Roofing it in the heat - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Roofing it in the heat

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Riley Van Dyke roofs a home in Colton with his dad Dale. Riley Van Dyke roofs a home in Colton with his dad Dale.

When it's this hot and humid with no breeze, most of us can only tolerate being outside for a few minutes. Thank goodness that isn't the case for some hardy roofers. If it weren't for their tolerance for the heat, shingles would never get replaced. We caught up with a father and son team re-roofing a home in Colton under the glaring sun.

"What's it like? I don't know. I guess you just endure. I've done it so long I've just gotten used to it, "Dale said.

Dale Van Dyke has been in the roofing business for 45 years, his son Riley for about 15. This week they are re-shingling a house in Colton and to say it's been hotter than a cat on a tin roof well is an under statement. Even so, they don't seem to mind.

 "I think a lot of people think it's really bad but I think there are jobs that are worse like if you are asphalting roads or working with hot tar. For this it probably depends on what color the shingle is too. The lighter color shingle is better than putting on a black shingle, "Dale said.

When temps are in the 90's and the heat index is approaching 100, there are a few tricks of the trade for the boys on the roof to stay upright and not pass out.

"If you have real bright sunshine I like to stay on the north side of the house. Sun is coming from the south and shines directly on the south side of the roof. If you stay on the north side it's not direct sun so it stays a little cooler, "Riley said.

"If (the job) is a long ways a way they start early to beat the heat. Drive in the dark to get there by daylight," Dale said.

The Van Dyke's estimate it's about 20 degrees hotter up here than it is on the ground. That's a big difference when it's already oppressive down here.

 "I sweat a lot more. I guess as far as what I do differently? I drink a lot of water. It can be tough. Sometimes after a while water doesn't taste good so I drink Powerade," Riley said.

 No matter what Mother Nature is cooking up they just power through to get the job done, a job they say is easier to take especially when the heat rises, as a family affair.

Neither Dale nor Riley has suffered heat stroke while roofing. They have come across others in their field who have and they say once that happens those people can never really tolerate the heat like they once did


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