Broken Rafters after roof reshingled
Our roof had been damaged by windstorm in March, roofing contractor redid roof 3 weeks ago. I noticed immediately that there was now a depression (about 4x4 foot) on the roof of my garage, about midway down (I took pre reshingling photos so I know it was not there before the work was done)...The roofing contractor has looked at it and agrees something is not right. I went up into attic, and noticed that there are 2 rafters that appear to have snapped down about 1-2 inches away from plywood at the outside wall (where the depression is)...
The roofing contractor sent his general contractor to inspect it, and his story is this: The rafter was probably like that already and must have been cut short of the wall, and simply left like that, but the original builder covered it up most likely by shimming additional sheets of shingles to cosmetically make it look level from the outside. I questioned him that this really happened? and he said probably, and he stated that the way to fix it would NOT be to correct the rafter, that would really not be necessary he said, but he said they could pull up some of the shingles and do the same thing that supposedly was done before, and that the issue is pure cosmetics of the roof, and that structurally it is the same as it was before....
I am obviously going to get a second opinion, outside of the roofing company, as this sounds like total BS to me...Luckily, the roofing contractor himself says he will do what I want, especially when I mentioned that I good friend of mine who is a well established contractor here in town is going to take a look for me...My friend says he sees this damage some, ususally caused by dropping the architectural shingle bundles at 80+pounds down hard...
So my question is for anyone with knowledge...Is the practice of shimming a roof with additional shingles a common practice by roofers to hide uneven surfaces underneath???
"Is the practice of shimming a roof with additional shingles a common practice by roofers to hide uneven surfaces underneath???"
No, it is not "common practice". It does get done, and sometimes it's not the worst fix for a certain situation.
Yup ya got roofers who roof over BOWED decking.. :lol: if there going to tear off shingles..why not fix the deck?
From what you've said, it sounds like they can jack up the rafters from inside the attic and then "sister" those two beams. I'm not sure of the particulars on your local building code though; they may need to be replaced. You should be able to call your local building dept and request an engineer or inspector come over and look at the damage. Keep in mind that if you do this though you may be forced to fix the issue asap.
Did you consider the possibility the rafters were cracked already and the weight of the roofer walking on it broke it the rest of the way? I think the likelihood of dropping a single bundle of shingles on the roof from shoulder height and breaking a rafter is quite slim. I assume there was decking on top of the rafters. When that bundle would have been dropped, the force wouldn't be applied directly on that single rafter but would have been dispersed, at least to a degree, across the surface of the piece of decking and the support framing under that piece of decking. And BTW, bundles of shingles get dropped on the roof's surface tens of thousands of time every single day of the year. It is naive and simply wrong to think that the guys on the roof gently lay down every single bundle they handle. And they shouldn't have to. If a rafter breaks from the force of a single bundle of shingles being dropped 5', that rafter was already weakened anyway.
Now a top notch roofing contractor is probably going to want to work with you to resolve this issue and try to make you satisfied. However, don't be confused into believing he did something wrong or is even liable for those damages. It is very possible the damage already existed or the resulting damage would have happened regardless of who did your roof. Unless you personally witnessed, or have an eye witness, of the roof crew doing something negligent, I would abstain from making accusations and placing blame.
I think Tar Monkey's suggested fix makes the most sense.
The roofer is being very cooperative, my issue is really with the correct fix, doing a shimming underneath seems to be just plan wrong, and most likely to still not look good, and I really doubt it was like that in the first place...I can certainly see that the rafter could have been weak, and should be able to withstand normal weight, but I was also home during a good part of the process, and the slam of bundles hitting the roof, even where I was on the 1st floor was absolutely like a shockwave going through the ceiling...and there are two rafters that have been damaged, at least as I can tell..
My friend mentiond that the plywood must be secured to the corrected rafter again (sister rafter ?), and this really should be done from the outside surface, so this means removing shingles....how much of an issue is there for matching consistence with the arcitectural shingles and proper color match from most likely will be different lot numbers? Do they need to just remove and replace that one section, or does it require the entire side of the roof to be redone ? Just looking at what would be the best method without any compromises...
If my house were on the market, and I was a buyer, I would immediatly see that something is wrong with the roof, and would consider that a major issue...
Thanks for all of your help guys..Glad I found this forum...
Shingles can be reused if done right.
I doubt roofers caused this. I believe a look at break point will tell the tale. Aged break or fresh one.
Many homeowners wait and take the roofer down for a know issue, not saying you are.
Easy fix. Just needs done.
For the record, I took full photographs of every angle of the roof before they started, just because I am anal retentive about record keeping and documentation, so kinda glad I did, and it certainly was not an issue before the roof was redone...It was the roofer that contacted me regarding the need to reroof ddue to storm damage, otherwise, I would have never cared to replace the roof actually....but I certainly could see where someone could be deceiptful.....
Again, the roofer is being very compliant with wanting to fix it, I just don't want compromises to be done and want to be educated in what I tell them I want done, not just based on what his general contractor should be the remedy...
Whaat would be a sign that the 2 rafters were weak to begin with ?
after seeing your pics I'm inclined to agree with the gc that inspected it, where the rafter sags it looks like a clean cut at the end and not a break. From the pic it's hard to tell what exactly is holding that rafter in place, I'm betting the original builder just nailed a block to the top-plate to hold it up instead of getting a new one to replace it after it was cut short. Just a wild guess there though :), could be a joist hanger behind that insulation set too low also
I agree with most every one here....It may not be the roofers fault...could have been a situation that just happen while they were there. There is a lot of movement, pounding, and some bundles not so gently layed down on the deck...but not enough force to snapp a truss. Sort of the same situation when you hop into a friends car and it breaks down when you drive it!
The fix....Remove all the shingles and plywood from the area where the two truss's are located. If you can do one truss from fascia to ridge board...then add a sister truss to each rafter. Re-install all plywood, and then re-install re-usable shingles and/or brand new shingles. If you do have a different shade look in the shingles applied...it will blend in over several months. If you do not plan on selling...I wouldn't even make that and issue.
Shingle lots use to matter ...but hardly no issue today.
This can be an expensive burden to the roofing contractor as there is no clear issue he did anything wrong. You want it done right, negotiate a sume that you will pay that is fair to all.
I have worked for companies who have written language in contracts that " if your roof/structure is in bad shape, it will not be our fault if it causes more damage in the process of working on your roof" (not exactly the legal wording...but you get the jest). Anyways we enforce the contract, but through ongoing negotiations, it usually turns out that both parties spit the difference.
The idea here (by this contract wording) is that the contractor would have gotten the full benefit of a change order due because of an existing issue. contractor here seems compliant, negotiate to get it done right!
Our contract has wording to that effect under hidden and unknown conditions. The thing I tell our Customers is if we're negligent and something is broken, we fix it. If something is already broken and we discover it during the roof construction, they pay for it. If something is broken during the normal course of the roof construction, they pay for it. In other words, if what was broken would have happened regardless of the roofing contractor being used, the roofing contractor shouldn't have to pay for it.
the pictures have insulation in the way to see clearly, the story is bull most likely the rafter is broke and needs to be repaired or replaced. the original roofer did not fill it in. looks like i can see a possible break at the top of the pic. have it fixed it is not cosmetic.