How to inspect/approve new roof?
We're in the middle of installing a new gravel roof. Stripping has been done on the old roof, and tomorrow, the main work will be done.
How can I as a layperson without any background in the roofing biz inspect and approve the work in the end?
It's not like approving a new bathroom!
Should I at least wait a day or two before paying the final installment so that I can go up there and look around myself? What should I look for?
Well since the toothpaste is already out of the tube...who did you choose to put your new roof on? The cheapest or the best qualified? Are they a licensed contractor? Did you check references? What type of building is this? Commercial or residential? If you know nothing about roofing, what do you think looking on the roof will accomplish? Has the contractor given you any reason to believe his work is faulty? And my biggest question is why are you going back with a gravel system?
If you can, post some pics of the roof and we will be glad to give armchair critiques of the roof.
Oh yeah, almost forgot. :welcome: to House Repair Talk!
Some very good questions. The roofers seem competent -- three generations going back 40 years, lots of testimonials on the internet, even a celebrity or two (that didn't sway me; found it out later). Got four other quotes, price was typical for our area in So California ($9,000).
I have no reason to believe they won't do a solid job installing the roof. However, I've always been able to check other contractors' work re bathrooms, annexes, landscaping, etc., and it feels odd not to feel competent enough to do it for a roof, beyond basic eyeballing.
I was hoping someone could give me a checklist of sorts. But if the answer is "trust the contractor once you hire him" ... well, maybe.
As for why we kept the gravel roof, we simply opted for what we previously had. To be honest, we didn't think about it much. None of the roofers recommended anything different. All our immediate neighbors have gravel.
Sounds like you don't approve...?
Not a big fan of gravel on a roof deck. Hard to find and repair leaks, they tend to hold water or moisture, walking on them can cause issues and there are better/newer systems for flat roofs. Most major MFG's have field reps that inspect for extended or NDL warranties. Depending on whose materials they are using, you may be able to ask for a inspection when the jobs complete even though you don't have a warrantied roof.
Is the roof a gravel over rubber or a built up gravel roof (applied with hot asphalt)?
Hard to find and repair leaks, they tend to hold water or moisture, walking on them can cause issues and there are better/newer systems for flat roofs.
That's cheerful news. I guess we'll find out over the next few years.
All done now. Looks great, and they probably did a good job of installation.
It wasn't a good experience.
We had one horrific problem. They didn't plan properly to control the amount of dirt and debris falling into our house.
We have wood beam ceilings and I had anticipated the problem. I requested protective plastic sheeting inside rooms directly under the roof. Both the contractor and foreman agreed.
I was in the shower when they were supposed to be doing that. When I came back, I discovered they'd started stripping the roof. No sheeting anywhere. I stopped them and made them put it up.
It was too little too late. I'll skip the details of everything that followed, and just say that they've now left us with black dust/depris/gravel just about everywhere inside plus extensive pools of splattered tar on the patio. They also broke two lights hanging from the ceiling.
At my insistence, they brought in an industrial cleaning service to shampoo our carpet, but would do nothing about that thick black dust on everything else. "You have to expect that," the contractor said testily. "We're not a cleaning service."
The best they've done is recommend paint thinner to remove the pools of tar. It's all over our patio furniture and outdoor carpeting, both of which have fabric-like weave.
I'd appreciate hearing whether what you think of that --is the thinner a good idea?
And do I have recourse to their liability insurance to pay to have a professional cleanup?
Most major MFG's have field reps that inspect for extended or NDL warranties. Depending on whose materials they are using, you may be able to ask for a inspection when the jobs complete even though you don't have a warrantied roof.
Isn't the roof warrantied for four years under California law? That's what they told us. (Not that that's very long.)
Is the roof a gravel over rubber or a built up gravel roof (applied with hot asphalt)?
Hot tar: "two-ply hot mop roofing system."
Thanks for your interest. I appreciate it.
IMO and I am sure many others would agree.,EVERY aspect of your project should have been explained in detail.
Prior to the project being started.,well actually when the contract is signed a list of precautionary steps as customer awareness is reviewed by the contractor and the homeowner and its also signed and dated by the customer.And if it were my project my customer would have had early warning to do or have done anything that is their responsibility.
It ranges from issues such as the contractor covering property for protection even down to the last detail of removing pictures,light fixtures and anything that could be damaged as a result of the vibrations from the demo work that goes with the project.
We will cover an attic to the best of our ability when doing a redeck with shakes but the personal property will have to be moved by the homeowner.We are a roofing/siding and gutter company not a moving company.If the roof is a normal reroof that does not require a shake removal the customer is responsible for the covering or protection of personal property.
If your property was damaged as a result of worker negligence then IMO they bare the responsibility of returning your property to its original state within reason.The comment that they are a roofing company not a cleaning service should have been addressed in a professional manner prior to project commencement.
Thanks for that very professional response, Roofmaster, and apologies for my not acknowledging it earlier. We've been out of the country for several weeks, and frankly I didn't want to even think about our roof during the holidays!
Everything you said describes the contractor we used earlier in the year to renovate our bathrooms and built a new room for us. He's a great guy, very professional, who took pains to protect our home.
We probably should have done the roofing with him. It just seemed natural to use a roofing company that came with recommendations.
It remains a mystery why they neglected to contain their workplace and protect our home. This is a third generation company. They're not fly-by-night.
Anyway, we just returned home and keep finding new damage, including an interior tar drip through the roof onto our carpet. The outside patio remains covered with pools of tar, not to mention discoloration caused by gravel residue falling on it during rain (some of which we can remove, other parts persist).
I sent the roofing company owner a certified letter, not asking for anything yet, but making sure he understood the situation, saying that we would be assessing the damage and whatever action would be needed.
He seems to have refused or ignored the letter, so I just sent a copy by email to his son.
We'll see how things progress in the next few days...
Thanks again for your comments, which are very helpful.
I am completely confused as to how a tar drop could have made it into your home.I feel the installers are a complete liability to this company.It is obvious you put forth great effort in trying to secure the best contractor for the job.3rd generation is impressive.
But then again sometimes things go down hill once the founding fathers are no longer around,And if they were it is a good guess that this would not be happening.
But then again they may still be top notch but hired a very inconsiderate lazy crew.
Keep us posted on the outcome.I would be more than happy to assist you however I can.
It is a sad day to think you would have to send a business a certified letter for a response to damage as a result of their installation or lack there of.
I am always telling and driving it into my guys brains whether it is 100 or 200 times I have told them.And they do great work,no problems with attitude or dedication.They listen but I feel I should say it often.They are great 360 Degrees but I just say it anyway.
There is so much more to a positive referral than a perfect installation.
Homeowner say's "Yes my roof looks good but they broke some windows.,or dropped something on my car.,or they put a foot through my ceiling or they were hateful and rude when I asked them why they smashed my flowers and my A/C unit.
Much more to it than installation.
One key bit of advice.When you get a response from the contractor have him list his actions for resolutions of the problem.A very specific detailed itemized letter of intent from him is priceless for you.I would refrain from sending his children,friends or relatives anything associated with your situation.Deal with the contractor and only the contractor.
Third generation company who hired a sub to do the work...
IMHO, customer service lapses like that are done by people that look at their job as just a job...put their 8 hrs in and cash a check. No pride in the work, don't really care about the outcome as long as they got paid.
Maybe I'm being harsh, but personally I would be a really big thorn in his side for a really long time.
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