Roofing company, nonprofits team up to help two brothers

The Dean brothers of Roanoke could not afford to replace their roof. A roofing company combined forces with a professional group and a nonprofit to replace their roof.

Frank Dean sat on the front porch of his house singing “Whiskey Drinking Woman” in a low, smooth voice that sounded like something straight out of a blues bar.

But the lyrics rolled out on the small side street off Melrose Avenue in Roanoke. Dean is a musician — you can find him playing throughout the week at Brambleton Deli, Blue 5 and other places.

His voice was overpowered for a time Thursday by the banging above him, as a team of workers replaced his roof that’s so worn down, in some places it’s just bare wood — no shingles or tar paper to block the weather. Frank and his brother Howard Dean have lived in the house for more than 15 years and their roof has needed replacement for some time.

“We just don’t have the money to replace it,” said Frank Dean, 73. His brother, Howard, 75, is a veteran who has health problems and couldn’t be there during the roof replacement.

But today, the Dean brothers have a new roof — free of charge — thanks to the work of three organizations.

The Women Entrepreneurs of the Roanoke Valley and Vinton Roofing Co. have teamed up to replace roofs for those unable to afford the cost of replacing it themselves in a project called The Roof Over My Head. Vinton Roofing has been sponsoring the project, in which it replaced one roof a year free of charge, but this year is the first time the company teamed up with the women’s group.

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