Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
ROOFING INSPECTION & REPAIR
AMERICAN CEMWOOD ROOFING
BEST ROOFING PRACTICES
BUILT UP ROOFS
CATHEDRAL CEILING VENTILATION
CERTIFICATIONS for ROOFING CONTRACTORS
CHIMNEY FLASHING Mistakes & Leaks
COLD WEATHER ROOF TROUBLE
DECKS, ROOFTOP CONSTRUCTION
EPDM, RUBBER, PVC ROOFING
EXTRACTIVE BLEEDING on SHINGLES
FIRE RETARDANT PLYWOOD
FLASHING on BUILDINGS
FLASHING, ASPHALT SHINGLE VALLEYS
FLASHING, CHIMNEY Mistakes & Leaks
FLASHING, CLAY TILE ROOFS
FLASHING MEMBRANES PEEL & STICK
FLASHING for METAL ROOFS
FLASHING ROOF WALL DETAILS
FLASHING ROOF-WALL SNAFU
FLASHING SIDING DETAILS
FLASHING WALL DETAILS
FLASHING WINDOW DETAILS
FLASHING WOOD ROOF DETAILS
FLAT ROOF MOISTURE & CONDENSATION
Green House or Solarium Roof Leaks
HEAT TAPES & CABLES on Roofs for Ice Dams
ICE DAM PREVENTION
MASONITE WOODRUF FIBERBOARD ROOFING
NOISE CONTROL for ROOFS
PLASTIC ROOFING TYPES
PVC, EPDM, RUBBER ROOFING
ROOF ARCHITECTURAL STYLES - PHOTO GUIDE
ROOF CLEANING RECOMMENDATIONS
ROOF COLOR RECOMMENDATIONS
ROOF DORMER TYPES - PHOTO GUIDE
ROOF INSPECTION SAFETY & LIMITS
ROOF JOB PROBLEMS, RESOLVING
ROOF LEAK DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
ROOF NOISE TRANSMISSION
ROOF REPLACEMENT SNAFUs
ROOFING FELT UNDERLAYMENT REQUIREMENTS
ROOFING MATERIALS, Age, Types
ROOFING TILE SHAPES & PROFILES
ROOFING UNDERLAYMENT BEST PRACTICES
SADDLE CONSTRUCTION at CHIMNEYS
SNOW GUARDS & SNOW BRAKES
STANDARDS for ROOFING
STRESS SKIN INSULATED PANELS
TEST LABS - ROOF SHINGLE
TREES & SHRUBS, TRIM OFF BUILDING
TRUSSES, Floor & Roof
UNDERLAYMENT REQUIREMENTS on ROOFS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
WALK-ON ROOF SURFACES
WARRANTIES for ROOF SHINGLES
WORKMANSHIP & ROOF DAMAGE
How to resolve a disupte between roofing contractor and client: this roofing job problem resolution article gives advice to homeowners who have had an unsatisfactory roof repair or "new roof" installation job on their home. We describe hiring a roof inspector, what information to collect, what to report, and what to do with that information in obtaining satisfaction.
Here we also give an example of a "bad" roofing contractor, discuss roofing contractor certification programs, and we give some simple tips on how to get a good roofing job. The photograph above shows a laminate-type roof shingle installed improperly on an irregular dome-shaped roof. This amateur roofing job shown in the photo and the improper roof installation described at this page were not done by a GAF Master EliteTM nor any by any other certified roofing contractor. The roofer who put these shingles in place probably lacked proper training - something which some roof contractor certification programs are trying to address. But don't assume that every "certified" roofer is one you want to do business with. This article series discusses how to get the best roofing job. Readers should also see CHOOSING A ROOFING CONTRACTOR.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
When you need to repair your roof or replace roof coverings on a building, the previous sections of this article give advice to assist in choosing a roofing contractor - by Jessie Srader, [edits and additions by DJF]. Whatever your roofing repair or replacement needs, you need a qualified professional roofing contractor you can trust.
