Painting Plywood and Supporting Lumber?


Would there be any advantage in painting the plywood and supporting lumber on a roof in order to prevent
rotting if a leak were to occur?

It seems reasonable to me that such protection could be quite helpful.


Best way to preventing wood from rotting is to have good ventilation , use good underlayment, good flashing, and do a quality installation. Spend the time and money on better quality roofing materials rather than paint.


Complete waste of time. If your roof is leaking the paint won’t help anything.


Thank you for your replies.

Yes, I realize that painting or ruberoiding will not correct our current situation.
What I am thinking is that if we were to include this in the upcoming re-roof, then there would
at least be protection. All of the structural lumber and plywood are currently fully bare.

Any leakage could cause serious damage to the wood.
Protecting the wood with something makes a great deal of sense.


Honesty would just throw up major red flags for home inspectors in the future.

To do a legit paint job, like we do in our exterior wood trim, prime, 2 coats of quality paint, even if you could spray it would cost a few hundred dollars a square to do both sides. You would also have to leave the roof open for a few days for the paint to dry.

For 20$ a square you could put ice shield on whole roof. For for the cost it would cost to paint you could do one heck of a shingle upgrade.


Thanks MPA!

I would not have believed that it would be so expensive!
This might be a great thing that a homeowner could do on the side once the plywood is on site.

Probably would not cost much to do yourself and then the roofers could just install it.
The one thing that did worry me was that painted plywood when wet might be dangerous to walk on
(i.e. before they installed the shingles).


Spend your money on the best roof you can afford, when it leaks and there is water dripping out of your bedroom ceiling in the middle of the night painted plywood isn’t going to help


Just my opinion but I would probably walk away from the job if the customer wanted to complicate a job like that. You could end up scaring off a really good contractor and end up with a subpar one hurting for work.


Yes, this is true it is best not to overthink things.

Yet, the contractor who now appears set to clinch the contract was the most innovative.
They used an online app that measured and immediately quoted a price.

Innovation gives people an edge.
Simply doing what everyone else is doing means the competition is one step behind.

For instance, if one of the roofers had offered a drone inspection, there is no doubt that
they would have won the contract. A contractor that was willing to go with painting or
ruberoiding likely would have also been favored.

In the age of technology, people expect that every good and service will be carefully and continuously
considered for any possible useful innovation. It is very surprising that any modern industry would
expect otherwise. However, in our contacts with the roofers some of them clearly did not understand that
their efficient and innovative use of the technology was the primary differentiator that we would use to determine
whether they secured the contract.


Technology is all good and pretty, however nothing is better in roofing than physically getting on the roof and walking around. Sattalites are routinely off on there measurements. Drones take pretty pictures of shingles, but a drown can’t tell the deck is rotted or something is flashed incorrectly.


This is one of those times when one makes a choice and those not
chosen never have an explanation. There is no learning moment for them.
Our choice all came down to innovation.

The roofer that we chose was the most innovative and used technology in the most
interesting ways. It is important to reward those who make and adopt innovations
and if there were a roofer who had some exceptionally cool roboroofer with a very
creative use of fall protection etc., then there is no doubt they would have won the contract.

It is true that they might not have been the best nor most experienced roofers, though
they would have clearly understood that just as every other sector in a modern economy,
roofing is in the technology industry.


I fail to see why people would choose someone when they are fully aware they “might not be the best or most experienced”, just cause they wowed you with one of the roof measuring apps. There is a time and place for technology and innovation, but there is also a place for proven practices and knowledge. Anyway, good luck in the future.



Right wish you island, we have plenty of rewiwes that’s say price wasn’t an issue, we choose your company because out of the 5 company’s we had come out you were the only company that actually went on our roof.


The most important questing a homeowner should ask is… Who will be installing my new roof?

Will it be your fully insured hourly employees?

Will it be subcontracted?

If subcontracted, what subcontractor will be used on my job? How long have you been subbing work to that crew, how much experience do they have ? Are they fully insured, alot of states don’t require subs to pay WC only to have a cheap liability policy.

See countless instances in person and on here where people think they are hiring a reputable company and end up with the cheapest sub crew the company can find.

We have a company advertising on the radio around here “all roofs installed in 1 day”…not sure who that attracts but when making a substantial investment in your home do you really want the contractor rushing to get it done in a day?


In my area the only people who use the satalite images are the smooth talking salesmen. They are usually afraid to go on the roof and know nothing about roofing other than their big prereahersed sales pitch that they give to every homeowner.


Yes, that is exactly what would happen.


Silly way to hire a roofer. Not in the “technology” business at all, shingle roofing hasn’t changed much since it was first invented. Heck I still hand nail a good bit of the time.
If your roofs walkable there is no reason not to get up there and take a real look.


This is true that the actual job of roofing has likely not changed substantially in a very long time, though technology
can still help in several ways.

For example, to communicate better with customers. One of the roofers we wanted to hire was not interested in replying to our emails. Needless to say that roofer did not make the cut.

Also, by watching the GAF videos I was surprised that roofers were expected to hand cut starter shingles on site to keep alignment with rows underneath. Hard to believe that this would not all be pre-cut.

Another innovation that might help would be to have a GPS or video monitor on the nail gun. Knowing the exact placement of all the nails on a roof would be a great quality assurance measure. A roof could be signed off as having all the nails where they belonged. A video that I watched called misplaced nails as one of the largest problems in roofing.

Sometimes it is only when you start thinking in terms of technology and innovation do you realize that such innovative
thinking can apply to almost anything. Rewarding the people who embrace new innovations drives better quality products forward to dominate the market.


Misplaced nails are a problem, that’s why you want an experienced crew installing your roof. The key isn’t to always nail correctly 100% of the time…it is when something is nailed wrong stop and correct it, rather just keep going and pretend you didn’t see it.

I Watched a sales guy with a 5000$ camera shooting fancy YouTube videos walk right off the edge of the roof while looking through the lens instead of where he was walking, luckily he fell into a lower roof where 2 of the guys could grab him and keep him from going off the edge. Roofing is a dangerous profession requiring experience and proper insurance. Not fancy gimics and toys.

We will email anything you want, but will not begin work on your property with out a signed paper contract, for your protection and ours.


Yes, you are totally correct: Many of those YouTube roofing videos look extremely dangerous.
It would not take much if you paid more attention to the camera than the roof to have a serious
fall. I doubt if many of those involved with those videos are using proper at height safety

Yet, I would without question pay a premium price if I were provided with unequivocal evidence
that the nailing was done with precision.

Rewarding innovation leads to a market with better quality products.

Some simple electronics within the nailing gun could achieve this which would have no
impact on nailing performance nor worker safety. The GAF video that I watched noted that
various nailing problems can result in poor quality roofing jobs and it is in fact the largest
problems of roofing. One of the most important that they mentioned was “high nailing”.
This could lead to shingles loss during windy weather.

As a consumer there is no possible way now for you to have complete certainty that every nail
was placed correctly or if there were a mistake that it was fixed. Some workers obviously would
not care. A consumer could always look from the attic side though this would not be a complete inspection.

Innovation can lead to better products.