or walkway. You have time now to seal it and let it cure, but waiting till later will have an entire season of damage with minimal opportunity to fix it. Just apply some water to the surfaces and see if it soaks in. If it does, it’s time to reseal them.

Your drains in your gutters and your foundation also need some care. Any pooling or settling around your foundation can be filled with soil before the spring floods. Check the downspouts to make sure they point away from the foundation. Gutters should be securely fastened and freely draining as they’re about to get burdened with snow, and that could bring them right down.

Any sad-looking trees around your house should also be cut down before they get loaded with snow and come down on their own. Getting a tree removed in the fall is much easier than trying to drag it out in the dead of winter. It’s a good idea to get ahead of the curve wherever you can. Might even get some firewood out of it!

Stow your stuff

Last, make sure that your outside amenities are all properly treated for the season. For example, all of your outdoor faucets, sprinkler systems, or pools should be drained and turned off to make sure that they don’t freeze and burst on the first big one.

Your lawn care equipment that uses gas will be happier in the spring if you drain the gas out of them. Similarly, you might consider testing the snowblower and filling it up before you need it on a cold morning. At the very least, you should bring your snow shovels out into an easily accessible place.

When you find you haven’t been out on the patio for a week or so, you should cover the furniture to prevent damage from the snow and leaves over the winter. Of course, it doesn’t all have to come inside, but you can save yourself some heartache come spring just by giving it a nice cover-up layer.

Enjoy your holidays

Now that that’s all done, you can settle into the holidays with a massive weight off your mind and a feeling of peace in your heart. Of course, every season, there is a list of things to do to prepare, but once it’s done, you can truly relax and let your home be a place of peace rather than a place of concern.

The post A Checklist for Getting Your Home Ready for Cold Weather appeared first on Mr Roof.

The Best Mr. Roof Materials for Your Roofing Project

A roof is the most critical part of a house. It protects it from rain, snow, and wind, which can be devastating for your home. A bad roof can also cause leaks that ruin ceilings and floors. If you have a leaky roof, it’s not only going to cost you more money in repairs, but it will also devalue your property if you ever want to sell or rent out the space again.

Mr. Roof is the leading provider of roofing products and services for homeowners. It offers a number of services to help keep your roof in top shape and free of damage. You may prevent significant expenses from roofing damage by working with Mr. Roof for new construction projects, resolving an issue on your present home, or proactively keeping your roof in excellent condition. In order to achieve the best roof possible for your home, the following are some of the best Mr. Roof materials to use on your roofing project:


Owens Corning Shingles

Your first choice of materials is to decide on the shingles you want.  Shingles from Mr. Roof can withstand the harshest weather conditions and last a long time, making them the perfect choice for any homeowner who wants to protect their investment in their property by choosing high-quality materials that will give them peace of mind with every storm season.

Shingles can be installed in a variety of types and colors to fit your particular design preferences, making it easy to complement the architecture of your house while still getting all of the benefits that shingles offer, including protection against weather extremes like strong winds, hail, heavy snowfall, and more. They also help keep debris out of gutters, which can help prevent the build-up of ice dams.


Mr. Roof fasteners are the best for your roofing project because they are guaranteed to be solid and reliable. Mr. Roof uses Trident 3 fasteners, which are specially designed for installations of aluminum and steel roofs. They are also resistant to rust, which is a huge problem when trying to attach a metal roof to a structure that is already rusting. Mr. Roof fasteners have three times the power of a typical smooth shank nail, which means your roof will be secure against any harsh weather.


The next selection you must make is for the underlayment. The underlayment is the material between the shingles and the decking that helps make sure nothing sticks directly to a wooden deck. When you’re building a new home, one of the most important decisions to make is what material you will use for this part of the roof. There are many options out there, but if you want to get it done right the first time, then Mr. Roof underlayment should be your go-to option. Its ThunderShield technology within the underlayment offers excellent coverage because it was specifically designed with longevity in mind, so that even after years of exposure to harsh elements, this product can still do its job without any problems at all.

This material also comes in different types to accommodate the various kinds of roofs that you might have, so it is very versatile and can be tailored to fit your exact requirements. You can also get complete assurance of utmost protection because Mr. Roof’s underlayment is made from the most advanced materials that are both lightweight and durable. That means your roof can last for decades without needing to be replaced.

Ice guard

Icicles on roof

The ice guard is an essential product that can be used in cold climates to protect your roof from any potential damage caused by water, ice, or snow. It works by sealing all vents and valleys on the roof with a waterproof asphalt membrane that adheres to the roof, keeping it protected against moisture that could cause trouble if ice and snow are allowed to accumulate. Having a roof with a proper ice guard system makes it much easier to keep the snow from getting too heavy and causing structural damage or even the worst-case scenario of a collapse. As one of Mr. Roof’s most popular products for colder climates, this is a great way to keep your home safe and roof up to standard during winter months.

