Steady rain and dark clouds may be dampening some East Valley businesses, but it’s causing others to sprout profitably, thank you.
For example, roof repair companies and water pump rental shops are among businesses that are blossoming, but some home building and commercial construction projects are being delayed because to the rain.
A survey by the Tribune indicated that East Valley residents are flooding stores to buy plastic coverings and tools to make on-site repairs caused by leaking roofs, but otherwise over-the-counter business is slow.
Home Depot general manager Bob Misner said business dropped somewhat at his Country Club Drive store in Mesa, apparently because the rain is keeping people closer to home — and delaying the start of their projects.
Nevertheless, sales of weather-related items are hot, Misner said.
"All the plastics, the roofing materials, tarps . . . all those things we sell in good quantity when we get that wet stuff," Misner said.
Tempe resident Greg Cooley, whose Home Depot cart was filled with two large rolls of roof sheeting, adhesive and flashing, said "these last five days of nice rain has caught up with me and my procrastination. I woke up at 3 a.m. to a waterfall."
Nick Patterson, an employee at A to Z Equipment, 1313 E. Baseline Road, Gilbert, found a line of people at his store waiting to rent wat er pumps when he opened at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
"Business is really good," he said.
The pumps, which cost $60 a day and are capable of removing 17,000 gallons of water per hour, were rented mostly to remove water from parking lots and from inside flooded businesses, he said.
The rain is also bringing business to roof repair companies like Chandler Roofing Co..
"Nearly all of our calls came from residents who wanted us to help them with roof leaks," said Kindra Waite, office manager who has taken more than 100 such calls since Friday. "And every call in the minds of the callers is an emergency."
"We tell the callers that if their ceiling is filled with water and sagging, they should immediately poke a hole in it and let the water drain into buckets," Waite said. "Otherwise, there is a danger the ceiling may collapse."
Steven Payne, owner of Payne and Sons Construction Co., 16308 E. Fairview Street, Gilbert, said his company responded to about 40 calls for leaky roofs Tuesday.
"There’s not much we can do except cover the leak with plastic and then return (to make a permanent repair) when the rain stops and it dries," said Payne, who added that most of the leaks are caused by poorly-installed or damaged flashing.
Some residential and commercial construction projects have been halted, including two retail developments started last month by Layton Construction Co. — Las Tiendas, a multiuse retail complex in Chandler, and San Tan, a village market place in Gilbert.
"We’ve lost about a week of work for both because of the rain," said Jeff Beecher, vice president of operations for Layton Construction Co.
"But, like most construction projects, our crews are working inside on other projects and continuing despite the rain," said Beecher. He cited the Mesa Arts Center, which is nearly 90 percent completed.
Charles Lindgren, chief operating engineer for Shea Commercial, said the Ironwood Village project at 96th Street and Mountain View Road, Scottsdale is slowed.
"When it rains on Mondays, we usually lose two or three days during the work week while everything dries," said Lindgren.
Sandy Werthman, vice president of marketing for Kitchell Contractors, builders of commercial and resident developments, said the steady rain forced workers to install plastic protective coverings on the renovation of several projects, including the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale.
"The rain has slowed us down and we’ve lost time," said Werthman. "We haven’t lost any money, unless, of course, you call time money."
Greg Kaller of Scottsdale said he was thankful the rain exposed a problem in his new house in Sun Lakes well before his family moved in.
"The house isn’t done yet, and the roof’s leaking. We’ve got a walk-through in two weeks. So we can’t do anything until it dries out. But nothing’s in there. It’s just drywall, so it’s not a crisis," Kaller said.