» Tar paper / underlayment question bad roof job?

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  Post subject: Tar paper / underlayment question bad roof job?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:44 am 
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I've got a general contractor working on my house and have some concerns. He's extending a shed dormer out 4 feet on each side of the back of our home. He has framed it out and put down the plywood sheeting on the 'new' parts of the roof. One side has a very visible ridge where the plywood doesn't match up with the original part of the dormer. He put the tar paper over this with no tarp for the better part of a rainy week. Last night we had to put buckets out to catch the rain pouring through the seems between plywood sheets with tar paper cover. Is this a bad sign? I'm worried the tar paper & plywood are either improperly laid down or have been exposed to rainy weather too long. Please advise....


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  Post subject: Re: Tar paper / underlayment question bad roof job?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:12 am 
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Neither plywood, tar paper nor the combination of the two is weather proof. I'd be more concerned about his lack of planning, preparedness, and communication. Sounds like he started the project before several days of rain... I know I watch the weather every day, and plan accordingly. If something happens, we ALWAYS tarp. Only took one time of trusting the felt to change my mind on that one.


Have you called him out on it??

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  Post subject: Re: Tar paper / underlayment question bad roof job?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:14 am 
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littlebella, were I you, I'd call this guy and raise a lottahella. In my opinion, he was quite negligent.


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  Post subject: Re: Tar paper / underlayment question bad roof job?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:33 am 
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I'm going to bring this up and wanted to have some knowledgeable rebuttal to any kind of sideways answer he might have... I'm concerned that each of these leaking points are future leaks in my roof. Is this something I should mention to the city building inspector?


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  Post subject: Re: Tar paper / underlayment question bad roof job?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:57 am 
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I would not suggest you jump to rat this guy out yet. Get your concerns together and contact him about them. Give him the chance to make it right first.

If the plywood is wet, it is likely ruined. Wet felt is not going to be reusable either.

I take it that the new sections do not join the old section correctly either? If that is the case, he will have to fix the decking and/or framing anyway.

Are you planning to just keep the old dormer shingles and tie into them? That is another area you want to be clear about. Matching old shingles will not be exact.

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  Post subject: Re: Tar paper / underlayment question bad roof job?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:50 pm 
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Gary wrote:
If the plywood is wet, it is likely ruined.


I have to disagree with that. Wood can get wet, and still be usable. Heck new homes are built with wood every day and they get rained on before shingles and siding get applied.
The home I'm on now got wet pretty much every day during construction, woods fine.

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  Post subject: Re: Tar paper / underlayment question bad roof job?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:36 am 
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Seems like so many roofing contractors agree and disagree on so many things around here. Let's keep in mind that building code is different for everyones region. But then again I've said that so many times before.

Anyhow, I'd highly recommend having him replace the tarpaper regardless. As far as the plywood being wet, ethically speaking as a contractor I would replace it (mind you I would've tarped everything off correctly in the first place) although it may not be completely ruined. How bad of shape it is in really depends. If it happens to be warped then I'd say to hell with it and replace it.


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  Post subject: Re: Tar paper / underlayment question bad roof job?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:36 pm 
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Northern Point wrote:
Seems like so many roofing contractors agree and disagree on so many things around here. Let's keep in mind that building code is different for everyones region. But then again I've said that so many times before.

Anyhow, I'd highly recommend having him replace the tarpaper regardless. As far as the plywood being wet, ethically speaking as a contractor I would replace it (mind you I would've tarped everything off correctly in the first place) although it may not be completely ruined. How bad of shape it is in really depends. If it happens to be warped then I'd say to hell with it and replace it.



Plywood can be some funny stuff sometimes.
If it gets wet it can be just fine or delaminating all over the place, on the same roof with the same lot of plywood.
Whether or not plywood that has been wet needs to be replaced is determined on a case by case basis.
To remove and replace perfectly good plywood simply because it got wet is a colossal waste of resources and is not in the best interest of your customer.
It is in the best interest of the roofing contractor that likes to needlessly run up costs.

Roofing felt:
One of the purposes of roofing underlayment is to protect the structure from the weather during the reroofing/construction process.
It is not necessary to remove & replace felt because it got wet, in fact to do so would be another waste of resources for absolutely no gain whatsoever.