Chimney cap

The chimney cap is the best for your roofing project because it protects the chimney from seasonal elements like leaves, debris, rain, and snow, which could cause significant damage to your roof and living space. The cap also helps prevent animals like birds, squirrels, and raccoons from entering the chimney. If you have a fireplace in your home, then you know how important it is to protect it. A chimney cap will keep all those elements out while allowing smoke to escape through its opening. This prevents smoke buildup inside your home, which poses health risks, among other problems. Many people who invest in a chimney cap are pleased to find that it also enhances the exterior aesthetics of their home. The chimney cap is without a doubt one of the best Mr. Roof materials for your roofing project.

Drip edge

Another type of Mr. Roof material that is great for roofing projects is a drip edge. This type of material helps protect the roof from rain that falls from sloping rooftops. A drip edge is one of the most effective ways to protect a home’s structure, and it helps cut down on the amount of water damage to a home’s interior. A drip edge can be installed quickly and does not require any special tools or skills.

A prefabricated metal sloped surface typically works well as a drip edge because it can be easily attached without having to use any masonry adhesive or mortar. A prefabricated metal surface like this will also help with the durability and longevity of the roof.

Once a drip edge has been installed, it is important to take care of this material so that it will continue to protect the roof. This means that homeowners need to keep gutters clean and clear of debris, which will help water make its way away from the roof and down to the ground. This is important because debris can damage a drip edge as well as other types of roof materials.

Homeowners should also avoid using any harsh cleaning chemicals, which can strip the protective coating off a drip edge and cause it to rust. One of the best ways to clean a drip edge is by using a simple garden hose and warm water, which will help keep it in good condition and functioning correctly.

Taking good care of a drip edge will help maintain the integrity of a roofing project as well as protect it from damage.



Sealant is hands down one of the best Mr. Roof materials for your project. Liquid sealants are used to make surfaces waterproof and airtight. They can be applied to seams, windows, doors, tanks, and of course, roofs.

The most common types of sealants are asphalt-based and silicone-based. Asphalt-based products can be adhesive or non-adhesive, while silicone-based products usually have an adhesive quality to them that makes them easier to install in hard-to-reach places around a roof. In order for a sealant to work effectively, it must conform perfectly with the surface you’re applying it on. This task can be extremely tricky, which is why contacting a roofing company like Mr. Roof to install a professional quality sealant instead of trying it yourself can save you a lot of time and energy while ensuring a top-quality installation.

Roof vent

When it’s hot outside, the air gets warm and wants to go up. It then flows into your house and makes it hotter. While problematic, you can stop the air from getting in with a roof vent. With a roof vent, the air can’t get in because there is a cover on top of the vent, forcing the airflow to go somewhere else.

The best Mr. Roof materials for your roofing project are the ones that will make it last as long as possible and still look good. Hands down, this is a roof vent. This should be installed straight away to keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter. At Mr. Roof, we can supply you with vents that won’t let water creep into your house or rot your wooden ceiling boards. The roof vent is the first line of defense for your roof and should be considered as important as anything else on it.

Connect with Mr. Roof today

As you can see, there are many types of Mr. Roof materials that can be installed as part of your roofing project. These high-quality, durable materials can help protect your home for years to come. If you’re interested in learning more about the best Mr. Roof materials or how they can be installed, contact Mr. Roof today to learn more and begin your roofing project with the best materials available on the market.

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Top 4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Wait to Fix a Leaky Chimney

The chimney is one of the most important parts of a fireplace. It is used to take the smoke and gases that come from a fire up and out of the house. When there’s a leaky chimney, many issues can arise that put the safety of your home and family at risk. If the leak is minor enough, you may not notice it for a while as smoke billows from the chimney into your home, but it’s vital that you don’t ignore the issue. If there is a significant leak in your chimney, it is best to have a professional inspect the issue. They will be able to tell you how much work needs to be done, if any at all.  Because there are several things that may go wrong with your chimney that have severe implications if they do, you should not put off getting it repaired for the following reasons:

The expense

Leaking chimneys can lead to more expensive repairs in the future. If you have an older home, there is a good chance that some parts of your chimney are made from clay and other materials. When moisture gets into these parts, they expand and begin to crack. This leads to the need for more extensive repairs in the future.

The negative health implications

The adverse effects on your health from breathing in all the smoke and soot can be severe and fill the house with danger for you and your family. If you have a leaky chimney, it is possible that soot and smoke will come into your home through the fireplace or any other area where the chimney is cracked or damaged. This can cause severe respiratory issues and even illness in some cases when inhaled. Also, if the fire in your chimney is not burning well, it could cause a carbon monoxide leak, which can be fatal.

