Learn how Spartan StormShield went above and beyond for one local farming family

Spartan Storm Shield Barn 57
Both the vintage barn and adjacent farmhouse of the Whitney Family Farm sustained storm damage. Joel Arlia, co-owner of Spartan StormShield, and Josh Williams, commercial division manager, conducted a thorough inspection of these roofing systems and then assisted the insurance claim adjuster through the process of obtaining a complete roof replacement for both structures. (Photography: Francis Angelone)

By Patricia Nugent

On any given drive along state Route 303 heading west to Oberlin, you’ll see dilapidated farm barns dotting the gently rolling landscape. Family-run operations face a constant struggle to maintain the pre-Depression era buildings upon which their livelihood is built.

So last spring, when part of the roof of a circa 1930s barn on the 1,000-acre Whitney Family Farm blew off in a storm, it was a serious concern to Lynn Fannin and her son Luke, who run the operation. The grain and cattle farm dates back to 1868. Lynn is the sixth, and Luke is the seventh generation to oversee it. Both share a deep appreciation for the heritage they uphold.

An initial insurance claim for the roof only covered repairs on part of the front slope of the barn. They knew a metal replacement roof would be cost-prohibitive, yet needed to protect their cache of more than 9,000 bales of straw and hay. Through a serendipitous friend-of-a-friend connection, they learned about Spartan StormShield.

Whitney Family Farm sixth- and seventh-generation farmers Lynn Fannin and her son, Luke.

Over the course of a year, Spartan StormShield Co-Owner Joel Arlia and Commercial Division Manager Josh Williams conducted thorough inspections of both the barn and farmhouse and assisted the insurance claim adjuster through the process of obtaining a complete roof replacement for both structures utilizing two storms. Both of the insurance claims the Fannins filed were accepted and paid in full last November. Work began on the roofs in early spring.

Here’s what Lynn and Luke had to say:

Q: What was the scope of your roof inspection?
Lynn: The roof on the barn was original, and we were constantly dealing with leaks and the wind whistling through. When it came to the house, that was not on my radar, but when Josh started peeling back layers to assess the damage, we saw how much rotted wood there was underneath. He explained to us that a roof system is not isolated—that you cannot fix one area without impacting the rest of the system. Replacing the whole roof was the best way to go.

A new metal roof on the main barn, protecting the animals and 9,000 bales of straw and hay, was installed by Spartan StormShield.

Q: What did you like best about working with Spartan?
Lynn: It was amazing from beginning to end. As soon as we called, Josh came out and did a patch job that held up until they could begin work. The roofers have been absolutely fantastic. I can’t say enough about the priceless value they have helped us add to our farm. These are more than just structures. We are preserving a heritage.
Luke: We could tell at every step of the projects that this was a high caliber of workmanship. And we also appreciate the warranty package that goes beyond industry standards.

Spartan StormShield’s roof warranty package goes beyond industry standards.

Q: Why would you recommend Spartan to other homeowners?
Lynn: The experience has been phenomenal. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give them a 20.
Luke: There’s always a level of trust you put in a company with a hope and expectation that you’re going to get what you pay for. These folks have gone above and beyond that. We have 16 calves about to be born, and it’s a relief to know that our barn will be a safe haven for them.

An A+-rated member of the Better Business Bureau, Spartan StormShield is headquartered at 309 Silver Street in Akron. It installs and repairs roofs for homes and businesses all over Northeast Ohio. Call 330-772-7826 or visit SpartanStormShield.com for more information.