Roof under warranty, roofer won't return calls for repairs, now major damage exists
Please assist me with an ongoing problem with a roofing contractor. My aunt had a roof replaced in 2002. The roofing material used is about 85% 3-tab shingles (pretty standard) and about 15% flat roof membrane. Since this roof job was done, there have been several leaks. Only once, the first leak, did the company which is still very much in business come out to make a repair. This repair involved replacing flashing that was specified in the contract, but which the contractor did not replace because they felt at the time it looked good enough. Since then, there have been several minor leaks, and plaster has been gradually falling off the walls and ceilings below the unfinished attic. During the recent storm, my aunt noticed there are pieces of roofing material throughout her yard. She went into the attic and discovered about twenty plus leaks. The unfinished attic rafters exhibit signs of water damage and the unfinished attic floor is soggy. There is a damp odor throughout the house. More plaster is coming down in the rooms below. Now she can see daylight through the roof. She called the roofing contractor yesterday, and the company still does not return calls. A recent call to consumer affairs found no complaints against the company. The ten year warranty on labor and materials is still in effect.
My aunt needs to have the roof either repaired or entirely replaced, as well as ALL the damage inside repaired. She would prefer this company not perform any additional work, as their workmanship is obviously very shoddy and their conduct is unprofessional. My question is: What recourse, legal or otherwise, does my aunt have in a situation like this? She doesn't want to pursue litigation if possible, but she NEEDS to have all of this damage repaired once and for all. Please advise me with any suggestions you have, and I'll gladly add more details if it would be helpful. Thank you.
Bruce, I'm sorry to hear of your aunts roofing issues. I can assure you that not all roofing contractors are like this. You asked for advise on how to handle this and I'll throw these against the wall and see if any will stick for you.
-I would suggest that you call and not your aunt. Ask to speak to the owner personally and don't accept being bounced around. If he won't come to the phone, go there in person and take photos of the issues.
-Send any correspondence by certified letter.
-Document ANY interaction with this company, including who you talked to, what was said, time and date. You cannot record phone calls without permission.
-If they are members of the Better Business bureau, file a dispute with them. They must comply to maintain their membership.
-If this doesn't work call your local TV or newspaper and complain how your poor ol aunt is being taken advantage of by a shady company.
-Join Angie's List and post your experiences.
-If this doesn't work you can either pay someone else to put a new roof on or take legal action. Don't put yourself in a bad situation by doing anything that would weaken your position.
-Or get some plywood and make a sandwich board sign and stand in front of their shop expressing how well they treat customers. (well if anyone who works there is named Guido you may want to forget this)
Both my aunt and I really appreciate the suggestions offered so far, and I am interested if anyone else has any experience with a similar situation or has additional suggestions. Both myself and my aunt have taken pictures of the damage as well as the broken roofing material strewn over the yard. A claim has been filed with homeowners' insurance and an adjuster should be coming out soon. Interaction with the company is being documented. The company still has not returned phone calls (big surprise :rolleyes:)
Since the company is still in business, presumably still carries liability insurance of their own, AND the warranties are still in effect per the job contract, I don't understand why my aunt would have to pay anything out of pocket (except for the deductible if homeowners covers the damages) I understand dealing with a situation like this is a hassle, and I'm helping her as much as possible, but I can't see how she should be on the hook for any of this.
Another question: If this is covered by homeowners' insurance, would my aunt's policy cover the damage, then go after the company and/or their insurance for reimbursement? Like the Subrogation example that Wuzzat cited.
Bruce, one of two things has happened. Either you have had a force of nature that caused the damage or the installer didn't install the roof correctly. Insurance companies are not maintenance companies. If the damage is from wind, hail they will inspect the structure and make an assessment. If it is a workmanship issue you will have to pursue the roofing company on your own.
If you are not happy with what the insurance adjuster says call an independent roofing company for a opinion of the condition of the roof.
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