More smoke than needed

The more smoke is leaking from the top of your chimney, the less it will be able to draw up the bottom of your chimney and out through the flue, which could mean that your chimney makes more smoke than it used to. This could be a sign that it is time to have your chimney inspected and repaired.

Internal home destruction

A leaky chimney can create soot and debris that will turn into black streaks on your ceilings and walls. This can be very frustrating, time-consuming to clean and reduces the value of your home for future resale. The best thing to do is have the leaky chimney inspected and repaired as soon as possible in order to avoid this destruction to your home’s infrastructure and decor.

Contact Mr. Roof

As you can see, there are several good reasons to have a leaky chimney repaired as soon as possible. Fortunately, it’s not complicated or overly costly to do so. Connect with Mr. Roof today for more information and start living in a healthy, smoke-free environment right away.

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Types Of Roofing Materials And Their Uses

Roofing is an art and a science. The roof protects your building from natural elements. It also provides aesthetic value and serves practical purposes. A well-designed roof can increase the market value of your property and make it more efficient. As you know, a well-designed roof can increase the life of your roof. Roofing Companies ensure that your home is at its most efficient.


A roofing system is a framework, the skeleton of any building. A roofing system comprises first-line materials that include shingles, gutter systems, clapboard sidings, sheathing, and various roofing tiles. Therefore, a roofing system is the total combination of roofing materials, tools, techniques, and techniques. A well-designed roofing system makes sure that your building is safe and secure from natural elements. 

If you want to have an efficient roof structure, you need to choose roofing system components carefully. In addition, the roofing materials must be of high quality and manufactured with excellent quality products. Here are the different types of roofing materials available in the market:

The first layer, known as the protective layer, is sheathing. This sheath protects your building against external threats like heat, moisture, wind, and falling objects. The sheathing is made of plywood or sheet metal.

The second layer is the membrane or the rubberized felt, which forms the under the surface layer. In some cases, rubber-based felt maybe a mixture of paper or felt. Some common roofing materials include aluminum, felt, clay tiles, asphalt, and metal roofing membranes such as felt paper and metal roofing membranes.

The third layer is the coating. In some cases, a thin layer of zinc may be used. For slate roofs, a single sheet of slate is used. There are several types of slate roofing materials. These include Spanish slate, fieldstone slate, river sand slate, flagstone, and industrial slate. The thickness of the coating depends on the application, such as commercial roofing materials, residential roofing materials, etc.

Next is the plywood layer. It is commonly used for attic ventilation. Moreover, the two slopes formed by the horizontal joists provide vital support to the roof structure and prevent the water from reaching the interior. Among these, the most common form is flat roofing. Moreover, the two slopes are made by joining strips of wood.

Lastly, the rubber or felt membranes are fixed over the roofing system components. This forms a seal that completely covers the roofing system. Although other roofing systems have also been developed, asphalt shingles are the most common form of roofing system components used. Furthermore, newer technological innovations are being introduced. These innovations can further enhance the functionality of the roof system components.

One example of modern innovation is solar roofing technology. In this new technology, silicone-coated shingles are used instead of asphalt shingles. With the help of technology, a leak in the attic is prevented. Furthermore, the heat generated by solar panels can help reduce energy consumption in winter. Suppose you are wondering how this new technology works. In that case, the answer is straightforward – the solar panels absorb the sun’s rays and transform them into thermal energy, which is then stored in silicon-coated shingles.

Aside from preventing leaks, the solar shingles also feature an aesthetic look. Since the shingles have organic material, they cannot be visually detected as long as no leaks are present. In other words, you do not have to worry about having a leaky roof anymore. However, if you are not familiar with the proper installation techniques, it would be a wise move to hire a reliable roofing contractor who will be able to carry out the job for you without significant difficulties. The repair process usually takes about one day, so you can be assured that you will have your newly installed roof in no time.

Another modern innovation that has hit the roofing industry recently is the installation of synthetic underlayment. This layer serves as the primary support in the roofs. If there is any damage or weakness in the underlying layer, there will be significant damages to the structure. Synthetic underlayment serves as a cushion layer above the underlying material, thus ensuring strength and durability. The process does not entail much effort, as you only need to apply the synthetic material. In addition, you will only need to cover the damaged area, so the rest of the roofing shingles will work perfectly well.

Roofing felt paper could also be considered as another modern technology that can prevent leaks in the roof. The synthetic material can hold any liquid and keep it from seeping into the underlying structure. A layer of this material is applied between the shingles, which helps them keep their shape and prevent water from penetrating. This type of roofing product is relatively cheap, so you can easily replace any defective ones if they become outdated. Moreover, the quality of synthetic roofing products is better than their natural counterpart, which makes them highly preferable compared to natural materials.

