This week, when the rain fell hardest, Cardinal Roofing was flooded with as many as 50 calls on one day from damp, desperate Tampa Bay residents whose roofs were in dire need of repair. That's five times the calls the Valrico business usually gets.
During Florida's rainy season, when showers fall without fail, Cardinal Roofing's business goes through, well, the roof.
"That little spot turns into a big wet spot," said owner Roger Jenkins, 61. "It looks like your drywall is going to fall in, and everybody calls at once."
Roofers aren't the only ones getting busy. When the rain falls and water stands, critters come out to play, tree branches snap and vehicles stall, inconveniencing Floridians but benefiting arborists, exterminators and mechanics.
"When it rains, even though we all hate it in Florida, it really helps our business," said John Celona, 49, owner of J.C. Automotive in St. Petersburg. "We're overwhelmed with work."
That's because the wettest days, he said, are when drivers realize they have shoddy windshield wipers or a leaking sunroof.
"They end up pulling up to our front door, beeping the horn," Celona said.
Often, he sees cars towed in because their owners tried to drive them right through standing water, zapping engines and electrical wiring. That is exactly why drivers should avoid standing water, he said.
Those same floodwaters also send ants, cockroaches, earwigs and millipedes scurrying out of back yards and flower beds to inside homes. Calls to pest-control companies quickly follow.
What drives the most calls to ABC Pest Control after big downpours, according to technical director Mike Roberts, are mosquitoes. On Friday, a day care center called to request treatment. The bugs, he said, will lay eggs in standing water or even damp grass.
For some businesses, though, the onslaught of rain is an impediment. Golf courses and tennis courts close. Outdoor concerts get postponed or canceled.
Because the rainy season in Florida is so consistent, Tampa Bay area contractors factor rain delays into their project deadlines, according to Jim Hudock, technical services director for Hillsborough County Public Works.
In January, they account for two days worth of weather delays. In July, contracts anticipate at least seven days.
Arborists have their own issues.
"It's good and bad," said Roy Carter, a consultant for O'Neil's Tree Service in Palm Harbor. "When it's very wet out, we can't really work. But there are times when limbs are on people's homes or vehicles or blocking roads, so we'll go out and help."
On days when rain is pouring down, O'Neil's Tree Service won't allow its arborists to scale slippery trees or man bulky equipment.
"We won't put our guys' lives in danger," Carter said.
But safety literally has its price: The more jobs that are sacrificed, the less money they can make.
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"That's three, six or nine jobs that don't get done today," Carter said.
Much like those who wait until their roofs are leaking to get them fixed, Carter said homeowners often neglect dealing with unsafe limbs until they've fallen into their bedroom.
On Friday, O'Neil's Tree Service used cranes to remove a pine tree struck by lightning that fell down in someone's yard.
To bypass disaster, Carter recommended pruning trees in the winter, when its drier. Jenkins recommended the same time frame for roof maintenance.
The roofing company owner has been telling customers this for decades. But he doesn't think they'll stop procrastinating any time soon.
"It will happen this year," he said, "and the next 20 years."
Contact Katie Mettler at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3446. Follow @kemettler.