Is this the best solution?

I’ve posted before about the ridge vent on our low-slope, modified bitumen roof (leaking in with heavy rain, basically), and we finally reached the point where something needed to be done, so we called a roofer. He ripped off the old ridge vent (it was a crappy aluminum one), put in five static roof vents, and covered the ridge cut with tabbed shingles. At that point we needed a quick solution, and it was cheap, so we said go ahead. Long story short, one of the vents was improperly installed, we had more leakage, the guy came back to fix it and mentioned that to “do it right” would be to come back and torch mod bit over the hole rather than shingles. Why he didn’t “do it right” the first time is beyond me (although it can’t be done while it’s wet, right? maybe that’s it…). But should we insist he does that, even though the current shingled solution seems to be working? I can post pictures soon, but it’s a bit stormy today and not a good time to be climbing up there… Any comments?

Um, yeah - here’s a comment: While I might have two or 3 different versions of how a roof repair can be done, I will always explain these to the customer & try to effectively communicate the pro’s & con’s of each option (price being the probable determining factor for the customer).

I can’t figure out @ all why they would do a repair & say “yeah, well… that might not have been the best thing to do as compared to _______________ , which I didn’t mention.”

Seems you need a roofer vs. a weekend handyman.

The roofer may have read you as wanting the cheap repair. So he gave it to you. Just a bad salesman.

Here is a comment, too:

  • When you order cheap… you can’t complain when you get cheap, sorry.


Der Spenglermeister

i’ve gotten pretty helpful advice here in the past, so i’m surprised everyone is so focused on what HAS ALREADY HAPPENED and not on the real question, which is: what (if anything) can we do now?

yes, it was cheap – it was 8 a.m. on a sunday during a very stormy week and we had water coming from multiple holes in our ceiling, and we didn’t have a lot of options. whether the guy was a “weekend handyman” (which he isn’t) or a “bad salesman” (at that point, a salesman of any stripe would have really p1ssed me off) or whatever is really not the point. okay, all of you are better roofers that this guy. point taken. sorry i am such a misinformed consumer. but let’s move on:

on a low-slope (2 or 3:12), modified bitumen roof, what is the best way to cover over the hole left after a ridge vent is removed?

Pictures as always are helpful. He should have put something under the shingles he used for ridge-cap…Ice shield, anything…

Best way IMO is to remove the shingles he put on for ridge and then torch a strip of APP over the hole. Feel free to use a piece of 90lb. and modified cold cement if you’re feeling cheap.

I agree with Tar.

a low slope roof is better off with a couple of turbine vents.
no ridge vent works good on a low slope.


Ridge vents are for sloped and shingled roofs.

Question for you: Does this “ridge” have a slope on both sides, or is it the upper edge of a single-sloped roof?

If you have a “gable-type” roof with a true ridge, I would cap it with modified bitumen. Of course, I would properly fill any voids along the ridge first.

If you have a shed roof with a single slope, I would cap the “ridge” with a metal flashing.

Of course, this advice is given without seeing the actual roof, so it may not be the best advice under some circumstances.

If I read that right you said he was going to torch to shingles?
If so tell him to leave and find some one who knows how to roof because you should never torch to a shingle roof.
Without seeing the old ridge vent i can’t be sure but sounds like it would have been better to use a high quality ridge vent.

so, in the months after this was posted, we got very little rain, and none during the evening/night, when we are home to hear dripping. then the remnants of ike came through. more dripping from the SAME spot. so we call the company back, they say they will send someone to fix it. the “someone” – the same guy who did the “FIX” the first two times calls and says he will be out that week. this was last week. then i called this week, on monday. they say he’ll be out to fix it monday AND that he will torchdown to fix it. doesn’t show. i call wednesday. while i’m on the phone with the owner, he calls the roofer guy on the walkie talkie and i hear their conversation. owner says, you need to go out to this lady’s house. roofer (doesn’t know i’m there, too), says oh, that is just a patch job with some cement. owner says no, you need to do torch down. roofer whines for a few minutes. owner says, i don’t care how long it takes, just get it done right this time. owner hangs up with him, says to me that he’ll be out later that day. doesn’t show. it rains that night, more leaking. i call thursday. i’m getting a little perturbed. i say, listen, the guy never came, it rained on our drywall AGAIN and what the hell. the owner says, oh, i’m sorry, i’ll send him today. so, my husband happened to be home sick that day, and he sees the roofer arrive, climb a ladder with a bucket, come down 20 minutes later, and leave. he calls me and tells me, and at this point i KNOW this guy has NOT done the job right. i get home and sure enough, this guy has SLATHERED roofing cement EVERYWHERE up there. it is a disaster. so i call AGAIN and say, listen, i don’t know what kind of business you’re running, but your guy was here for 20 minutes this afternoon and made a complete mess of our roof. owner says, oh, well, we didn’t TELL him to do that. well, no crap. but he did it anyway, what are you going to do to fix it? he says, well, i’ll be out there personally tomorrow morning to fix it, i promise you. that was two days ago. nothing. WHAT CAN I DO??? this is a (supposedly) licensed and insured operation, and while the owners were very NICE on the phone, clearly these people are not adhering to any kind of professional standards whatsoever. please help. i’ve posted pictures at:
the first seven are from the first “fix”, the last few are from the THIRD “fix.”

