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Solves It: Providing repairs for blind veteran's Harvey-caused roof damage

HOUSTON – Bob Lawson, 71, starts every day by raising the American flag.

“I just love this country, and I would give anything for it,” Lawson said.

He has already given.

Lawson is a U.S. Army veteran who fought bravely in Vietnam and is now almost totally blind and barely able to walk.

And ever since Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston, Lawson has been living a nightmare every time it rains.

When it rains, Lawson must suddenly rush through his small home in Magnolia, placing buckets and pans and tubs everywhere to catch the deluge of rainwater that now pours into his home through a badly damaged roof.

“It’s a steady stream of water, like if you turned on the water faucet,” Lawson said.

During Harvey, a large tree crashed onto Lawson’s home, punching holes in the tin roof and tearing the metal panels apart from each other.

Lawson, who survives on about $1,000 a month, couldn't possibly afford to pay even a portion of the repair cost, which was close to $10,000.

So Lawson wrote to Spencer Solves It.

Right away, Spencer contacted the roof designing and building pros at Lessman Roofing and Sheet Metal.

We also brought in Christopher Carmichael, from Spec Building Materials -- a huge, family-owned industrial, commercial and residential roofing materials company.

Lawson showed us all of the places where water was pouring in on him.

Then, Gene and Christopher began planning how best to replace Lawson’s rusted, ripped-up, leaking roof.

Both men are thrilled to help Lawson, after all he has done for this country.

The plan is to put down a brand-new, state-of-the-art, all-white roofing system called thermoplastic polyolefin, or TPO, provided by Carlisle SynTec Systems.

TPO is a reflective membrane that goes over the house and forms a seamless shield.

Because it reflects sunlight to such a high degree, it is expected the new roof will make Bob’s home 10 to 20 degrees cooler during the summer.

“Bill, you and Channel 2, you are heaven-sent. Thank you and God bless you all,” Lawson said.

The job takes one to two days of hard work and normally costs between $8,000 and 10,000, but Gene and Chris are doing it absolutely free for Lawson.

We at Spencer Solves It want to send our deepest gratitude to both Gene Lessman, of Lessman Roofing and Sheet Metal, and Christopher Carmichael, of Spec Building Materials.

The work begins next week and, of course, when it is finished, we will show you Lawson’s new home.

If you need help with a problem you can’t possibly solve by yourself, contact Spencer Solves It at 713-223-TIPS (8477) or email us at solvesit@click2houston.com.