Roofer Broke Decking Hammering on New Shingles

It’s normally a better choice on a plank deck like this – when you’re roofing over underlay with a nailer it’s often hard to tell when your row lands on the lap between planks, which can result in a whole row with really weak nails – especially if someone is not paying attention which may be the case here.

If you handnail it you can feel whether the nails are hitting home or not and adjust the position accordingly.

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Fair point. Experienced guys with a gun can tell if they are missing solid wood but rookies or guys who just don’t care in general may struggle with that.

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I’m not a roofer but a consumer myself so my opinion will differ from “roofers” who do this for a living. If this was my roof I would be pissed and I would not feel it to be my obligation to pay for repairs. This guy does it for a living, he should know what will happen and advise customer in advance of possible outcome.

If the boards were that weak he should not have agreed to do the job w/out stating they need to be replaced or he would not be responsible for damage to existing planks.

The customer should have been told this may happen and proceed from there before work was started. Doing the work and causing damage like this then saying it is normal while the customer is in the dark the whole time is ignorant on the installer.

I say make him repair for free and next time he wants to undercut a professional he could explain “why” his install is so cheap to begin with.

Good morning and thanks to all who have contributed thus far. This roofer was recommended by a realtor who manages property. I trusted her. The cost to remove old and install new was $10,000. I did not get a bid from the well known, honest but expensive roofer. One other roofer had quoted me $10,000 also but was from Houston (100 miles away–chasing the hail storm that had come through here.)
I enjoy working with wood myself and even doing repairs here and there. Even I can feel when my nail has sunk into the wood and when it went into a blank space. Looking at the list of Home Inspectors—I wondered who would be truly knowledgeable and who would write up any kind of report.
Watching one of the crew nail on shingles…he would reach in his bag, place a nail and hit it, then hit the shingle 2 more times coming across it, then put his hammer head in the hand holding the nails and then finish that shingle with one last lick. It LOOKED like he only used 2 nails–one on each end. But I thought surely that cannot be. I have looked for simple things that I knew better regarding the install. The flashing for some roll roofing has gaps in it I can stick my fingers in…no caulk. I ‘blue roofed’ that until someone else could see it. Also, I mentioned a leak in a place on the garage and asked why the flashing was not replaced there. He said he had looked at it and there was no rust on it so he had left it on. This is on a little porch overhang at the end of garage. Later I had looked at the underneath of the porch and when he was hammering on the new shingles, there is rotted board busted through—obviously shingled over rotten wood. There are 2-3 other things I found. I will try to upload a pic or three on what I have mentioned.

Here’s another of the blue roof job I had to do to cover the flashing that was not caulked. Will try to get a still shot showing that.

I will also add that when he removed the old roofing he left the old felt and never saw the roof itself. He did install an underlayment that is silicon—I believe that is what he said it was. I took pics of the old felt on there and the new stuff he put on. Some of it was blue and some of it was white. Sometimes I did see him pass up 3 tab shingles to the crew and they were using them as starter shingles instead of true starter shingles. Didn’t know if that was an issue or not.

You hired a storm chaser, this is what they are notorious for doing.

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Axiom…thanks for chiming in. I didn’t make myself totally clear…sorry. A storm chaser did come by and give that same $10,000 bid. But I nixed him and went with this local referral from the realtor/property manager. Obviously he makes sure he does good work for her to keep the jobs coming. He didn’t realize tho (looking at an older, gray headed lady) that I would be climbing on the roof and in the attic looking at his work and reaching out to pro’s like you guys.
I am honest. I will pay for work that is done. But I will not pay for his rip off.
This site has been tremendous help. I believe there are great people on here trying to help those of us who do not know your industry and need honest and caring comments. I am not looking for those who will just agree with me. I need the truth about this job and how to fairly handle it.

I have a general policy of decking over plank decks because they splinter when nailing into them, there are voids between the planks that some courses fall on, the rake ends are usually unsupported, and they are frequently kind of rough as far as smoothness is concerned.

They (plank decks) pretty much always need to be renailed which rarely gets done, there are frequently knot holes which need to be covered, etc.

Were you given an option to redeck the roof?


