Contractors...Make me pull my hair if I had any!

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.
Status
Not open for further replies.

jb6l6gc

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2015
820
Cayuga, Ontario, Canada
Well wife and I were planning to have our roof re-done in the spring as I noticed it's starting to look a bit rough. No curled or missing shingles just starting to deteriorate. Well last week with a nasty wind and ice storm we had, unfortunatly the roof has started leaking in a spot. In full panic mode I start calling around to roofers and wasonly able to get one locally on the phone, he agreed to come out and take a look. He came and looked and quoted me 8g's. Fine whatever said he could drop materials monday and do work tues or wed.
Monday - no show no call, we call says tues for material drop
Tues - no show no call, we call says wed for drop thurs for work
this morn- no show no call, wife calls says he will try to drop materials today

Shows up at noon with some materials, but says no skylight so he's just gonna do roof and leave 26yr old skylight, to which we both did not agree with. Why would I put a new lifetime warrenty roof on and leave 26yr old skylight, just to have that leak in the future.
So needless to say wife fired roofer and told him to take his materials and go, even though Im stressed I agree with her decision. Plus she contacted other roofers and they advised against doing the roof at this time of the year as the shingles will not seal and said to tarp the area and wait for spring.

Now I have to somehow tarp the affected area and find a hopefully good contractor.

I am debating learning how and doing the roof myself in the spring.
I absolutly hate hiring contractors for anything as I rarely can say I've had a good expierience.

If anyone can share any tips about tarping a roof from a leak or roofing in general that would be awsome

RANT OVER
 
Learning to do a shingled roof is not hard, assuming the access is reasonable it all comes down to what is your time worth and how comfortable you are on a roof. Its not rocket science but it is a lot of grunt work and if you are not used to it its going to wear you out. Roofers do it quicker so they can time the day but DIY you need a back up plan. Its important to know how many layers of roof you have installed. If there is more than one, you need to strip the roof. You can install a second roof on top of the old one but I strongly urge you not to as you don't get to fix the issues under the old roof. If you do strip the roof do yourself a favor and buy a big tarp for the ground under the roof, it you don't put down tarp you will be picking up nails and bits of shingles for years.

I agree winter is not the time to replace a roof. Its expensive and it may not seal well. If you know where the damage is its sometime more effective to buy a roll of aluminum flashing and weave in the flashing under the shingles starting a few courses above the leak point and then down over it. Use roofing nails to hold the flashing down and use roofing tar to seal the nail heads. The key is you need to get the back edge of the flashing under the nail line of the shingle and above the throats of the slits on the shingles. You can buy a special pry bar that slides up under the shingle and remove the nails. A tarp on a roof doesn't work well unless you over the entire roof. Wind will want to blow it away and water usually will get under it.

Its pretty rare that shingles leak unless the roof is beat, its usually a detail like flashing or roof boots. If there are any roof penetrations above where the leak is take a good look at them as its very likely that's where the leak is. Leaks also occur in valleys frequently so that a another place to watch
 
I believe where the leak is, is where a previous repair was done with tar, looks to be about a 2ftx2ft section. Only one layer of shingle installed which i fully intend to remove. I do have a friend of a friend who is a roofer who im trying to get ahold of. Id prefer to give him the job and help him do it so I can learn as my shop will be in need of re shingling as well. I believe this shingles are cracking between the tabs. I thought it would make it to the spring as they arent curling and there is non missing but I guess I was wrong.

My time is worth money but Id be happy to do the grunt work and have never shyed away from hard work as ling as its worth my while, I am pretty comfortable on a roof too as mine isnt too steep. My old house not so much it was a 1:1 pitch

At this point Im just trying to figure out a decent way to get through the winter and stop the leak until it can be done properly in the spring

Last thing I need is more damage, It only got wet once and dried right out
 
I had my roof done this year. There were almost as many shingle tabs on the ground as there were on the roof (it was getting bad). I contracted it out in the fall but we were hit with early winter so I deferred the job to the spring. +1 on waiting for good conditions if you can. Any roofer (any contractor for that matter) will be able to do their best work when conditions are not miserable. Materials will cooperate as well in the better weather.. Our roofer offered to come out and patch any leaks in the interim, which was pretty cool, but we managed to hold off until the snow cleared and we got a nice week. Ask your roofer if they'll work it into the job for you.

