"We are forever grateful to Telge Roofing,” he said almost in tears. "We couldn’t get started on what we wanted to do at the VFW without this donation and it happened,” the veteran said.
Wilcox was referring to the donation of a new roof to the aging VFW Post 8905 that had dozens of leaks every time it rained. Patching only moved the water from one spot to another.
He knew if he didn’t get the roof patched, all the money spent for much-needed updates inside would only be wasted from water damage. The roof had to be fixed.
The problem was the VFW just didn’t have the funds to do such a massive job that would cost thousands.
Wilcox began thinking about who he might call on and pray for favor.
"I saw several Telge Roofing signs pretty much saturating the area. It caused me to think that he’s probably a local operation. I thought there was no harm in asking,” he said.
The new commander of just barely a year, most of it marred by COVID-19, was hoping for divine intervention and he got it.
Telge Roofing’s owner not only agreed to the job but has so far donated more than $15,000 toward the completion of the roof.
"I was almost in tears when he said he would take care of us,” Wilcox said, and take care of them, he did.
Wilcox and his team are planning a full remodel of the Post and part of that began with a ban on smoking inside the facility.
"We’re really trying to make it a community center, not just a Post, where folks can utilize the facility to bring the community together,” he said. "We’re renovating from ceiling to the floor.”
They are beginning with the small hall, the original VFW building that dates back several decades. The Post recently celebrated its 75th anniversary.
"The majority of the work was done in one day. The second day was spent installing some trim. I’ve never seen anyone work at a pace like they did,” he said.
For the last five years, Telge Roofing has been named the best roofer in Cypress and now they are a two-star certified presidential status installer for GAF, and owner Roy Campbell, a Cypress native, said he had to help.
"We received some help from GAF with a price break on the shingles and we paid for the labor and the rest of the materials. It was about a $15,000 project but we’re not done yet. We’re also going to help them on the metal building too,” yet another big project he said.
"We’ll do what we have to with the leaks and keep them dry,” Campbell said.
The building was erected in 1940 and the wear and tear on the roof was obvious.
"They were leaking everywhere, with a musty smell.” Campbell said after peeling off about three layers of roofing materials, they found some of the boards were rotten and had to be replaced.
"We pretty much rebuilt most of the top of the structure except for that third where we could still use some of the wood,” the roofing owner said.
The construction began with destruction of the old roof down to the rafters before doing the rebuild.
"It was a brutal job. We had to scratch off the paper inch by inch, figure out what wood was good or not,” he said.
"We put them a 50-year shingle on the roof by GAF and I’m blessed to be able to offer that,” he said.
He employs about 113 installers and used 20 of them to get the job done fairly quickly.
The work was nothing new for Campbell and his team who he said builds about 25-30 roofs each week.
"We go in a 60-mile radius to do work and have about 40,000 customers over the years. It costs us about a half-million per week to run this place,” he said.
The price of shingles continues to climb, and so operational costs will rise as well. Without labor, a little more than $10,000 worth of materials were delivered to the job site.
"The way the roof is built, there wasn’t enough pitch,” he described it. Campbell’s crew fixed that with three protections.
They used the GAF ice and water shield at $150 per roll.
"We repaired all the wood and coated it with this rubber peel and stick application and the whole thing has a rubberized leak barrier, the felt paper, and then the shingles—three protections,” he said.
The age of the roof wasn’t the only problem.
"They had the cheapest shingles made by man back in the day and that didn’t help either,” he smiled. "We put the latest and greatest shingle on there.”
Campbell got into the roofing business in 2009.
"We got busy fast, and we needed to follow somebody’s system and there were a lot of manufacturer’s who wanted us,” he said.
They settled on GAF, the oldest shingle manufacturer in the world and Campbell said they stand behind their product.
He used to be a car man and learned his hustle from the car business.
"The rewards have been so much better rebuilding everyone’s roofs,” he said. "I went from nothing to something,” he said, grateful to be able to give back.
He said he never looked at a roof until he got into the business and learned how to treat customers fairly and help others when he could.
Now the VFW Post has a material warranty, leak warranty, and an unlimited wind policy with the HDZ shingles made by GAF.
For Wilcox, he could only standby and watch in amazement as his prayers were answered and the roof was being completed.
"I can’t wait because the metal building has several leaks and only band aid repairs. I trust when Telge Roofing gets involved, it will be done right,” he said.
Campbell is expanding his business after purchasing 8 acres on Telge Road just north of Louetta. They are close to finalizing the environmental assessment and the architectural design. The new facility will feature expansive offices and warehouse space.
The Post has joined the Cy-Fair Houston Chamber of Commerce and will host a ribbon cutting in early May.
"I’m really trying to bring the community together and make the VFW in Cypress a community center.
"Getting a new roof is a springboard to that dream,” the veteran said.
Now the inside work begins.