Hi Axiom–No, he never offered information regarding that option. He pretty much came in and hustled to get the job done. I admired that, thinking they were good hard workers. And don’t get me wrong…anyone who does roofing works hard, whether their standard is high or low is another topic :slight_smile:
Here’s a pic of the flashing on the house…it stands out enough in places I can put my finger between it and the wall.
I would really like to cut my losses with the broken boards, strip off this roof and pay to have this all done correctly. I even wondered what a metal roof would cost.

oops Forgot to add photo…also took a shot of the flashing on the garage. He caulked nails and old nail holes and SOME along the top…not all the way. None along the bottom. I was able to slip a sliver of wood under one of the gaps. That little porch roof faces south. A lot of our rain comes from south and southwest. Pitch on that roof is not very steep.

Top of flashing needs some screws and caulking.

Thank you roof_lover. I wasn’t sure what was the correct way to install that. And like I said, I didn’t want to do something wrong trying to fix it right now. That is the flashing on the house that I have covered with the blue tarps. What kind of screw and caulking would you buy for doing that? I won’t do anything until I can get someone to see if it is all too big a mess which would mean wipe it clean and do the job right…new plywood decking, etc.

New step in the mix. Roofer has said he will have supply company put a lien on my house unless I pay him. Can this be done?
I would like to pay him but subtract the payment of having the damages/poor workmanship taken care of. Wouldn’t that be fair?
Only problem is, to do the repairs and take care of properly installing roof it would mean removing all of new materials plus the old felt he did not remove to get to the damages and to see the places that have rotten wood that he put new shingles over.
Does anyone have any suggestions in how they would handle this? Thank all you professionals who are honest and will be fair toward us both.

When we say shingles must be removed to do this repair we don’t mean the entire roof needs to be removed. Its just a few shingles that are above the bad wood area. And yes he can put a lien on your house if you haven’t paid. I’m not sure how the laws work in every state but not sure if you can subtract money for a repair without giving him the option to do the repair himself.

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Thank You IslandRoofing—all of this is so foreign to me. My thoughts are is why would you want someone to do the repairs who didn’t do a job very well in the first place.
And with so many ‘isolated’ places to repair, it seems it would just open me up to future leak problems.
I did not ask if he had insurance when we first met; nor did I do a lien waiver—just read about that on the internet. I think the fact that a roofer can do a lien is great—for honest roofers. They need to be protected as much as the homeowner.
Wish I could find a good roof inspector–honest and knowledgeable. Then I feel I would be dealing with the roofer on a fair foundation…for him and me both.
Any comments or suggestions how to proceed with setting up an agreement for him repairing the damages and getting paid? Something that will cover me from him extracting more pay?

In Ohio the contractor has the right to fix his work. At what point do you hire an attorney? I feel like you are at that point. Most will do a free initial consultation.

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Thank you RooferOhio for responding. Right now, it’s like having a surgeon who botched one surgery on you being hired to do another surgery on you. I am gun shy of having this man try to repair his damage.
I did find out that his bill for the materials is paid…he told me the bill was not paid. I did find out that no one can put a lien on the homestead of someone in Texas. He told me the company would put a lien on my home.
That gives me a little breathing room. So at the moment I will be searching for a roof inspector and go from there.
I will say, if the roof materials can be salvaged, I will pay the roofer for that outlay. Otherwise, I am having to try to learn a smidgen of this complex industry called roofing and get some expertise involved to fairly resolve this thing.
This website with so many truly professional roofers with admirable ethics and scruples has been more help than you can imagine. Thank you all for your input so very much.

Correction on lien info. A lien can be put on a homestead, the homestead just cannot be seized. Searching hi and lo for inspector who knows roofs to get a report of status of roof.
Also looking for an agreement type document that when I settle with the roofer we will both have a signed document that the interaction is completely and 100% satisfactorily closed. I was thinking that this could be signed in front of a notary at my bank where I could give him a check and he could cash it right there. Any comments on that line of thought?

You need to give the contractor you have a contract with the opportunity to fix his work and then pay him. Shingles are cheap, you don’t want him to try to salvage them. Each repair might only be 2-3 shingles. Pull the existing shingles out, fix the wood, put in a few new shingles. Most of your issue stems from the old felt not being removed and the deck not being inspected for defects before installing the new roof. It still baffles me why someone would go to the trouble of removing the old shingles and not spend a few extra minutes to peel off the felt so they know what they are dealing with.

All of our contracts state remove all existing roofing material, inspect wood deck, replacement decking X$ per sq ft.