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Old 06-12-2007, 04:23 PM  
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Default New York Roofing Law - 3 layers, grandfathered?

I'm looking to purchase a house, my building inspector noted that there were three layers of roofing and suggested additional supports or trusses to the roof to help balance the load of the additional weight.

I'm just a regular consumer, not a contractor or roofer. Does anyone know, if I purchase this home, am I liable to repair this roof? Is it against the law to have 3 layers on a roof, or is it against the law for a roofer to install a 3rd layer? I'm not sure I'm reading it correctly.

I just want to insure that at some point someone doesn't come out to my new house and tell me the roof needs to be replaced. Removing and disposing of 3 layers alone will be an expensive endeavor, forget about adding the cost of reroofing!

Any help appreciated, thanks!

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Old 06-12-2007, 08:43 PM  
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It is definitely not good to have too many layers of old roofing.

Your home inspector certainly earned his money when he pointed out the number of layers. Did he venture a guess at the life? - Hard to be accurate.

It is not against the law, but in SOME areas there is a requiremnt that an owner cannot apply a third layer over two existing layers. For the city to claim the roof is not to code, they would have to admit they did not do their enforcement (if there was even that requirement).

1. The load on the roof may be greater than the house is designed for, especially if you have snow.

2. Your three layer roof will definitely not last as long because the the heat build-up that can cut the life of a shingle roof in half.

I doubt if anyone will come knocking on your door requiring a new roof just because you bought the house. The replacement time of the roof will probably be up to you. - When you do replace, make sure you have a complete tear-off and that way you will be able to get a guarantee on the new roof.

The seller may contribute toward the cost of a new roof if it is pointed out to him that the existing roof has a very limited life.

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Old 06-13-2007, 06:17 AM  
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"It is not against the law, but in SOME areas there is a requiremnt that an owner cannot apply a third layer over two existing layers."

This is where I become a little confused, new york state law says the following:

Section R907.3 of the NY State Residential Code:
"New roof coverings shall NOT be installed without first removing existing roof coverings where any of the following conditions occur:

1. Where the existing roof or roof covering is water-soaked or has deteriorated to the point that the existing roof or roof covering is not adequate as a base for additional roofing.

2. Where the existing roof covering is wood shake, slate, clay, cement or asbestos cement tile.

3. Where the existing roof has two or more applications of any type of roof covering."

Reading this seems to me that it is illegal to "install" a 3rd layer of roofing. Not nescessarily illegal to posses a 3rd layer. Implying the installer of the roof would be liable, not the home owner.

I'm not too concerned, structurally, the building inspector said there was no signs or warpage or stress, but he also said the new roof was 3-5 years old, he said over time (10+ years) significant warpage and sagging can occur with all the weight. He suggested I sister-up every other struss or so to reinforce the roof, at the very least he suggested vertical supports from the rafter to the trusses to help better distribute the load.

My only concern is it is a legal 2-family, currently set up as a mother/daughter. After closing I'd like to set it up as a 2 family, meaning I have to seperate some utilities (add an electric service for the apartment). I know the electric service has to be inspected, I also don't know if I need two CO's for each apartment, or just one for the house? I will do what I need to do to get things rolling, but I don't want an inspector to come and tell me I need to spend $15k to replace a roof.

Thanks for the input,
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Old 07-12-2007, 12:13 AM  
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I did not read all of this but I have some thoughts: 3 roofs are to heavy. 3 roofs hold the moisture inbetween the layers therefore deteriorating the top layer before its warranty is up and where I come from, the insurance company will never ever insure a home with 3 layers of shingles on it.
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