Recourse when new roof installed over rotted beams?


Had a new modified bitumen roof installed on my home to replace a 25 year old roof. They tore off all old roofing, and replaced 110 feet of wood in the dutch gutters at the edges of the roof – BUT we now discover that they nailed the new roof and new wood for the gutters over rotting beams that had been damaged by prior leakage.

What recourse do I have? What can I ask the roofer to compensate me for?

My contractor has inserted new beams under the dutch gutters, at a cost of $4000. Roofers charged $1700 for the 110 feet of wood to replace the damaged dutch gutters, and charged appropriately for the roofing job. But they did not let me know that the beams beneath were rotted so that I could have properly replaced them at that time.


I’m sure your attorney will give you the answer to that question BUT the roofer should have notified you of the bad substrate before re-roofing. The roofer probably was worried that you would make him replace the wood under his estimate at no additional cost. This is a good lesson for both home owners and roofers… note on the contract that you are/are not responsible for rotten or damaged substrate and that any repairs necessary, upon approval by both parties, will be billed at an additional cost (whatever you like eg: time and material, $ per sq ft).


Attorney says that roofer was not responsible for the substrate, according to his contract - but should have notified me of the damage before proceeding, so that I could have paid him or my contractor extra to fix the rotted beams before they installed the new roofing. I tried to view the roof and to talk to their troubleshooter who was condescending and not responsive; the owner did not ever call me back.

I want to ask for damages and wonder what I can ask for. Any suggestions?



How rotten are we talking? Things dont need to be perfect for the roof to be installed. Maybe he thought they were sufficient.
Have you spoken to him yet


have not yet spoken to the roofer - and wanted first to have an idea of what recourse/compensation to request

as you can see in the photo, the beams beneath the dutch gutter are so rotted they are deformed. Rather than pound the new wood beneath the dutch gutters into the rotted beams, they should have notified me so that I could have had the roofers or a contractor of my choice replace the rotten beams. Instead we have had to individually cut and then insert parallel beams with water repelling glue alongside the rotten beams to hold up the new wood the roofers put in to replace rotten wood at the bottom of the dutch gutters at the edge of the roof

rotten = push the finger through the wood and it disintegrates
rotten = roofing nails pounded into the air alongside the remains of the beam (see that on the beam at the right)
rotten = soft wood that does not hold the fascia in place
these are seriously rotted beams!


That’s exactly what I’m going through. There has got to be some code somewhere preventing a roofer from putting a roof on over dry rot. Can somebody confirm this please?



15103230625928149613676984892559|666x500 I thought I did post pictures but I’ll post them again thank you for your patience


You should check with your local building inspector on code issues if you pulled a permit. As long as it is a nailable substrate there are no real enforceable issues in my area.

All off our contracta have a sq ft amount in then for the repair/replaced of rotted or usable decking. If the contractor didn’t offer to replae bad decking, shame on him. He is taking money out of his own pocket as well as not providing you with the best job he could have.