It's not rocket science but it's hard work and if you don't have a crew you might have to bank on extra time, weather delays, etc. I'm a die hard DIY but it sure was nice to leave for work one day and come home to a new roof the next.

Good luck.
 
Paging @Hogwildz call in the lobby for Hogwildz.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jb6l6gc
Why do I get the feeling me and peakbagger are gonna get a lecture on roofing and rocket science when Hogwildz shows up :eek:...?
 
do u think its possible I could tar a membrane down on the area. I'd prefer not to use a tarp and nail it into roof for fear of creating more problems
 
thinking maybe I could buy some grace ice and water shield and tar it down over the area.
 
Hiring a contractor out of the blue like that is only asking for trouble. In the US I use Home Advisor.com. Its a service that only licensed and insured contractors can belong to. As a customer, you can see their reviews and previous ratings. As a contractor I belong. I've used them on both ends. It works well. Free to the homeowner. The contractor pays.
 
ya in Canada you dont need to be licensed for allot of trades. ie. roofing/plumbing/framing.
Insured yes but licensed no! I do agree though I was rushing a bit as a water leak into my wife's home office is a huge deal to me, if you knew the value of equipment i there you would cringe, I know I do sometimes lol
 
thinking maybe I could buy some grace ice and water shield and tar it down over the area.

Ice and water shield is inherently sticky and bonds permanently to many surfaces if its heated which is why it works so well. In another thread we were discussing using a heat gun or a hair dryer to warm it up so it sticks in cold weather and I have done that in the past. There is no advantage in tarring it down. It still needs a good surface to adhere to and old shingles are just about as bad a surface as can be. Ice and water shield is also not rated for UV resistance. It breaks down in the sun but might last a winter. Water running down a roof is going to get under whatever you apply so you either need to get the top edge under a course of good shingles or run all the way up to the ridgepole.
 
It might be possible to cut a section of shingles out, loosen 2 above layers of shingles, slide the shield under them then overlap the shield over the top of the shingles below. With some care, that could be done.

Personally, I'd tarp it till the spring/summer. The best way is to use 2x4's and a tarp. Go all the way over the top of the roofline (to avoid any water getting under the tarp), put the tarp down and then nail the 2x4's to the outer perimeter of the tarp. In an emergency situation, I used spray foam to seal the tarp down to the roof under the 2x4. Most people don't realize that, just like superglue, spray foam is a cyanoacrylate. That means it dries in the presence of water. Spray foam is made to expand and fill cracks...perfect for this application.
It worked for me in the middle of an absolute downpour.

Oh and Velux skylights can be delivered to your door next day. They are an off the shelf item and very easy to put in place yourself if you are doing a swap out. I did 2 of mine in about 4 hrs with all of the flashing.
 
Im gonna get up in the attic when I get home and see if I can pinpoint the leak. Then smear a crapload of tar roof repair on the top side, figure I'll pick up a gallon. If that doesnt work I will have to tarp, just like I said previously not overly enthused to put more nails through roof and potentially create another leak. Figure I will try that and if it rains on weekend like weatherman forecasts Ill grab my coat and a cpl beers and go sit up in attic and watch if it leaks.
 
It might be possible to cut a section of shingles out, loosen 2 above layers of shingles, slide the shield under them then overlap the shield over the top of the shingles below. With some care, that could be done.

Personally, I'd tarp it till the spring/summer. The best way is to use 2x4's and a tarp. Go all the way over the top of the roofline (to avoid any water getting under the tarp), put the tarp down and then nail the 2x4's to the outer perimeter of the tarp. In an emergency situation, I used spray foam to seal the tarp down to the roof under the 2x4. Most people don't realize that, just like superglue, spray foam is a cyanoacrylate. That means it dries in the presence of water. Spray foam is made to expand and fill cracks...perfect for this application.
It worked for me in the middle of an absolute downpour.