Problem is the roofing cement. It is not uniformed. Make him come back and use a chalk line and you will be fine.

Only until it rains again though.

if i weren’t so mad about this, that would be funny…


There appears to be a gap in the “seam” (if you can call it that) just below the 4th tab from the L end. That could be a bad leak point right there…

That is about the most abysmal thing I think I have ever seen.

Because I’m somewhat confused, why is there a torchdown system on a ‘not low slope’ section that I seem to be seeing in that 3rd photo?

It’s time to get in contact with the state licensure offices, the city or county building & zoning departments, & the BBB.

Next, I would find out where the office is or the “owner” lives & stand on the sidewalk with a sign that says “My roof still leaks after 3 months of delays. IN MY OPINION, Co. XYZ are crooks. Ask me why.”

You MUST use the “in my opinion” or you’re opening yourself up to possible charges of slander.

You should absolutely get a high % of ALL your money back.

that photo you’re talking about just LOOKS more angled – it must have been the way i was standing. the whole roof is symmetrical, with the same pitch on both sides.

Downers, that only makes it worse. If your pitch is relative to the last photo, it appears to me that you have a 3:12 or better pitch.

& If you DO have a 3:12, a torchdown is the LAST thing I would put on there.

Photo # 1 had 4 exposed nails on the final ridge cap shingle, which is the 2nd one from the left.

2 and # 3 and # 5 all are incorrectly installed mushroom vents, (Pot Vents, Turtle Vents, etc…).

Plastic Roofing Cement, (bucket of tar as your husband stated), are not allowed s a repair on a modified bitumen roof system. The solvents contained within the product to allow it to remain pliable until
usage May get absorbed into the bituminous membrane prior to “Flashing” Out of the roof cement.

Standard roofing cement by itself, especially as sloppily installed will never be more than a short term fix. Even allowing for the usage of the plastic roof cement, there should have been a reinforcement mesh applied with a level and even troweling of roof cement first, then affix the asphalt saturated cotton or polyester reinforced membrane into the roofing cement and then a skin surface coating of roofing cement applied to the exposed surface of the reinforcement mat to inhibit weathering and deterioration from the UV rays of the sun.

6 shows again a sloppy application of roofing cement, missing the intended target, which was the sheet metal gravel stop perimeter edge metal flashing at the junction at the apex of the roof peak.

7 once again shows an exposed nail in a center of one of the ridge cap shingles, on the 2nd one counting from right to left.

The other more recent photos were too blurry for precise commentary, except to show how haphazardly and the roofing cement was applied and that they just made more of a mess of your brand new roof.

Cerberus had pointed out one portion of the proper repair, with that being the removal of the shingle ridge cap product and then filling in the space that May be under those shingles with wood and then applying a new torch down granulated material over that ridge area.

Now that all of that roofing cement is in place, it should ALL be removed and cut away so that a proper torch application can be provided, along with the filling in with wood underneath.

Additionally, if those ridiculously installed mushroom vents are to remain, they must be adhered and cemented in better than they are right now.

Where the roofing cement is connected to the thinner and weaker shingle material, this is what WILL eventually happen, and I mean in a relative few short seasons of weathering.

The roofing cement will dry up and turn gray. It will harden and start to shrink. When it starts to shrink, it will pull the weak shingle ridge cap product that it is currently attached to, with it, causing severe and extreme splits in the ridge cap area. The time frame I am speaking about will be anywhere between 2 full years to 4 or 5 years and then there will be splitting material on the roof.


Find a different roofing company, that one is clueless.
Legal means will get you money but it isn’t going to stop your roof from leaking…

You have been taking technical writing courses haven’t you Ed?

You have been taking technical writing courses haven’t you Ed?[/quote]



I have read and relished in the technical prowess about anything I have ever become passionate about.

Roofing and Ventilation just happen to be the ones that provide a means of support, but I thrive on the simplicity and the artful craftiness that should still be striven for. The simplicity is actually what endeavors to succeed in making the job more challenging and rewarding, especially when so many just Don’t Get It!!!

Gracias Amigo,


You are a great asset to the site Ed, I truly mean that.