Worst Roofing Experience

This is an idea I got from another thread so I thought I would ask since no one else has. What is everyones worst experience related to roofing? Whether it is a company you worked for or an employee or a customer, what was it? I think everyone takes interest in hearing others horror stories (at least I do).

The worst company I worked for was when I was younger and they didnt allow you to wear a tool belt. At first I thought it was a joke but after the third day on the job I realized they were serious. Imagine how irritating that was. Go to the ridge to grab your hammer and your nails. Go back up to put it back. Go back to get a coil. Go back up to grab your knife. And so fourth. After a week of that garbage I had enough.

I also had an employee who was using that I did not know about. I had him and a laborer on one little 14sq job together a few years back. The laborer calls me and tell me that the roofer fell asleep with his weiner out while peeing down the stink pipe and he had to wake him up while he was falling over.

Worst customer I will not even get into. The best moment was when it started to rain and the homeowner asked me if its okay if the shingles get wet?At first I laughed but then found out he was serious and felt like an ass.

Take Care Guys.

I recently answered an add on CL for roofing jobs on Government Bases. Simply because I’ve roofed on Government Bases for 20 years.

They told me there was only one steep roof and it would be done before I got there next week, but the rest was 5/12 pitch, they would furnish my motel because I would be the crew leader and I had the air compressor, nail guns , and all the tools needed, and they would pay me 15.00 an hour.

When I got there they changed it to 15.00 a square, no motel, and the roof was a 10/12 on the 1 story part,a 12/12 on the 2 story part, however the back was 3 story. Needless to say, we had to run eve metal , ice and water sheild in the vallies and walls ,plus step flashing.

I found a free campground outside Delonega,Ga that had a nice stream next to it. The water was a cold mountain stream and the spot I picked had rocks lined up funneling the water into a built in tub with a big rock to sit on. The girl at the store filled both coolers with ice for me, so she helped get the job done.

Don’t follow this road past the camping area, there is no where to turn around until you get to the top,1 lane gravel road twisting through the mountain, takes 45 minutes to get to the top and there’s just a circle to turn around when you get there. Someone had crashed in an airplane and made a monument out of it.

The experience was wonderful, I took lessons in campworld and had a great time and I only lost 400.00 dollars doing the roof.I never got paid.

Had a home owner once ask if we could dip his cedar shakes in water prior to installing so they would be less likely to split.

Had a home owner pick up a 5/16in hammer tax clip and ask if this is what we were using to fasten the shingles.

Had a home owner once do a back flip off the ladder/roof.

This year had a 78 year old home owner help me level out the 50sq dump trailer load.

Yesterday had a 72 year old home owner slip on a hose while watching us shingle.

Can’t think of any horror stories, just strange stories.

well…just this past friday, the guys finished at noon and came back to the office.

I told them to hang out for a minute while i run to the bank to transfer the money for payroll checks.

I get 1/2 way out of the parking lot, and realise i forgot my cell phone. I go back and find my older brother (who is my 2nd in command) rummaging through my desk. I say to him “Thats FUKKIN real nice, what are you doing!!?” He says he is looking to see how many hours he had last week. I slam the door and peel out of the parking lot…so he knows im pissed.

When i come back and sit at my desk and start signing the checks, he walks in and sits down. He says i wont find his check in there because earlier in the day he came and cashed it.

So…not only did he lie about what he was looking for in my desk (he already knew his hours because he stole his check)but he also forged my name on it.

So i fired him. He is there primarily to watch my back…why do i need to watch the person who is there to watch out for me :evil:

I paid him $18/hr, $55,000 company take home truck, paid his rent, gas, insurance, cell…wtf is wrong with people. Cant even trust your older brother.

Funny you guys are talking about this my laddervater broke 3 days. later new one broke mind you this was the last couple of days compressor is messed up got the gas powered 8 gallon dewalt hard to start went got money back bought 9 gallon gas powered hitachi fantastic and drove about 28 sq me and 2 others today 12 pitch oh and the fastest roofer I’ve ever seen cuts his finger off in my 40’ ladder just trying to take it apart

haha…this thread is awsome…I got so many of 'em…
one of the worst was years ago at the IBM facility in upstate NY…Huge flat roof , about 2000+ square at least.Tear off was extremely high dosed pitch,tons of i-beams and mounting for huge hvac units/pipes/etc, (you think of it that shit was on there and in your way…rip coal tar pitch from like 4pm till 7 or 8 am the next day…lay down dens deck and tremco cold process(with horrible pitch burn) then back at the rip again…over and over for about 4 months…then days at GE schenectady(10,000square) 2 hours away and back to ibm at night…100+hours a week…my first real experience…never looked back…i’ve got some pics to upload if anyone cares to see them…
…I like some of the other stories on here…this is definately an interesting thread.