Natural vs. Synthetic Slate: Which Is Better for Me?

Slate vs. Synthetic: Which is Better for My Home?

Tempted to cover your home in slate? We don’t blame you! Slate is a classic premium roofing system that has maintained its beauty and desire for hundreds of years. But, there are some aspects of slate roofing you should know before making the decision to invest.

Slate shingles are made from natural slate rock that is hand split, giving the tile edges a beautifully non-uniform appearance. Unlike shingles, slate tiles are installed by hand one at a time, which requires extraordinary attention to detail and craftsmanship.

Pros: Natural slate shingles are incredibly long-lasting and highly customizable. Due to the nature of a slate roof’s installation, it is possible to choose tiles in staggering widths and variating colors to achieve a more stylized, unique look. Not to mention, that stylized roof is built to last! Slate roofs in favorable conditions can last 100 years or more, making it very likely that you will not have to replace your roof again in your lifetime. This degree of longevity certainly pays off!

Cons: Slate roofing is also an incredibly complex system to install. Yes, slate rock is naturally very durable to weather conditions, but slate tiles can crack and break if a roofing crew is reckless with their installation process. This highlights the importance of hiring a highly experienced and skilled roofing contractor to install your slate roof. On top of this, slate is a very heavyweight material, which means any structure it covers has to be optimized for that weight. If your home has exceptionally sturdy framing and the support necessary, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, if your home wasn’t built for a roofing material of this weight, then you might consider synthetic slate.

Synthetic slate shingles are made of recycled materials and are modeled after natural slate with chisel marks to add the unique, imperfect look of slate rock!

Pros: Synthetic slate tiles weigh a fraction of what natural slate weighs, which means no additional structural support is needed with installation! This makes this the a great slate option for a majority residential constructions. Synthetic slate is also incredibly durable as it is treated with ultraviolet inhibitors to protect from sun deterioration. Like natural slate, synthetic slate roofs can also be stylized with varying tile sizes and colors.

Cons: A disadvantage of synthetic slate is that the material has not yet reached the age of a lifetime to accurately observe how long it lasts. Of course, synthetic slate tiles are the result of extensive research and rigorous testing, but it is still one of the newer roofing system materials the world has to offer. Additionally, each synthetic slate manufacturer produces products uniquely, so you should rely on your roofing contractor’s expertise when choosing the best fit for your home’s needs.

Need more detailed help? Our Home Exteriors by Baker team serves homeowners in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee and are ready to answer your questions!

Click here to request a quote.

By Alex Manring

Alex has worked at Baker for 5 years! When not at work, she loves spending time outside with her Goldendoodle and her husband Cole, hanging out with her family & friends, trying all the new restaurants in Raleigh, and watching a good movie!

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Fall 2021 Rebekah Baker Scholarship Recipients

Fall 2021 Rebekah Baker Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to our Fall 2021 Rebekah Baker Scholarship recipients! 

The Rebekah Baker Scholarship was established in 2014 in loving memory of Becky Baker, our CFO and wife of Co-Chairman Frank Baker. Becky believed fiercely in helping those who were dealt difficult cards by life circumstances. This scholarship is Becky’s legacy and Baker’s mission to help relieve students of the financial burden of attaining higher knowledge. Employees and family members of employees enrolled in college are encouraged to apply each semester.

Our Scholarship Board was overwhelmed by the number of incredible applicants for the Fall semester and board members were moved to make more awards available to the deserving students. This year, the Board has granted 3 full scholarships and 3 partial scholarships. To learn more about the students, read below!


Campbell University – Biology

Bryanna is the daughter of an Accountant of Baker Roofing in Raleigh, NC. This Fall, she will be beginning her Freshman year pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Campbell University.


Durham Technical Community College – Associate in Arts

Nataly is the daughter of a Baker Roofing Superintendant in Raleigh, NC. This Fall, she will be beginning her Freshman year pursuing an Associate’s degree at Durham Tech.


ppalachian State University – Communication Sciences and Disorders

Peyton is the daughter of a Project Manager in our Home Exteriors by Baker division of Baker Roofing of Raleigh, NC. This Fall, she will be beginning her Freshman year pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Appalachian State University.


North Carolina State University – Sociology (Criminology)

Athiana is the daughter of a Foreman from Baker Roofing of Raleigh, NC. This Fall, Athiana will begin her Sophomore year at NCSU pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a focus in Criminology.


University of Phoenix – Business with Operations Management Certification

Marcus is a Safety Manager out of Baker Roofing of Wilmington, NC. This Fall, he will begin his Sophomore year pursuing a degree in Business and an Operations Management Certification while working full-time.


