MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Recent hail storms are creating a rush for new roofs. But just as home owners find companies to do the repairs, contractors are finding supplies in short supply.

When factories making asphalt shingles were shuttered by coronavirus lockdowns, it led to some supply chain problems.

When hailstones turn waterproof rooftops into Swiss cheese, Ari Applewhite’s phone gets busy. She says they’ve been receiving calls non-stop. They’re swamped estimating roofing jobs for Turnkey Restoration, an all-women-run contractor.

In the Hamel neighborhood alone, more than a dozen rooftops await her ladder and inspection.

“Right at inch and a half to two inch hail when start to see some of the real damage, see granule loss in the shingles, see dents dings in the gutters, downspouts and window wrap,” Applewhite said.

What’s normally a quick and smooth fix may be a bit costlier, and even take a bit longer. That’s because, like with all construction materials, COVID-19 shutdowns of asphalt shingle plants are resulting in tighter supplies.

(credit: CBS)

“Everybody’s been real understanding so far. I know a lot of it is outside our control with the pandemic. I think a lot of the warehouses and distribution plants are at 50% capacity,” Applewhite said.

Manufacturers like Owens Corning say materials are catching up as plants resume normal production. And where inventories are low, suppliers are diverting materials from other parts of the country, where hailstorms don’t hit.

Suppliers say it’s not only roofing materials. There are also scattered shortages of windows, siding and dimensional lumber.

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