But Mother Nature's assault on my Ken-Caryl Ranch neighborhood was only a prelude to an even more terrifying attack over the weekend, from a veritable army of representatives from roofing companies exhorting anyone and everyone to cash in on the icy bombardment. And at least a couple of them didn't want to take "no" for an answer.
At my place, the hail fell for probably a half hour or so, with the orbs falling just shy of golf -ball size -- more like jumbo grapes or the sort of hefty steelies coveted by certain marbles players. Here's a shot of our backyard:
Fortunately, we suffered no roof damage this time around -- likely because we'd been forced to replace our house topper a couple of years ago, following another hail storm that had legitimately torn things up.
The main issues on our property involved leafy trees and evergreens that had been partly denuded by the frozen fierceness -- and when my wife began sweeping our driveway on Saturday morning, she was immediately set upon by roofers going from door to door on our cul de sac, and practically tripping over each other to be the first to a particular entryway. And why not, when so many of our friends and neighbors were ready to make a deal, as witnessed by this photo of three consecutive homes with roofing signs in front of them:
My wife said the first several roofing reps who approached her were on the polite side -- one even offered to help her clean up -- and didn't press too hard after she said we weren't interested. But when I went out to help, a rep more or less raced down the block to reach us before anyone else, giving us a hint of the aggressiveness that followed.
I tried to dissuade him in advance by saying we were all set when it came to roofing, but he ignored me, instead pitching my wife. When she also told him we weren't interested, he kept going, so I tried to interject again. He responded by shrugging me off again and asking my wife what grade of shingles we had (the sort of question 99 percent of homeowners don't know), prompting me to repeat myself yet again in a firmer tone of voice -- at which point he finally said, "Oh? You don't even want to talk?"
Um -- no. And if I'd come to your house and tried to force you to jaw about something that you'd twice said was of no interest, you wouldn't want to, either.
No sooner had this guy scurried to the next house, an anger-deflecting "God bless" trailing in his wake, than a woman swooped in as I was tugging a trash can full of pine needles into our garage. When I tried to circumvent her rap at the outset, she insisted, "I'm not trying to sell you anything. I just wanted to tell you about a new law...."
About how the State of Colorado believed I should let her company replace my roof, no doubt. I fended her off several more times, but she kept coming, kept coming, until she was practically inside the garage -- at which point I finally said, "I'm closing the door now -- have a nice day" and pushed the button, hoping against hope that she didn't lunge under it, waving the law in my face.
I lucked out. But the next day, the roofing minions were back.
Continue for more about the terrifying attack of the hail-storm-chasing roofers, including additional photos. On Sunday, we took a morning trip to Boulder, and upon our return, we had three more roofing messages on our front door:
Still, this was nothing compared to a home I spotted while walking my dog a short time later. Apparently, the inhabitants had been gone over the course of the weekend -- and this is what greeted them upon their return:
Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying all of these roofers were perpetrating insurance scams. They're only trying to make a living, and given the storm's fury, some folks undoubtedly suffered real roof problems that needed to be addressed. But the most obnoxious of the people who came after us didn't seem to have much interest in whether we needed a new roof or not. The hail had been heavy, they knew -- heavy enough that, with a little nudge from a friendly inspector, our insurer might pony up for a new set of shingles without checking too closely to confirm that they were actually necessary.
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Will the roofers still be laying in wait when I return home later today? I sure as hell hope not. But I won't be surprised if several have clipboards ready the moment I step out of my car.
Oh, the humanity.
More from our News archive: "Videos: What the hail? See the pounding storms gave much (but not all) of Denver metro."