Southern New Hampshire University – Business Management

Cristian joined Baker Roofing Company in February 2020 and entered the Construction Management Program with a focus in estimating. This Fall, he will continue his pursuit of a Business Management degree from SNHU while working full-time in an estimating position in Raleigh’s Commercial Steep Slope department.

By Shelby Zeuli

Shelby joined the Baker Roofing marketing team in April 2021! When she’s not on top of roofs trying to get a good angle, she likes to capture portrait photography, skateboard, and watch movies with her dog, Sarge.

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Follow our Roof Shingles Pairing Guide!

The Ultimate Guide to Shingles Options

Your roof is the first line of defense against the elements when keeping you and your home safe, but it can also be a fun outward view of your home’s style and personality. If your current roof’s time is up, explore new options for your exterior!

6 Sagewood
Changing your home’s exterior can enhance curb-appeal, add value, and even help you save on energy costs! But making a new aesthetic commitment to your home is no simple choice and the options can feel endlessFor the homeowners who don’t have their heart set on a certain look yet, we have the perfect guide to pairing the right shingles to your style & home!


Color Benefits

Your roof shingle color serves an even bigger purpose than aesthetic value… it can also optimize the energy efficiency of your home! Light shingle colors reflect light and heat off of your roof which keeps your house cooler, while darker colors absorb heat and might make your cooling system work harder in warm months. If you’re interested in how roof shingles can make your home more energy-efficient, consider the lighter shingles paired with your home’s exterior color in our Shingles Pairing Guide.

3-Tab vs. Architectural Singles

Aside from color, another style option of shingles is their structure. The two primary choices of asphalt shingles are 3-tab or architectural shingles.
Each have their own unique advantages for the longevity of your roof.

Aesthetically, these options can either draw or deflect attention. Three-tab shingles are flat without varying dimension, so it gives a more uniform look to your roof. Architectural shingles are designed with dimension and can be made to appear like slate or cedar shake, which can certainly elevate curb appeal and draw the eye longer.

Structurally, both shingle profiles are similar. Both made of asphalt with fiberglass backing and granules for the outer layer. Their densities set them apart. Architectural shingles are about 50% heavier than 3-tab, and thus, have a higher wind rating and overall sturdiness. Architectural shingles have a higher capability to withstand elements which comes with a longer chance for longevity. This advantage doesn’t come without a noticeable price difference. However, the value lies in fewer repairs needed and a longer lifespan before replacement.



Single Color vs. Multi-Toned

So, you chose a color, but you have an option for solid colored shingles or multi-tone! Multi-tone shingles feature varying shades of a color, or even multiple different colors. These varying shades can add depth and dimension to your roof, and a unique visual aspect; however, you should be aware of the unique visual aspects already featured on your home. If you have a brick home with varying shades of red and orange, then a solid color would be a balanced choice for your exterior. If you have a consistent siding color all throughout the home, then a multi-tone blend can offset the uniformity with dimension.

Need more detailed help? Our Home Exteriors by Baker team serves homeowners in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee and are ready to answer your questions!

Click here to request a quote.

By Shelby Zeuli

Shelby joined the Baker Roofing marketing team in April 2021! When she’s not on top of roofs trying to get a good angle, she likes to capture portrait photography, skateboard, and watch movies with her dog, Sarge.

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Leak Investigation & Repair

Leak Investigation & Repair

Want to know what it looks like when our team comes out to identify the roof leak in your building? Read more here.

We are aware a leak is the last thing you want to find in your building. Although we may be the last call you want to make, we hope Baker Roofing Company is your first. Over 100 years of experience has proven to give us insight into the most efficient way to locate and repair your leak. We believe in transparency and education when it comes to our services. We thought it would be helpful to share what our team does on-site to find that pesky roof leak.

First, the salesperson will go inside the building and speak to the onsite point of contact. If there are any water stains or active indoor leaks, we will take a look at them then. If the business has ceiling tiles, then our team will remove those tiles and look at the type of deck on the building. The deck is accessible between the tiles and the roofline. At this point, we are looking for water or other obvious roof penetrations. We also like to determine if the water is from the air conditioning units’ condensation. Sometimes we identify roof penetrations this way and sometimes we do not.

The next step is to go on the roof. We will then search around any holes, open seams, or penetrations that might be open in the leak area. Depending on the job, we can utilize density gauges or infrared cameras (used at nighttime only) to see if any of the insulation is wet which allows us to track it at the point of entry.

At this point, we have thoroughly checked and identified the problem area. Now you can expect our team to work up a proposal with photo documentation to share our findings. Once the proposal or NTE (not to exceed) work order is signed, our service crew will be scheduled to come out and make the repair! You’ll be back to normal business before you know it. Not to mention, a nice and dry ceiling/roof!

