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A. Clark Roofing and Siding: 65 Years and Counting

A. Clark Roofing and Siding: 65 Years and Counting

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Photo by Rebecca Lippiatt.

A. Clark Roofing and Siding is more than a professional service provider for anyone in need of a leak-proof roof, new building exterior, full roof replacement, or repairs on existing claddings. It’s a company that uses innovation, problem solving, tenacity, and a relentless drive to improve the entire roofing and cladding industry in Canada. After all, when you have 65 years of experience, you’re in a position to be an industry disruptor – something A. Clark Roofing and Siding does with pride.

The word “disruptor” gets thrown around a lot lately, and it’s usually reserved for upstart finanical companies breaking into established industries in innovative ways. But it’s the only way to describe A. Clark Roofing and Siding, who has never been content to just put roofs on houses.

“It’s a company that holds onto a lot of integrity. We take leadership and give the community what they need and deserve for exterior products,” says general manager Jay Dunlop.

“We don’t want to be the biggest, we just want to be the best!” agrees vice president of operations Robert Dunlop.

Jay is Robert’s son, and a fourth-generation roofer. Robert joined A. Clark Roofing and Siding in 1977; Jay followed in his father’s footsteps 10 years ago, starting as a service tech and working his way through various company positions over the years.

“We take care of the customers,” continues Jay. “We take a lot of leadership. When the industry changes, we are on top of it, be it issues with condensation or new fire codes. We were the company that helped Edmonton Home Builders deal with the fact that closed soffits were causing condensation issues in attic spaces due to the reduced venting. We came up with solutions that worked in our economy and climate.”

Not wanting to install costly customized soffit vents or other solutions that would lead to water coming into the house, A. Clark Roofing and Siding came up with a fix to the problem. Jay’s grandfather was at the forefront of this project, as was the current sales manager, Mario Glynn.

“We came up with a venting solution that did not compromise fire safety or disturb attic insulation, and that took care of the venting/condensation issue,” says Mario with pride. “We have always been innovators. A. Clark Roofing and Siding was the first to come up with an app for quality control. It’s on our site supervisors’ phones. They have to go on the roof, go through a check list, and do an e-signature to prove they have checked the roof to our standards. It gets archived digitally right to the office. That checklist is done before crews are paid and before we invoice our customers.

“When manufacturers have problems with products, we have been known to talk directly with them about what is not working and how it can be fixed. We care. We want to get in there and say, ‘this is what is happening to your product in the winter’.”

Jay notes, “We really hold ourselves accountable by taking pictures and using technology. We go on the roof and physically inspect it when it’s done. We know you can’t see the fine details by inspecting a roof from the ground. We always go onto the roof.

“Customers should know that all their roofing issues usually show up in the first five years. This is why we build relationships with manufacturers and are careful in choosing the kinds of products we sell. It’s not just the work we put into the roof. It’s the products as well; we ensure we use the ones best suited for Alberta’s climate, and for the building’s normal wear and tear.”

From the start, A. Clark Roofing and Siding ensured it would always be in a position to be a positive influence in the industry. A. Clark is one of the oldest roofing companies in Alberta. They are also very proud to be the oldest member of the Canadian Home Builders Association. With the Better Business Bureau (BBB), they are the oldest company in Northern Alberta and have earned a place in the trust club of the BBB (a company in good standing for 50+ years). They are also the oldest member since 1964 in the Edmonton Construction Association. A. Clark Roofing and Siding’s way of doing business is why it is one of the oldest roofing companies in Alberta, why it has served more than 300,000 customers over the years, and why operations have grown to include both Edmonton and Calgary.

“We established a good reputation for quality work and customer service from the get go,” says Jay. “We maintained that and never let that go. We improved on it over the years by incorporating technology and hiring the best staff.”

“Our people are a huge part of our success,” Robert stresses. “When I hire my staff, I make sure they have the passion and belief that reflects our company’s mission and values.”

Being the oldest roofing company in Alberta provides the team with a lot of history to work from, and nothing is more historical to the province than its energy-related downturns.

“When the market is slow, there is a lot of downward pricing,” says Mario. “A lot of smaller companies come out of the woodwork. We’ve seen that people working from their truck or home don’t fully understand or offer the proper safety needed. This is important. Safety standards protect the homeowner and the worker. If the person working on a home is not covered with the proper paperwork and he or she is injured, it’s the homeowner that could lose everything. We have all the proper safety procedures and paperwork in place, and we are COR certified.”

A. Clark Roofing and Siding developed a full comprehensive safety program that not only targeted their own staff and installers, but all their suppliers, too. For example, they have mandates in place on how to safely load a roof. The company has zero tolerance for unsafe behaviour, and therefore, has an exemplary incident rate near zero.

“They can beat us on price due to their lack of overhead, but it’s hard to sell a house with a roof that has been done wrong,” Jay says about the startup competitors. “A lot of people come from out of town or try to start up on their own, do the work, then leave. If something goes wrong, what can you do? We have a diversity of experience that allows us to manage our industry’s challenges in proven ways, and a longstanding reputation that backs up our work.”

“In this economy, we understand that price is a driving factor,” Mario points out, “but we tell our clients they cannot take unnecessary risks. A roof or siding job is a big investment. It needs to be protected with the proper process and warranties.” Mario, ever the poet, waxes eloquently, “The sweetness of a good price can be completely overshadowed by the bitterness of poor quality!”

“If we could tell our customers anything about what we do, it would be about quality and customer service,” says Robert, and although the humble company is not one to toot its own horn, customers also appreciate the way A. Clark Roofing and Siding gives back to the community.

“We’ve been involved in donating roofs and labour for the STARS Dream Home lotteries for the last seven years,” says Robert.

“We’ve also donated roofs and labour for Edmonton’s own Alberta Wellsprings building by 111 Street. They help families that are dealing with cancer by providing much needed help with therapy, exercise and diet. Their motto is, ‘no one should face cancer alone,’ notes Mario.

Jay says, “This is our 65th anniversary, so we are donating $65 from every roof this year to the Hope Mission, and we are also volunteering with the organization.”

Every year, the company ensures it gives back to the community that supported its growth by donating materials, volunteer hours, and funds. Giving back is a large part of the A. Clark Roofing and Siding culture.

What comes next for the company that grew up in Edmonton, expanded to Calgary, has been driving many changes in the industry, all the while continuing to grow and thrive with each passing year?

“We are going for 75 years!” cheers Robert enthusiastically, and the team shares his vision.

“There are lots of exciting things going on in our industry,” Jay exclaims. “Tech is changing fast, for example, with innovations in solar and more environmentally green products. There are some great new products out there. We will choose the right direction and plan for it, and we will continue to be a leader in the industry.”

“But we will never forget,” interjects Mario, “that no matter how important that tech is, no matter how close we can look at a roof with satellite images, real trust with our customers is built by in-person interaction and by getting up on those roofs for inspections.”

A. Clark Roofing and Siding’s management team and staff thank their customers in Edmonton and Calgary, their contractors, vendors, and suppliers.

“We also thank Wayne Dunlop, who ensured the company survived during the recession in the 80s when many companies had to shut down,” says Robert. Doug Clark and Wayne Dunlop made the company come through so we could continue with that success today.

Fintech is not the only industry where disruption is taking place. Thanks to A. Clark Roofing and Siding, it’s happening right here in Alberta with thanks to an old company that will always embrace and introduce new ideas – because that’s what it takes to make sure each client gets the best roofing and siding service in the province.

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