Even the most able-bodied individuals probably find replacing a roof to be exhausting, especially when doing the job alone. But that didn’t stop 75-year-old Richard Dubiel from climbing on top of his house every day to replace old shingles.
His neighbor, David Perez, didn’t know Dubiel by name but he saw, through his living room window, that the man was dedicated. For the past three months, he watched Dubiel climb onto the roof and replace shingles for at least a few hours each day.
The two men live at the end of a cul-de-sac on Murphy Court, located in Fremont in the Bay Area. The searing summer heat and the heavy work involved did not allow for Dubiel to make much progress. Despite the major drought in California, weather experts are starting to talk about the impending rainy season — and Dubiel was still working to patch up the holes in his roof from last year’s storms.
Perez told NBC that although he had no roofing expertise himself, he still wanted to help the old man.
“I just kept thinking, at that age, if that was my dad, I wish somebody would help,” Perez explained.
So, he did what any rational person would do in these circumstances: he took a photo of Dubiel working on the roof, and then uploaded the picture to Facebook and asked his friends if anyone would be willing to help.
“I’m trying to reach anyone [who] has roofing experience,” Perez posted on Monday, August 24. “I have a neighbor, the man on the roof in this picture, name unknown. He is about 80 years old and climbs onto the roof trying to finish putting the shingles on by himself. I feel sorry for him but I have no roofing skills. I would like to see if anyone can donate their time to help him finish. It appears that he has all the materials so looking for free labor to show up this Saturday, August 29th at 9:00 a.m.”
By Friday, the photo was going viral and had been shared 1,200 times. By the time Perez woke up on Saturday morning at 7:30, there were already people working on Dubiel’s roof.
“Replacing a roof is one of the toughest and most dangerous jobs in construction industry; if homeowner doesn’t have roofing experience, they should never attempt to re-roof or repair their roof themselves,” says Peter Kiwior, Owner, Pro-Home Services. “I believe that what makes homeowners try to roof their homes is that they think it’s an easy job, it will save them money and that nobody is going to do it better than them. I personally volunteer and help elderly homeowners in need; I have done repairs for seniors for free a number of times, I understand that their budget does not allow them to pay for some services sometimes but a smile on their face and their gratitude pays for it all.”
All in all, FOX News Latino reported, Perez’s post had been shared over 1,400 times and 40 people offered to help. Twenty workers were able to join Perez on Saturday and finish patching up the roof within four hours, while others located farther away sent donations and supplied the team with food and drink.
I was so surprised and delighted because I was not expecting such a response,” Dubiel told ABC News. “You see so much negativity, and out here – this was positive, real positive with no thought of return or reward other than that of helping somebody.”
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