Following Roofing Contractor Steps 1-5, steps to resolve roofing contract or performance disputes should not be needed, but in real life, things do not always go perfectly as planned. What do we do now? The re-roof job contractor dispute described below contains our recommendations. Use the Comment Form below to add your own suggestions for accurate, prompt, and fair resolution of roofing job disputes and problems.
Paying a high price for a new roof does not guarantee a good job. In this case the roof was a wood shingle job but it could have been any roofing material.
One of my clients called me, breathless on the telephone, very worried about her new roof. Here's how it went.
I drove to the site. The wood shingle roof was beautiful. Every shingle looked perfect, except for one thing: all of the shingle side joints were lined-up perfectly, straight up the roof. There was no shingle side offset. This roof would leak at the first rainstorm." I met with the roofing contractor at the job, without the client present, hoping to for some candor between us. The conversation with the roofing contractor went like this:
I walked over to a pile of wood shingle scraps and debris which the crew had swept up in the center of the client's courtyard. The crew were standing off in the shade watching with interest. Every bundle of wood shingles comes with a little piece of paper, usually identifying the manufacturer, the shingle source, and including a drawing of just how to put the shingles on the roof, including showing the required side-offset between shingle courses. We leaned down to the pile and pulled out one of these little pieces of paper that had the drawing intact and holding it we walked back to the roofing contractor.
The high-paid roofing contractor and the crew got into their truck and left.
This was a $60,000. roofing job that actually had a NEGATIVE value since now, to put on a proper roof, the new roofer would first have to REMOVE all of the shingles that had just been applied, increasing the labor cost of the job.
How had my client chosen this particular contractor?
She did not call the better business bureau; she did not ask for references; she did not care about the price; she chose the roofing contractor who was immediately available so that she could "get it done and be finished with it".
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about about roofing contractors & roofing job problems
Question: Roof from Hell: after a roofing company installed a new roof it leaked badly. The roofer told me to contact my homeowners insurance company and file a claim but did nothing to fix the problems. Other roofers don't want to get involved. What now?
On or about September 2009 I had a new roof installed on my house in Queens, NY. The house had 3-4 layers of old roofs. I contracted J&B Home Improvements to install a brand new roof, which they did for the sum of $16,000.00. and was paid in full at the termination of the job.
However, the first big rain storm, March 2010 I had water falls coming down the interior walls of my house. I have water stains and ceiling stains and mold from this first episode of rain inside the house. I called Mr. Jeff Bershad, J&B Home Improvements but he would not come to see the damage and only told me to file a homeowners insurance claim. I have tried many times to contact Mr. Bershad as we have had so much rain this season and the interior of my house continue to get water damage. He disregarded all my contacts.
I finally hired a new contractor to install flashing/step flashing on my new roof, which cost me $400.00 and come to find out due to Mr. Bershad not installing flashing on the roofs that transition from the back and front porch to the main house, he basically left an open gap or black band all around the house that looked very unsightly and unfinished. He also did not install ice and water shields or drip edge as reported from the new contractor who I had to hire to stop the rainfalls.
The new contractor did install black flashing on the roof to prevent further water damage/waterfalls. However, at this point I am left with an incomplete/unfinished roof, with maybe more faulty issues.
I have filed a complaint with Consumer Affairs and that is in the works. However, I have had other contractors come to assess the roof and I have been told that the best thing to do is request that the new faulty roof be removed and start anew, due to the fact that the flashing, ice and water shield, drip edge all needed to be installed prior to the shingling was put down. Many of the new contractors have stated they do not want to take on this job/headache and have passed on the job. Between a rock and a rotten roof job,
Help! What can, should I do? Thank you for your attention. [Name witheld]
Reply: use a qualified expert to inspect, interview, review invoices, document the results in writing, and give the roofer one more chance before pursuing legal remedy
You did the right thing to start: you called the original contractor to tell him you had serious problems. In my OPINION it is a very poor contractor and actually a foolish one who won't return to the job site when the customer has a complaint. Refusing to even look at the work misses an opportunity to please the client, learn about mistakes, and protect or even improve one's reputation. Everyone makes mistakes. It's what we do about them that distinguishes the amateurs (or worse) from responsible professionals.
