roofing job from hell

stacyinmaineSeptember 23, 2009

I had a new roof installed in Jan 2009 and two new skylights. I had architectural shingles and a full layer of water and ice shield underneath to protect the roof from these awful Maine winters. It will never leak the roofer told me, well guess what? It leaks. The roof leaks in the snow, it leaks in the rain, my two new sky lights leak. The roofer is totally ignoring me and I had to file a BBB complaint and his reply was that I had ice dams on the roof and he's not responsible. Not true about the ice dams and even if I did have ice dams the water and ice shield should protect me from leaks.

My question is how can I fix this without replacing the whole roof. You can see pictures of the shoddy roofing job and read more detail on my blog:

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Taking everything you've posted at face value --- GET A LAWYER AND SUE HIM!!! and get a reputable contractor to repair the damage and roof.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 5:58PM
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I read the blog in the link and couldn't understand the talk about shoveling snow from the roof edge.

I suspect the self adhering roofing underlayment was installed at temperatures below the recommended limits. It might also not be a 40 mil WR Grace product but one of the thinner granular surfaced imitators which would generally not be any more effective than roofing felt since the nails would probably not be sealed.

Are there no photographs of the underlayment installation?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 1:23PM
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Just sue him, as unfortunately I have to do with my roofer. Except I can take mine to small claims, and I'm not sure that's the case with you.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 8:27PM
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I think you have other fundamental issues but FWIW, ice and water shield is designed to flow at higher temps, so there is some wisdom that the material will seal better after seeing some summer weather. From your descriptions it sounds like he did not fold the ice and water shield down on the fascia boards but instead stopped it under the drip edge. If you have gutters ice dams will form at the gutter and water will back up under the drip edge and in.

Another note is that ice and water shield membranes are NOT the fix for ice dam issues. They are the secondary barrier to prevent water from coming inside AFTER the ice dam has formed. Proper attic ventilation and insulation will prevent the ice dams from forming in the first place. So if ice dams are a problem you should address those issues in addition to the roof problems.

In a properly insulated, vented, and roofed house you should not have to remove snow from the roof at all other than concerns about the additional weight on the structure from accumulating snow.

Sorry for your troubles and I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 10:24PM
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You CAN'T fix it without replacing the entire roof.

I've been to your website (newroofleaks) and read that... An actual roofing pro - MIGHT be able to fix this without replacing the roof - but he/she is starting with a lousy foundation. A BAD roof job.

Do yourself a favor. QUIT playing around, and posting stuff all over - and pay a reputable roofing firm to FIX your leaking roof - BEFORE your weather gets really cold again, and snowy.

While your doing that - please be aware of some other stuff...

Here is Washington state - ANY licensed contractor MUST have a Bond posted with the state. You state that the contractor got rid of his insurance a day before signing the roofing contract with you... If he is an actual licensed contractor - he probably still has a Bond witht the dept. of Labor & Industries.

The dept. of Labor & Industries does not like it - when people hire themselves out, and are not licensed. When made aware of said individuals - they will go after them.

Plus - if he IS licensed - the posted Bond can help you out...

Also - although it does not seem right or correct - since you have not actually paid the contractor in 'full' - he can file a Lien against your house. Getting the lien off is a mess and more grief. Filing a lien against your house is easy for a contractor to do... (at least it is in the state of WA.)

The reason I know the above is because my lovely wife is a Real Estate agent, and gets to study stuff related to houses and liens, etc.

So, while being fully justified with not paying the contractor in full - he can retaliate - and easily file a lien against you...

To take care of this stuff - you really need to do three things asap. Quit playing around. KNOW that you are going to do them... Then DO them. Like on MONDAY.

1. Get bids to fix the drywall hole in your ceiling. Don't be hiring unknowns. Hire an actual honest friend who KNOWS drywall OR hire an actual drywall firm. No lowball, done on the cheap....

2. Hire a reputable roofing company to FIX your roof asap. Take out a substantial loan if you have to... But get your roof FIXED immediately. The rain and wet weather experienced for five months from Jan - May2009; and then the coming wet weather - are NOT doing your house any good. Your insulation is being ruined, you have the potential for termites and other pests, rot setting in... on & on... Get your Roof fixed asap.

3. The contractor doesn't care. No way in hell is he going to fix the 'ceiling hole'. He hasn't even fixed your leaking roof which cost you over $6K Why in the world would you want this unresponsive individual to come back and 'work' on your house???

SUE HIM!! You state the employee came on out all angry, and stated you had to shovel 3 feet of snow off the roof... I haven't read where the Contractor came on out and inspected the roof, and determined why it was leaking... The employee is not responsible. You did not sign a contract with the employee. You signed a contract with the contractor. SUE HIM!

Take him to court. Just do it. Doesn't matter if the attorney will cost you $10k (Probably won't.) From your descriptions this seems pretty open and shut. If this guy owns a house, so he has some real property - SUE HIM!

Lawyers are not all bad. I have a friend who is an attorney. Nicest guy you've ever met. Very smart. I've called attorney's out of the yellow pages, never met them - they've listened to my plight and steered me straight for totally free. All of the jokes about evil attorneys are really sad. Bad apples in any trade. A lot of good reputable attorneys exist. Look in your yellow pages, and call a few attorneys up, talk to them, and hear what they have to say...

Call a lawyer referral service. In Seattle, a referral from the lawyer referral service gets you a half hour with an attorney - going thru your paperwork, etc. for only $32. Then full rates. But you get a real good feel for the attorney, and the probable outcome, etc. Plus - they'll tell you if your wasting your time or not.

I've only been to court once; in my entire (52yrs) life. (Which I won.) But I tell you what - I'd be suing this dude. No joke.

Bottom line. Get your roof and ceiling fixed asap. Be aware of the serious potential for a lien against your house - unless you take the contractor to court. So do so. Take them to court.

Your playing around, and your house is getting ruined... I understand your frustration - but just move on, get the work done, and take strong legal action against the other - at the same time...

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 1:04PM
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Before you do the work, take pictures, pictures, and more pictures. Preserve some of the physical evidence if you can. Photograph the work in progress and after it is completed. Then sue.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 11:09AM
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