Our winter business is in full swing the last few weeks. With the incredibly cold weather seldom ever reaching 32F the ice buildup in gutters and back under the shingles in ice dams manages to keep us busy. Going out and clearing the ice dams, make the needed on the spot repairs, and selling flashing jobs, the occasional new roof, and heated lines for gutters is the meat and potatoes of our winter business.
In addition to the ice dams and standard upsells, we try to do anything we can to add money to a job or find extra business this time of you. A new product that has done well for us is the electric window openers for high windows, skylights, and roof vents. In the lean months of January and February if you can do it from a ladder I will let my crew sell it. The guys that want to or need to work during the winter months instead of 8 weeks off depend on my creativity and their own sales skills to make a full week happen.
After spending 3-4 hours outside in -10f plus wind chill working on the ice issues, getting a little time on the inside and still getting paid is certainly good news for them. In addition, anytime they can get inside to do things it allows them to refer the rest of our company for other jobs, so out winter crews are all pretty tight to try to keep each other working and a little cross work happens as a natural result.
While the ice jobs are cold and dangerous, having those first full roof jobs lined up as soon as warmer weather arrives is important for our business. Being first crew out and people seeing the signs early in the year gives a good kick start to spring and summer seasons. So getting out the cleats, extra care with never skipping the fall gear for even a minute, and dressing warm pays the winter bills and gets the early spring jobs lined up.