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Old 07-28-2009, 04:20 PM  
bill's quest
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Default new roof woes

I have a ranch style house, low pitch, and the last roofer only 14 yrs ago did a very poor job...leaks, ski sloping shingles, poor ventilation etc. I made it clear to a premier company that i was willing to spend what it took to get the job done right. I used a 30 yr gaf shingle with ridge vent. To my dismay, I see "telegraphing" , cupped shingles, and sagging. The roof bellies about an inch over the center of a bedroom area...as estimated by a general contractor. In fact, to a lesser extent the roof sags in multiple places including a hump in the ridge vent and wavering boards along the eaves. And, the ridge vent opening varies from zero to almost 3/4 inch...and this higher figure is what gaf lists as the optimum opening.

The foreman's only explanation, to date, is that I had a lot of distorted planks, 1 by 8's. He replaced 300 linear ft of about a 40 square shingle job. He's willing to come back...hard to grasp..and take out a few more planks where it's most noticeable in the front of the house. And,the foreman said that he will have somebody comeback and loosen up a few nails.To my naivete, I neglected to write in the contract a flat roof. In retrospect, I understand from GAF that IF they had presented the higher level warranty to me..which this company qualifies for...this would have been a no contest issue.

I want to meet with the company president. Is it reasonable to say/insist:
- a better inspection of the roof should have been done beforehand ( the sagging and distorted roof in retrospect was evident);
- options should have been laid out including the best warranty;
- any cupping is not acceptable work and needs to be remedied;
- the ridge vent must be replaced with a rigid form by gaf that prevents mashing...it is not acceptable to loosen nails to fix the current vent;
--all wavering boards along the eaves must be remedied;
- since i accepted a proposal over twenty percent higher than another leading roofer and because some issues can not be resolved (like too many distorted boards that were not removed or an opportunity to pursue better options) I want a price reduction and maintenance for nails that pop for the next two years.

A general contractor said that I'm basically out of luck if not covered by the proposal and a registered roofing inspector...too busy to come out to the house but willing to share some phone time..said that most homeowners are too blind to know when they are getting poor workmanship and that special situations like a low pitch roof truly requires the aid of someone like himself to write the proposal.

Indeed, when a few friends see the roof they say "oh what a nice roof" so my issues are not in your face obvious but I'm sure that if I was to sell the home, an inspector would notice. And, I can see from reading the internet that other homeowners have had similar experiences.

Bottom line: am I being too demanding after the fact? I don't want to be a jerk and alienate the roofing company. They still have to install a new gutter with a gutter guard(leaf terminator brand).

The only reason that they have not done the gutters yet is that on the day of the roofing job when I saw the foreman perplexed he explained that there was a narrow gap between the facial board and the end of the deck. He asked if I could hire a carpenter to rip a board and splice it in. Wow, imagine the home owner turned into general contractor. To make it even more complex, as it turns out they subcontract with a gutter company who also explained that if i need any facial boards replaced that I had better hire a carpenter..he would be glad to take down the gutters first.

That's my beef. Opinions?



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Old 07-28-2009, 05:06 PM  
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Bill, I am truely sorry to hear of you problems after your recent roof installation. Hopefull you have not paid the installation invoice in full as of yet. Remember the golden rule. HE WHO HAS THE GOLD RULES. The situations you have described are valid concerns and will effect the preformance of the shingle installation. The biggest causes of premature shingle failure is improper installation. If you have already paid the bill, try to get the company to fix the issues you have stated. If they are unwilling to remedy you can file for mediation with the Better Business Bureau or seek legal action, only as a last resort would I pursue legal options.

By all means request a meeting with the company owner. Approach him in a friendly manner and show him what your issues are. Some of the problems you have described are fixable, some are beyond the scope of a shingle installation. Sagging rafters are not part of a roof installation but are structural. They may be sagged from previous multiple layers of shingles but are still in good shape. If you try to jack up a rafter it has to be supported by a load bearing wall otherwise you will pop ceilings below.