Hire an independent professional roof inspector: At this point you may best be served by hiring an independent and well qualified inspector (perhaps a senior home inspector with roofing background) to inspect the job, review your work invoices and payments, interview you and take a case history, and then write a well organized, photo-documented roof report that is unambiguous and compelling in its clarity. Where there are specific errors in the roofing job that violate proper roofing practices the report should cite authoritative references such as the roof shingle manufacturer's instructions or roofing details from ARMA (Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers' Association) or NRCA (National Roofing Contractors' Association).
Watch out: There are some construction contractors in every field may have vehement opinions expressed with great confidence, but they may be poorly informed, haven't read the instructions on the package, or sometimes just dead wrong. Other roofing contractors may be well qualified to tell you what errors or omissions they find in your roof job, but most are not English majors and not inclined to write adequate roof inspection reports. Similarly, many engineers, construction consultants, and home inspectors may be willing to inspect and report as I described, but may lack adequate experience and qualifications specifically for roofing. A home inspector or a home inspector working with an expert roofer, and one who can cite authoritative sources may be sufficient if s/he works with detail and care and is articulate in writing.
Obtain estimates for repair of the building interior and contents damage due to roof leaks. The work needed now is more than just a roof that doesn't leak. Water damage to the building and its contents need to be evaluated and addressed. If you really had water running down the building walls then wall cavities that have been wet will need to be opened, cleaned, and reinsulated.
Watch out: leaving water in modern building walls and ceilings for more than 48 hours creates a high risk of potentially very costly mold contamination and mold cleanup work would then be needed. Also, your insurance company may take issue with a damage claim if you did not take reasonable steps to protect the home and contents when you observed the leak problem. Leaving things wet for days would be an example of a big mistake.
Contact the original contractor again and give him/her a copy of the report and damage estimates along with your letter asking for satisfaction.
If the roofing contractor still won't respond properly or adequately, your recourse is with either a construction attorney and suit (and perhaps a final settlement), or with a construction arbitration hearing. The American Arbitration Association provides construction arbitrators in most cities in the U.S.
Contact your insurance company because you have had water damate and interior losses. At the very least, for purposes of a claim you will need a statement about what insurance is covering and what is omitted.
Roof from Hell - Follow-up Update
I have been meaning to get back to you with an update. Things seem to be going OK, I think. ( I have a mission/direction) Here is what I did since the last I spoke with you. As soon as I read your last email. I quickly fired off letters/complaint forms to: Consumer Affairs, GAF, BBB, Attorney General office, my homeowners Ins.co. and became a member to Angie's List. I then interviewed 5 different roof contractors and got professional advice and estimates referred from Angie's list.
While I had all these letters/complaints in the works with no assurance or relying on a good outcome, I had to proceed with the next step, which was to get a new roof as best I can relying on the wisdom, knowledge and compassion from these new contractors and knowledge and wisdom of my past experience.
Anyway, during this time, slowly but surely things got even worst, I noticed shingles, hip caps, nails flying off my roof during windy and stormy days, so the statement made by previous contractors regarding other faulty issues with the roof and their reluctance to take on the headache of a roof were probably valid, ( I had a feeling these contractors had seen or experienced this kind of crappy roof work before). I sent those loose shingles and hip caps to GAF for investigation.
As of this date what I can say: is that
Again thanks . A.S.
Use the search box below to ask a question or to search the InspectApedia.com website.
Ask a Question or Enter Search Terms in the InspectApedia search box just below.
Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.
This article may be printed as hard copy and redistributed at no charge, provided the web page source citation is provided. It cannot not sold. It cannot be reproduced electronically nor copied to other websites. The source citation is: InspectAPedia.com/roof/roofcont.htm Comments or corrections should be sent to Dan Friedman, or to the author email@example.com