By Alex Manring

Alex has worked at Baker for 5 years! When not at work, she loves spending time outside with her Goldendoodle and her husband Cole, hanging out with her family & friends, trying all the new restaurants in Raleigh, and watching a good movie!

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Prentiss and Frank Interview

Getting Personal With Prentiss and Frank Baker

To survive and persevere in business over 100 years is no simple feat. Almost certainly, this success can be attributed to values-based family ownership and a century-old mission to do Always Good Work. In honor of National Roofing Week, we sat down with our humble leaders and third-generation Baker men, Prentiss and Frank Baker, to share belly laughs over old times and get to know their hearts for serving others.

Tell us a funny story from years past at Baker Roofing!

Prentiss: Truthfully, these stories are not funny when the event happens. It’s bad stuff, you know. But, probably my favorite, and this is back in the 60’s, not too long after Frank and I started working. Could’ve been the early 70’s. We did shingle work back then, we’d go out and reroof a residence. And we had this job, I think I was the estimator and salesman. We had one crew and that crew was two men. Jesse Hinton was the lead guy, you might say the foreman and Jesse had worked for us for a while. And he was a nice, nice, human being but let me tell you what, he was slow as a hitch. When we reroofed just a small house, it might’ve taken two weeks to get done. Now we go out to one that’s four times it’s size and we get it done in a day or two. Anyway, we got this probably $1,500-$2,000 contract to reroof this house, and I remember sending Jesse and his helper out to the job that morning. I wrote down the address and told them I’d meet them in a little while. Somehow, I got busy. Instead of meeting them out there in a timely manner, I get a phone call a day or two later that says “Mr. Baker, this is ‘so-and-so’ and I believe y’all are putting a new roof on the wrong house.” I said, “This is a problem.” We got far enough along that we tore off the old roof and were putting the new roof down. So I got out there and sure enough, Jesse decided to put the new roof on the house beside the job. The guy was just as nice as he could be, he said “Mr. Baker, we got another problem. Not only are you putting it on the wrong house, I don’t like the color of the new roof you put down.” Well, then he got a second new roof… Free. Once we got him finished, we finally went to the right house.

Frank: This has happened more than once. It seems rather tragic when it happens, and then as you get older and see what really is tragic and what is a catastrophe, then this is nothing.

We were doing a job at St. Mary’s College, we were putting a slate roof on a dormitory. We had people that were skilled that were installing the slate roof and I of course did not have enough skill to actually put the roof on, so I was a toter. I would put a stack of slate on my shoulder and walk it up a ladder to the roof. We weren’t quite as safety-minded back then as we are now. During the course of the day, I took a load of slate up, put it down for Jesse, went back over to the ladder and promptly fell off the roof. By blind luck, the mason had just received a shipment of sand which they had dumped on the ground right next to our ladder, so when I fell, I fell on this pile of sand instead of on the ground. It was a two-floor’s drop. And I was so embarrassed that my initial thought wasn’t, “Am I okay? Let’s take stock here and see if anything’s broken.” I ran over, picked up another load of slate, took it back up to the roof as quickly as I could because of the embarrassment and when I got to the top of the ladder, the two guys were laughing their butts off at me trying to act like I had not fallen off the roof. It’s the boss’s son that just fell off the roof.

Our founder, W.P. Baker Sr. was your grandfather. How would you describe your grandfather to those who didn’t know him?

F: Well, he was an uneducated man who educated himself as fully as you could possibly do.

P: No education, but you wouldn’t know it. His dad was a farmer and didn’t have enough money. He came to Raleigh when he was 12 years old, or his parents sent him. His brother was already here working and they needed to work to send money back to the farm down in Harnett Co. so their parents could survive. It was just a different world back then. He came on a mule. So, he was uneducated and as Frank said, he educated himself, but he was a very caring human being, too. He was bright, very energetic… Didn’t say a whole lot. I don’t remember granddad talking, you kinda learned from his actions, how he lived his life, how he treated people.

F: He was sort of a sportsman. He loved to hunt and fish. He captured a number of the snakes that used to be in the NC Natural History Museum in their dioramas. So, he would be out hunting and he would see a snake, and he would stalk the snake and catch it live. He had a Chrysler one-seater, they called it a coupe. He caught a rattlesnake when he was on a trip down east, put it in a burlap sack and put it in the Chrysler.

P: He wasn’t scared of them, honestly.

F: Well unfortunately, with this particular snake, he came back on the weekend and was not able to take it to the museum. So, over the course of the weekend, the snake escaped from the sack in the automobile. And we could not find that snake, it was nowhere to be found. It got down under the floorboards somewhere. So, we were riding around in that thing for about 2 weeks before the snake finally reappeared and granddad recaptured it and took it to the museum.