There is no excuse for roofing over warped or bad decking. That should be resolved. If you are still in control of the finances, hold maybe 20 % of the bill till you are satisfied with their installation.

Fixing the vent is very important. Check not only the exhaust part but also the intake along the eaves so you have unrestricted air flow from soffit (gutter area) to the ridge. Adaquate intake and exhaust ventilation IS part of the scope of work your roofer address.

Good Luck and be sure to let us know how things turn out.



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Old 07-28-2009, 05:27 PM  
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old dog/new trick,

Not a penny paid out, yet. Hard to comprehend why a homeowner needs "support" but I'm glad to read your comments."There is no excuse for roofing over warped or bad decking. That should be resolved. If you are still in control of the finances, hold maybe 20 % of the bill till you are satisfied with their installation."

Cupped shingles means more moisture and more organic debris that lodges under them...therefore, shingles don't last as long. Is it too late for them to replace the warped planks which is causing the cupping? The foreman offered to do a few. Will he risk making it worse? If he can do a few, I am now a little better educated and want the contractor to do them all. Can this be done?

Ventilation has been a hard communication. In the proposal is that the gable vents are to be closed...which is another issue that I left out. They are fighting it, but I had them call GAF to hear what they told me.."close it"...What I didn't specify is how it should be closed. They mentioned stapling plastic. Is this ok...?Strikes me that this would lead to condensation.??? The soffit venting is continuous. As an aside...when I emphasized the importance of ventilation they suggested an attic fan...more is better. I directed them back to GAF...to also learn to not mix systems. Are all roofers just about nailing shingles and trying to sound like they have an answer, no matter if it is wrong? Frustrating. Sure am glad to get responses.

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Old 07-28-2009, 06:08 PM  
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When you say cupped shingles, are the shingles laying flat to the roof deck or are the boards uneven. Dimensional shingles should lay flat out of the pack. We have run into some issues in cold weather with edges cupped but when temps rose the shingles layed down. Shouldn't be a problem this time of year. Please explain the cupping you are seeing.

Closing the gable vents with a heavy mil plastic is reccomended by the shingle MFG. Condensation should not be a problem with a functioning vent system on the plastic any more than any other surface in the attic.

No I cannot stress this enough NEVER, NEVER mix exhaust vents that are in close proximaty to each other. A power vent will turn your ridge vent into intake vents and short cycle your vent system. They are not designed to work together. Ridge vent is the most effective form of ventillation if you have sufficent ridge run to support it. Ridge vent is a passive form of venting, no moving parts. Active vents( power) will fail before the shingles do. Most homeowners with power vents fail to check to see if the are still working.

There are a lot of good, quality roofing companies out there. In the area I work we see it from one extreme to the other. When I bid work I don't mind loosing a job to a compeitor who I know does quality installations. I know the homeowner will get his moneys worth. They just did a better job selling than me that day. Most home owners think once the roofs installed its apples and oranges. Sadley, thats not real world. I wish more home owners would take advantage of the MFG web sites. There is a wealth of knowledge there.

At the request of one of the MFG area reps I went to a home owners house last week and she had a similar experience as yours. She was so upset with herself because she had checked referals, gotten copies of insurance certificates, thought she had really done her homework. Well not a happy ending. You however still control the funds.

The only way they can fix all the wood issues would be to strip the roof in the areas where your are seeing deflection, fix the decking and apply new shingles. Don't let them loosen decking boards, shim under the decking. Make them fix it correctly.

