By Jerri Stroud, BBB Editor
With 96 years in the roofing business in St. Louis, Kirberg Company has installed almost every type of roof, from slate and tile on cathedrals and historic homes to the giant curved roof of what formerly was known as the Edward Jones Dome.
Through it all, the firm has aimed for producing the appropriate roof for each building, with the utmost in safety and efficiency.
“We are a safety and logistics company that does a lot of roofing,” says Eric Kirberg, the current president. His great-grandfather, Charles Otto Kirberg, started the business in 1920 after emigrating from Germany. His father is still involved with the business, and his brother works for the company. His wife provides expertise in workman’s compensation and liability insurance.
In the early days, the firm specialized in “steep roofs,” such as churches and homes, often covered with slate and tile. After Eric’s father took over in the mid-1970s, the company became more entrepreneurial and developed expertise in a broad range of roofing types, including newer technology like rubber roofs and rooftop solar installations.
The bulk of Kirberg’s business is now flat roofs, with just 20 percent steep roofs, such as churches, and just 5 percent residential. The company also has expanded by acquiring companies in Kansas City and Springfield and more recently opening an office in Springdale, Ark. Kirberg provides service nearly nationwide to major retailers, who are among Kirberg’s regular customers.
Kirberg’s field personnel are all union members. By working closely with the union, the company is able to get most of its employees trained in hands-on skills and safety protocols. The company offers prizes and other recognition for employees who demonstrate conscientious safety awareness and performance and who have no accidents.
Kirberg has 90 field employees in St. Louis and approximately 50 in its other branches, which do commercial work exclusively.
“Getting roofs done right the first time, that’s always been our motto,” Kirberg said. “When our roofers are as good as they are, it’s easy to have good customer service when the work is almost perfect.”
Kirberg has been closely involved with industry efforts to charge laws in Missouri to prevent fly-by-night roofers from swooping into areas ravaged by storms, Kirberg said. Storm-chasers give the industry a bad reputation that an alliance of roofers and contractors would like to counteract.
Kirberg doesn’t really ramp up to respond to storms, he said. “We’re big, so we can respond right away. We were recently able to replace a 50,000-square foot roof within 40 hours.”
The company has donated roofs to charities, such as the Center for Women in Transition, said Laura Toledo, the center’s executive director. Toledo nominated Kirberg for a BBB TORCH award. “Kirberg is an excellent company that is dedicated to the community,” she said.
Kirberg Company, 1400 S. Third St., St. Louis, MO 63104
President: Eric Kirberg
Mission Statement: We’re dedicated to providing the best solution for your weatherproofing needs. We listen carefully to our customers and respond promptly and professionally. We proudly offer expert, nationwide service and the latest technology. Kirkberg Company’s roofing-related services are right the first time.
BBB prepares profiles of BBB Accredited Businesses and BBB Accredited Charities as part of its TORCH Awards process. Kirberg Co. is a winner of the BBB St. Louis TORCH Awards. To sign up for the event,click here.