La Feria Homeowner Expecting Repairs to Leaky Roof

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UPDATE (9/19): Ninety-three-year-old Virginia Coakley turned to CHANNEL 5 NEWS after her roof leaked following a costly sealing project.

We tracked down the contractor responsible.

Coakley told us the contractor sent a worker to partially seal her roof last week. She said they may do more work later this week after an inspection.


LA FERIA – A 93-year-old La Feria woman has been trying to get her leaky roof fixed for more than a year

Winter Texan Virginia Coakley now calls the Rio Grande Valley home.

“I love it, I'm very happy here,” Coakley said.

Coakley became independent after her husband passed away. Although her speech is difficult because of a medical condition, her mind remains sharp.

“I did have a group of older friends, but I’ve outlived them all,” Coakley said with a laugh.

She said her home needed some work done. She later decided to hire a man who went door-to-door to do the job.

“The guy came in to the park,” Coakley said. “I didn't know him. That was where I made the mistake. He had a little trailer full of paint cans.”

A receipt dated January 13 showed she paid Charles Lovell $1,000 to power wash her patio and apply a protective coating to her roof. The receipt said it was a 10-year coating.

Soon after, she said water from above leaked into her home.

“I called him and I called him several times and I had a lawyer call him but he won't answer any calls,” Coakley said.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS tried to find Charles Lovell at the number left on the receipt, but we kept getting a voicemail.

We researched the name and got a lead from the Better Business Bureau, which lists two other phone numbers. No one answered the phone.

We finally found a Charles Lovell in the Valley through the legal system. That's where we found a new number with an out-of-town area code.

“Is this Charles Lovell?” we asked.


We told him about Mrs. Coakley and her roof.

“We do a lot of work in the Valley so I imagine we did it,” Lovell said by phone.

He said he would take care of it.

"The work has been done over a year ago,” he said. “I imagine the wind or something may have blown it over." 

He said his son, who shares his name, might have done the work.

“Here's the deal, why don't you give me this lady's number and I’ll be glad to call them or I’ll be more than glad to make it right with them,” Lovell said.

When Coakley called Lovell, he apologized and said he would send someone this week to fix her issue.

“As long as I get it done so it won’t leak, and I’m so happy that you've helped me,” Coakley said.

There is no state agency which handles licensing when it comes to painters and roofers, according to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. 

The Better Business Bureau said there are ways you can protect yourself and loved ones.

"That’s where the BBB can come in,” said Better Business Bureau President Dolores Salinas. “We can provide them a list of accredited businesses that do that type of work. We can recommend they contact those particular businesses that do that kind of work especially having to do with roofing or roofing coatings of that nature."

You can also file a complaint with the BBB to investigate a business. The Texas Attorney General’s Office also has its own complaint process.

We will follow up to make sure this repair work is completed. 

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