I remember thoose kinda days. we used to rip pitch and put hot pitch back. in the union it was another dollar an hour to put it back but not to rip. I remember the helpers would quit on the spot or not return from lunch. It was like Hell but for some sick reason I kind of liked it. luckily when a slate job came I was off the flat crew.

I’ll just hint at what we were uncovering on a large confectionery plant while working there for several months in a row.

Cockroaches and Mice.

They had tunnels along every parapet wall at every clerestory building through the old cant strips.

We had to tie our pant legs and long sleeve shirt cuffs with mop yarn to prevent them from climbing up our pant legs or up our arm sleeves.

Oh, and all of the sweat bees by the sugar shack unit too. They didn’t sting, but it was weird walking through swarms of them all around your face.


couple of good ones come to mind…

ripped a 200 sq pitch BUR on a freezer plant…
leaking areas were all frozen rigid insul +…
slowest going job I have ever been on.
Fenway Franks building.

Hospital job…2 things…
Had an agreement with the dumpster guy…
we filled dumpster 1/2 full each day…
they came at night to swap out for empty unit.
Shoots to can, Canvas cover to reduce dust…we ripped 5am-7;30, then closed in for the day. One morning delivery driver
told me that dumpster was over flowing…BFI never swapped out can…
they sent big rig…blew a few hoses…sent a second truck…same thing…brought in a bull dozer…couldn’t budge it…pitch in can was melted together…huge chunks…waited until evening…dug a hole…buried 35 yard dumpster.
still there far as I know…
same job… larger pumper kettle…rope to roof,
jammed up controls…broke rope…kettle man used a hammer to shut off spigot, snapped it off…
4 inches of asphalt flooded around 4-5 cars and into drains…very messy day.

41 years roofing…I got a million stories…stay tuned…I was gonna write a book about this very topic


hahaha…never heard of anyone burying a dumpster…thats funny (kind of).

Yeah, i have to hear more about the buried dumpster. That is awesome. Did you dig the hole right next to the dumpster and then pushed it in?

How much did you end up paying him for all that?
A whole dumpster and multiple truck repairs…

Please tell us more. :smiley:

dumpster guys ate the cost…took responsibility
for not swapping out etc. their bulldozer buried the can etc…Far as I know…it was never mentioned again…until now…32 years later.

my worst involves a fatality…thats all im saying

I had a homeowner come up the ladder of a Garage, Roof was very icy. I yelled at him stay on that ladder He would not listen. Next thing I know he’s gone, last thing I saw was one arm reaching and his boots. He landed on his ass unhurt and very lucky.He did admit to me later that he was sore for a very long time. I laugh now but was very serious situation. Everybody thinks they are a roofer but only a few of us make a livin at it!

Once a roofer always a roofer

<<<<not mentioning fatalities,
serious and/ or fatal injuries
or burning down any churches and
industrial structures,

except for the one guy that slipped
off of a small entry vestibule
railing repair and impaled
his right arm on a wrought
iron 8 ft tall fence.

Can you say ewwwwwwwwww and ouchhhhhhhhh
at the same time…

We just had a job where the H.O. sat in a lawn chair on the ridge the ENTIRE job. 4 days, asking questions the entire time.


[quote=“JamesFL”]We just had a job where the H.O. sat in a lawn chair on the ridge the ENTIRE job. 4 days, asking questions the entire time.


See my “nightmare” thread and you will know exactly why they did that. :wink:

[quote=“JamesFL”]We just had a job where the H.O. sat in a lawn chair on the ridge the ENTIRE job. 4 days, asking questions the entire time.


…man I would HATE that.
Chopping out ice dams when it is so cold your cigarette won’t stay lit. That’s my worst.

Chopping out ice dams when it is so cold your cigarette won’t stay lit. That’s my worst.[/quote]

if thats your worst… then you have a cake job.

worst for the day.

working on a functioning hospital facility,
numerous roof enclosures surrounded by parapet
walls with internal roof drain systems.
Pyramid type situation where top roof was a 12x12
structure, and next level down was an 8 ft
area surrounding this 12x 12 roof. Middle of a hurricane, got the call that water was leaking into
the emergency room operating area. Went in at 3:30 AM.
Discovered that roof drain on next to top level was clogged and roof areas were filling in above the wall flashing, which was approx 8 inches above roof.
First solution was to install hanging parachute type
temporary interior roof drains to re-direct interior leaks.
(Polish parachute?)(upside down umbrella with a hose attached to a sink drain) Second task was to remove water from overfilling roof areas. Buckets wouldn’t keep up with rain so, we busted thru parapet wall, and built temp scuppers out of Ice and water shield.
Permanent solution to avoid repeat?
Scuppers were added to all areas as an overflow
option. But at the time…6 men worked 12 hours
in this nightmare.