What started with a couple of siblings and an old truck has become an enduring and trusted brand in home exterior services. Meet the family behind this company and see how their determination to provide quality products continually leads them to new innovations.
Rain. Wind. Sleet. Snow. Hail. Scorching heat. Brutal cold. Time.
All have a debilitating effect on the exteriors of homes and corporate buildings. This is especially true here in the Midwest, where the weather and other invasive elements are constantly attacking and causing costly damage.
For owners, it’s vital not only to install and maintain quality exterior roofing, siding and windows, but to also keep them repaired when the worst possible weather conditions occur. Enter Lask Roofing and Siding Inc., which has been a source of quality materials and expert service for 40 years.
“In May 1978, my brother Paul decided to open his own business after working with another roofing company,” says owner Lora Matthews. “Our father sold Paul an old pickup truck for $100. Our mother answered his business calls from our home.”
Paul Lask started working out of an oversized garage on Ninth Street in Rockford. His business received a boost when 1979 proved to be a disastrous year for homes and businesses. That year, a hailstorm caused significant damage. Paul brought his brother Tom onboard, and in 1984, sister Lora Matthews joined.
“He moved a desk in and I started working in the office,” Matthews recalls. “There was no bathroom, so when I needed to use one, I had to close up the office and go to my aunt’s house. A bathroom was finally installed the next year.”
Together, the three siblings focused on putting customers first, a philosophy that has helped Lask Roofing to grow steadily.
During the next few years, the company diversified by adding siding and window products so they’d have more to offer customers. “Because this region has such rough winters, it was natural for us to provide everything to help protect homes and businesses,” Matthews adds. “It’s all exterior, and that’s what protects the entire investment.”
The business moved a couple of times as need dictated. Since 2003, Lask Roofing and Siding has been headquartered in an 11,000-square-foot facility that houses offices and warehousing space for various products at 1101 22nd St., Rockford.
“We started with one old pickup and now we have a fleet of seven trucks,” Matthews adds.
Adam Lask, Tom’s son and vice president of operations, says the company started by his uncle employs about 30 experienced workers, with more added as needed for peak seasons.
“Our crews are dedicated specialists,” he says. “Each crew focuses on a specific service and are experts in their areas. It doesn’t make sense to expect them to do roofing, plus siding, plus windows. We find it works much better when they concentrate on one kind of installation and repair.”
Lask says the crews have the very best product to work with.
“The roofing shingles we provide are top-rated standard,” he adds. “We wouldn’t use them otherwise. The same is true of our siding and doors.”
In the Midwest, where weather is a challenge, a good roof should last about 25 to 30 years on average. But Lask points out that installing a quality roof is only the first step toward protecting a substantial investment. Every single shingle is needed to ensure the home or business does not suffer from water or other kinds of damage. Loose, cracked or missing shingles, as well as sagging shingles, are signs that repairs are needed on a timely basis.
Lask Roofing welcomes questions and responds quickly to any situation in which the stability and protective nature of a roof may be compromised. In many cases, the repair may be covered under warranty or homeowners’ insurance.
“Major roofing providers offer up to limited lifetime warranties,” Lask says. “Siding also comes with warranties, but each manufacturer is unique as to what they cover and provide.”
Not only does top-quality siding add to the appearance and value of a home, but it also protects against water damage. Today’s siding products provide an extra layer of insulation while also being low-maintenance and “looking good” for many years.
Gutters are another area of concern, Lask says. Sagging or overflowing gutters can cause significant damage to roofs and promote water and/or mold damage. Keeping them cleaned out and in good repair is another way of making sure a building of any kind remains looking and performing at its peak.
Lask Roofing is the region’s exclusive provider of Gutter Helmet, a quality gutter cover system that prevents debris from clogging and destroying gutters while also helping to protect vulnerable roof edges.
“We actually were contacted by Gutter Helmet’s parent company,” Lask says. “They were looking for a reliable company to install and maintain their products. We investigated Gutter Helmets and realized they were the best option. I’ve heard horror stories about people falling off roofs and ladders trying to clean out their gutters. With Gutter Helmets, that chore is no longer necessary. Why would any homeowner shy away from a permanent solution to this messy, hazardous task?”
While Lask doesn’t have any specific changes or additions in mind for the company’s immediate future, one idea has captured his attention.
“Gutter Helmet has developed a UL-approved, self-regulating heat cable called Helmet Heat that installs under the Gutter Helmet. It can drastically reduce ice damage to your home,” Lask says. “As most homeowners and business owners know, water damage is one of the worst problems a building can sustain. The heating element has been tested in Minnesota under grueling conditions and would come with a warranty.”
While Lask Roofing has expanded its products and services over the years, its business philosophy has remained the same.
“Honesty is our primary focus,” Matthews says. “We make certain every customer is satisfied. We’ve felt that way from the beginning 40 years ago. We believe we are there to help, not just sell them a product.”
Because, it’s not just a building, Matthews adds; it’s a home or business that contains what families and business operators hold dear.
“We work hard to ensure that every customer is happy,” Matthews says. “Back in the day, before internet, we would see seven or eight new roofing or siding companies start up. At the end of a year, most of them were gone. We feel that they failed because they were in it to sell and fell short on customer service. If you don’t back up your work with customer care, you don’t stay in business for long.”