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Old 07-28-2009, 08:10 PM  
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old dog/new trick,
great advice:
"The only way they can fix all the wood issues would be to strip the roof in the areas where your are seeing deflection, fix the decking and apply new shingles. Don't let them loosen decking boards, shim under the decking. Make them fix it correctly." .......Wow, that could be as many as 8-10 boards..just guessing...could be shocking but as you say I still have the funds.

re: the ridge vent...should I allow them to lift it or is loosening the nails a bad idea? Now that GAF rep showed me a newer vent that is rigid with the mesh inside....this looks like a better product that I would prefer they use...rep said some contractors are just too reluctant to try a new product.

re cupping:
Some of this is due to the boards being uneven...but some look distorted...which as you suggest may be to storage and cold weather...this is a distinction that i'm not positive about...my eye for a roof is still getting educated...I talked to the contractor(supervisor to foreman) and he wants to wait a few months to see if warmer weather flattens them out. I can send pictures if I can figure it out how to do it here.

I'm closer to the point of getting the supervisor out to see the job himself. First, I wanted to arm myself with more knowledge and sure do relish the guidance.

AFter that I will call the president, if necessary. I had previously passed up this company because the salesman suggested the power fan. I went back to them because of a connection who knows and brings work to the president was a referral source. I thought they would want to especially please me. Hurricane Ike brought a lot of work to this area and possible your area too. My sense, though, is that the work has slowed down with all the "new" roofers moving in.

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Old 07-29-2009, 12:27 PM  
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Here is some info in your fight against ignorance.
Fans: Ron Hungarter investigates black mold with Air Vent, Inc.

Ridge vent with baffle:ESB: Research Exposes Attic Ventilation Myth

Soffit vents: BlockTheHeat.com -Attic Ventilation Problems

Covering it all: Audel Complete Building Construction - Google Books

Be safe, G

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Old 07-29-2009, 05:12 PM  
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Bill, it sounds like they have installed a Cobra Vent roll vent, whick can be compressed by over nailing and or walking on it. It's a fiberous vent and will get clogged by airborne dust. I would suggest Cobra Vent 3, which has a exterior baffle to divert air over instead of through the top of the vent. Loosening the nails will not solve anything.

G has provided you with some excellent web sites. If you have any full bundles left the installation instructions are printed in english and spainsh right on the wraper, nail patterns, underlayments, fastners, venting.

"AFter that I will call the president, if necessary." I hope your not calling Washington. They are busy with auto, banking, Insurance, Health Care.......don't get them in the roofing business, please!

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Old 07-30-2009, 06:46 AM  
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old dog/new trick:
"the President"....funnnnny, you know i mean the pres of the roofing company.

yes, there're some full bundles left....but I'mnot sure what you are referring to?

for the ridge vent...i might need some backbone here....am i on good ground to say "pull out the cobra vent (yes, that is the one they used) due to poor installation..I'll pay for the difference of the product, only"

thanks guys..i'll look at the websites

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Old 07-30-2009, 04:14 PM  
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As for the ridge vent, what did they specify in their proposal/contract. If they installed what they said they would then you might not be in a position to make them eat the cost of replacing the roll vent. You really, in all fairness to your installer, cannot renegotiate the contract after the fact.

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Old 07-30-2009, 07:35 PM  
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olddog/newtrick,

Then my question needs to be restated....Is it fair to consider that once the rolled ridge vent is mashed down below specs that it needs to be re installed and that raising the nails would not be considered acceptable workmanship? If so, then would it be no more labor for an upgrade and I would pay the difference on material?

If not, it is disappointing that I made a huge statement that I was concerned about ventilation.. .i.e, the home was so inadequately vented that the walls had condensation, yet the current contractor did not offer me choices on ridge vent types...money was not the highest priority. I only heard..you're getting a "ridge vent, all will be well". I talked to GAF about a lot of things to be as well as educated as I could and worked hard to get the contractor to be on the same page about proper underlayment for a low pitch roof(double underlayment and not ice and water shield for the entire deck), as well as closing the gable vents and no attic fan. True, the type of ridge vent got overlooked. Glad to be corrected if I'm going to far on expecting a replacement. That's why I'm here....where to be empowered and where not to be.



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