If you look at some of the pictures we have around at the office here, which I always thought this was sort of unique about him, he was one of the most natty dressers of anybody that you’ve ever seen.

P: He grew up with nothing and when he got a little money, whenever he was doing something that was worth dressing up, he would dress up. And there was a real nice clothing store right downtown, Womble’s, and that’s where he would carry us to buy clothes, too. He wore a bolo tie, not a conventional tie.

F: He bought us our first sport coat when we were about 5 years old. He was something. Who else takes a 5 year old and buys him a sport coat?

Frank, how would you describe Prentiss to anyone who didn’t know him?

F: Well, I say this with a great deal of love for my brother, but we both have about as high a degree of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that can be found on the planet.

P: I thought dad was a little higher.

F: Our family has it in spades. And I’ve always thought that that was one thing, if you were going to hire somebody in a work environment, there is nothing better than to have OCD. Because you are so committed to what you need to do, that you just can’t stop yourself from doing it. He’s the perfect example. He just keeps going and going. We could both be somewhere doing something else, easy, but I mean, you’ve got stuff to finish here.

Prentiss gestures to the stacks of papers piled throughout his office.

P: What I do here has more meaning.

F: You impact more lives down here than you can anywhere else.

Prentiss, how would you describe Frank to anyone who didn’t know him?

P: Well, he started that conversation by saying we were a lot alike, well we are. In other ways, we’re not alike, and that’s good, too! So, he is more of the studious, detail-oriented, academic type than I am. I’m more the… Well, I’m not sure what I am. I won’t describe myself. But, you know, I think there is a big difference there. For instance, he loves to read books, well I love to read books too, but I don’t read them as fast and I seem to let other things get in the way.

F: I will say that back in the day, back when we didn’t know better, Prentiss and I would disagree about things. At that time it was just the two of us, so no one came in and disagreed with us about anything. So, we just disagreed with each other.

P: It got ugly several times.

F: You could hear us all over this place. And after about 20 years of that, we suddenly figured out that you’re not helping yourself or anyone else because nothing ever gets solved by getting angry. So, it’s been a better, simpler ride.

P: We’ve had a very healthy relationship. And even though we disagree about things, it’s okay. You know, it’s kind of like a marriage.

What were you both like in college?

F: This is not a good question.

They both chuckled to each other for a moment.

P: We were carefree.

F: We enjoyed ourselves.

Which two organizations, outside of your own, are you inspired by most?

F: I think the organization that I am most closely tied to and believe in is Crossnore School. We were doing a job for a contractor in Charlotte and the general manager of that company called me and said, “We’re gonna do a project at Crossnore School, we’re going to build a barn for them to do equine therapy.” It’s a live-in school for children who have been abused in any number of ways. And so, they asked if we would put the roof on for them. I agreed that we would do that, and they invited me for the opening of this facility. I said, “Good lord, the last thing I want to do is drive up to the mountains of Western North Carolina on a Sunday.” But I went because the guy was such a good friend. And I got there, and I was overwhelmed. They have expanded, they now have 4 campuses and I think their mission is unbelievable. It moves me every time I think about it.

P: I always think about nonprofits or organizations we’ve been involved with, NRCA and local chamber of commerce, et cetera. I think out of mine, it would be the Boys and Girl Club and the Salvation Army. Even though I have grown, I’ve been involved with those for 50 years each. It’s been very meaningful to me. I’ve developed a love for other places, too, like The Healing Place… I just think that that place is on fire. And you know, you’ve got Habitat, SPCA… Wonderful organizations. These are all just ways that we can give back. If you’re going to be a good citizen, you need to, that’s something that I think we need to maybe better teach and prepare young people. Find something that you’ve got a passion for and volunteer your time. That’s where you’re going to get your best thoughts about the world and life from. You quickly recognize how fortunate you are when you start participating and helping others. It’s a very meaningful experience. And there’s so many needs out there, there’s just not enough dollars and not enough people.

What would you say is your proudest accomplishment of Baker Roofing?

P: People, people, people. Seeing people grow and prosper, and I’m not just talking about money, either. Just seeing a young person come in and they find their passion and we get to work as a team. We’ve put some wonderful roofs on, but that’s not what I think about. The business of Baker Roofing is people. Whether we’re successful or not depends on people.

F: For over 106 years, we’ve provided a family environment for people who want to take advantage of it, and we have many who have taken advantage of it. I think we’ve improved innumerable lives from the time we’ve been in business.

What advice would you give to someone pursuing a career in the construction industry?

P: I could give you a different answer depending on what day you ask me, but I’ve become to realize that emotional intelligence might just be the biggest part of success in life. We could go on and on about details, roofing, and learning the technical part of it, but really if you get right down to it, if you don’t have the emotional intelligence side of it down, that is I think it can be a learned thing, but there is a lot of natural ability to absorb and understand people. You gotta be interested in people, you gotta want to be around that person and have a positive impact on them.

