High standards have kept this roofer in business for four generations
Meet the Pro
Dave Molloy knows the roofing business from the ground up. His first job for Molloy Roofing Co., founded by his great-grandfather, Harry Molloy, in 1900, was sorting nails by size for the work crews. “That was when I was 8,” he explains. “When I got a little older, I painted metalwork and filled the dumpsters with scrap.” At 18, Molloy strapped on a nail apron and climbed the ladder that would lead him from the rooftops to ownership of the company in 2001.
“It takes a very long time to become a good roofer,” Molloy says. A lot of that has to do with mastering so many different roofing materials: asphalt shingles (the most common), slate (the most expensive), tile, cedar shakes, and metal. And knowing how to deal with the natural enemies of any roof: water, temperature changes, and varmints. “A determined raccoon can tear off a shingle and eat right through the wood in an hour,” he says.
Above and Beyond
Molloy has endured his share of hair-raising moments over the years. Once, while working on a Habitat for Humanity house in Kennedy Heights, a volunteer began to slide when he stepped onto a sheet of plywood. Molloy grabbed the man by the upper arm, which caused them both to fall. “We just stared into each other’s eyes,” he recalls, “and stopped just short of the edge.”
Molloy is reluctant to name one job that exemplifies his best work. “There are many I’m proud of,” he says. He finally singles out St. Mark Catholic Church in Evanston. That was in the mid-1980s, but he still drives by to check on the sections of tile he installed. “I recall my dad coming out to see the job and giving me his approval,” he adds. “That was very important to me. Still is.”