If a roofer wants to replace plywood simply because it got wet it's fine so long as the roofer pays for it.
If a roofer wants to replace felt because it got wet it's fine also, so long as the roofer is paying for it.
If said roofer attempts to charge the customer for unnecessary material removal & replacement this is very close to unethical behavior.

I trust a properly dried in roof over a tarp any day of the week, roof penetrations always get in the way of an effective tarp job.
The only time I tarp a dried in roof is in the winter to keep the snow off.
If tarps are working for you guys more power to you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that approach.

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  Post subject: Re: Tar paper / underlayment question bad roof job?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:17 pm 
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cdx grade plywood can get wet with out damage ,felt is temparay cover to protect content in the house ,but felt is paper base and not as water proof as it once was. because of asphalt prices today mamufactor don't a ply as much as they used to. it ok as a temp waterproof but i would roof in as soon as it dries if cannot before leaving for the day use a tarp for the night. and i agree with axiom.


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  Post subject: Re: Tar paper / underlayment question bad roof job?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:38 am 
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Almost all wood can get wet without damage as long as it has a chance to dry out.
Water NOT trapped under shingles dries out really fast.
It takes Many Many times of water getting under the shingles and FINALLY getting under the felt to START to rot out some wood.
Most of the responses to this thread disturbed me.(gary,northern point, john white)
I agree that the felt that most people buy is crappy and i wouldnt trust it through a rain without a tarp. But there are those of us who are willing to research and experiment and search out to buy the best roofing underlayments and know how to install them properly and can weather a storm.
I do have to say that it is increasingly difficult with only One layer of underlayment.
When the government wasnt telling me what to do, i would install my underlayment on TOP of the existing underlayments. I had full confidence that it could rain as hard as it wanted and as long as it wanted with zero fear. Now i am in constant fear if there is a chance of rain during the replacement.

Good post Axiom. Everything you said needed to be said.

In response to the original poster about the framing/framer and the visual line seen at the tie-in to the existing....
I am always in SHOCK when i Dont see a visual line at the tie-in.
I am in awe at the awesomeness of it. It is very difficult to build a foundation, build a structure, and then it to perfectly plain a different structure(possible on a different foundation) to come together at the top of the roof so perfectly that you cannot see a ridge line through the felt. I would consider just seeing a ridge in the felt a total success. In fact , many tie-in remodel/add on jobs i have seen over my time had a plain Difference.



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Agape (Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:16 am), bcdemon (Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:26 am)
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  Post subject: Re: Tar paper / underlayment question bad roof job?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:57 am 
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-Axiom- wrote:
Northern Point wrote:
Seems like so many roofing contractors agree and disagree on so many things around here. Let's keep in mind that building code is different for everyones region. But then again I've said that so many times before.

Anyhow, I'd highly recommend having him replace the tarpaper regardless. As far as the plywood being wet, ethically speaking as a contractor I would replace it (mind you I would've tarped everything off correctly in the first place) although it may not be completely ruined. How bad of shape it is in really depends. If it happens to be warped then I'd say to hell with it and replace it.



Plywood can be some funny stuff sometimes.
If it gets wet it can be just fine or delaminating all over the place, on the same roof with the same lot of plywood.
Whether or not plywood that has been wet needs to be replaced is determined on a case by case basis.
To remove and replace perfectly good plywood simply because it got wet is a colossal waste of resources and is not in the best interest of your customer.
It is in the best interest of the roofing contractor that likes to needlessly run up costs.

Roofing felt:
One of the purposes of roofing underlayment is to protect the structure from the weather during the reroofing/construction process.
It is not necessary to remove & replace felt because it got wet, in fact to do so would be another waste of resources for absolutely no gain whatsoever.

If a roofer wants to replace plywood simply because it got wet it's fine so long as the roofer pays for it.
If a roofer wants to replace felt because it got wet it's fine also, so long as the roofer is paying for it.
If said roofer attempts to charge the customer for unnecessary material removal & replacement this is very close to unethical behavior.

I trust a properly dried in roof over a tarp any day of the week, roof penetrations always get in the way of an effective tarp job.
The only time I tarp a dried in roof is in the winter to keep the snow off.
If tarps are working for you guys more power to you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that approach.


I agree 100%


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