F: I think, probably, understanding the level of commitment that is necessary to be a success. There’s not a strict hourly constraint on what your job consists of. Your job consists of whatever it is and you have to be committed to fulfilling all the requirements.

P: I sent out a Quote of the Day today that was about effort. And it’s so true what Frank is saying. One wonderful thing about this business is that I never look at the clock. I look at the clock, I’m trying to figure out why I’m late. It’s a good feeling to be involved – businesses can be compared to teams. This is a team. Marketing’s got a role, purchasing’s got a role, risk management’s got a role, estimating’s got a role, operations… So, when all of that comes together, at the highest level, is when you’re going to be successful. And everybody’s got an important role to play.

What are your hopes for the company’s future?

P: That it continues improving. I’m a strong believer in that each and every one of us, including myself, can do things better. Whether it’s leading better, whether it’s mentoring better. It’s kind of like playing tennis. What can I do to better myself? And help others get better from that?

F: I think we are on a pretty steady upward trajectory. I think that the new generation of leadership has some remarkable talents. I believe in them fully and I think in the future we’re going to do nothing more than get better. Because, I think they have the right management style for the type of business we’ve become. Prentiss and I for decades had to do pretty much everything, there just weren’t that many people around. So, these guys can divide responsibilities and they each can concentrate on what their best at, which I think is going to be a long-term benefit. This company is going to be exceptional.

By Shelby Zeuli

Shelby joined the Baker Roofing marketing team in April 2021! When she’s not on top of roofs trying to get a good angle, she likes to capture portrait photography, skateboard, and watch movies with her dog, Sarge.

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Did you miss our previous article…


Donating a New Roof for the Ronald McDonald House of Charleston

Charleston Gifts a Re-Roof to the Ronald McDonald House

Through Baker Roofing Company’s membership in the Roofing Alliance and adoption of the Ronald McDonald House Charities’ roof, our Charleston team was proud to make an incredible donation to re-roof a house that provides comfort and hope to hundreds of families in need each year.

When the Ronald McDonald House of Charleston called on the help of Baker Roofing Company to identify leaks in their roof and provide repairs, it was clear that the collection of roof sections had experienced varying degrees of deterioration that threatened the integrity of the entire roof. A majority of the roof was beyond cost-feasible repair, so replacement with an up-to-date roofing system made better use of funding and future use of the house. Being that the charity did not have a comprehensive budget towards a new roof during a pandemic when their services and donations are limited, Jason Widener from our Charleston office directed RMHC to contact the Roofing Alliance for help.

Baker Roofing has looked at these roofs several times over the past couple of years and advised the RMH on the benefits associated with the Roofing Alliance and the partnership with Baker Roofing Company. We are honored to be involved with an organization that does so much to help people in need.”– Jason Widener, Contract Manager of Baker Roofing CharlestonIn 2017, the Roofing Alliance entered a partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities to adopt all 165 RMHC roofs. The partnership assures all RMHC locations that their roofs will be provided timely inspections and service on repairs they require, or in any necessary cases, a new roof. Through the Roofing Alliance, Baker Roofing of Charleston was proud to donate $60,000 worth of labor installing materials donated by Carlisle Syntec! Moving forward from this project, Baker Roofing of Charleston has adopted the RMHC house for all future service required and is looking forward to nurturing this special relationship with Always Good Work in mind.We are grateful to Carlisle Roofing for supplying RMHC Charleston the roofing materials needed and to Baker Roofing for making this project happen.  We were 10 years overdue in replacing our roof and are especially thankful for this gift when supplies are so limited during this pandemic. RMHC Charleston has been fortunate to not have had to close our doors during this time. It’s because of our community and supporters that make it all possible and with donations like this that allow us to keep fulfilling our mission.  On behalf of all the families the new roof will house, we thank you.”– Kathy Papadimitriou, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities Charleston

Since opening their doors 37 years ago, the Charleston Ronald McDonald House has acted as a ‘home-away-from-home’ for families whose children are undergoing extensive medical treatment. To help them lead as normal a life as possible during their stay, families have comfortable beds, hot meals, a caring staff, and their four-legged friend, Gardy, all just steps from the hospital. The new roof system installed by Baker Roofing using Carlisle products will help the Ronald McDonald House provide families with a safe place to relax and focus on healing for years to come!

By Shelby Zeuli

Shelby joined the Baker Roofing marketing team in April 2021! When she’s not on top of roofs trying to get a good angle, she likes to capture portrait photography, skateboard, and watch movies with her dog, Sarge.

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The post Donating a New Roof for the Ronald McDonald House of Charleston appeared first on Baker Roofing Company.