Oh and Velux skylights can be delivered to your door next day. They are an off the shelf item and very easy to put in place yourself if you are doing a swap out. I did 2 of mine in about 4 hrs with all of the flashing.
I like the idea of using sprayfoam instead of nails into the roof. I'll keep you updated!!!
 
Not much more I can add, the gents pretty much covered it all. It is most likely a detail flashing, but I have seen leaks the field. Could be as simple as mail head backing out and popping through a tab.
I highly suggest refraining against mucking or cementing anything down, as it will be a PITA do deal with when tear off time comes.
Get a good new tarp, go up and over the peak above where the leak is, and tarp down over the leak. If you can go ridge to gutter edge with the tarp, that will be ideal. If not you will need to get the tarp up under a row of shingles or two above the leak, and then down over the leak area. Then nail some lath boards along the sides of the tarp patch(into roof rafters or trusses) and that should hold you till spring.
 
Not much more I can add, the gents pretty much covered it all. It is most likely a detail flashing, but I have seen leaks the field. Could be as simple as mail head backing out and popping through a tab.
I highly suggest refraining against mucking or cementing anything down, as it will be a PITA do deal with when tear off time comes.
Get a good new tarp, go up and over the peak above where the leak is, and tarp down over the leak. If you can go ridge to gutter edge with the tarp, that will be ideal. If not you will need to get the tarp up under a row of shingles or two above the leak, and then down over the leak area. Then nail some lath boards along the sides of the tarp patch(into roof rafters or trusses) and that should hold you till spring.
If i applied the roofing tar overtop the shingles in the affected area how would that make any difference for tear off?
 
In order to seal the leak, the tar needs to bond to the roof, contrary to the commercial on TV for the spray on rubber just spraying or applying gunk on top of bad shingles probably wont stop the leak as it may be coming in by running down the underlayment from above the actual leak point. If the tar bonds to the roof then it slows down the tear off as usually the shingles are torn off with roofing shovel. Add in roofing tar and the shovel doesn't work. Worse case is you end up with lumps under the new roof unless you chisel off the mix of tar and shingles.

One thing we haven't brought up is there is distinct possibility that other spots of the roof may have leaked but its not visible. If you DIY, plan on having a sheet of plywood of the proper thickness around and possibly some trim boards plus the tools to make the patches. Frequently when you strip a roof, you will find spots in the sheathing and trim that are rotted or need replacing. Plan on new flashing, new roof boots and if you are smart a couple of 2 rows of ice and water shield. Rot replacement is generally an "extra" cost and as its found during tear off, you really cant shop around for someone else to do it at a better price.

When I DIYed my roof, I covered the entire southerly exposure with ice and water shield, once that is down, the shingles only act as a UV screen for the ice and water shield and if it decides to rain or sit for a few days no need to tarp it. Most commercial shingle roofs in my area are specified with 100% coverage with ice and water shield under the shingles. The other reason I did it was I was adding solar panels and solar hot water in the future so the ice and water shield acts the seal off any new penetrations.
 
Ok update. I went up into attic and looked to my eye not good. Definitely is coming from that 2ft square previous owner repaired area as I mentioned. Probably a 2ft circle that looked like it got wet and about the same size of the blown in looks dampish. Other thing I noticed is that there's obviously been some water seepage around skylight, water stains evident in wood framing to roof deck.

Question- provided it doesn't get wet again before repair is it necessary for me to remove/replace insulation or will it dry.

Plan until I can find competent contractor and get properly fixed is to tarp the affected area tommorow and use that aerosol spray seal all around skylight area ( I bought two cans). Again had no idea that was leaking/seeping never been in my attic before. Lesson learned to inspect all things regularly
Pics in next post
 
Last edited:
Contractors...Make me pull my hair if I had any!
Contractors...Make me pull my hair if I had any!
Contractors...Make me pull my hair if I had any!
Contractors...Make me pull my hair if I had any!
Contractors...Make me pull my hair if I had any!
 
Ok update. I went up into attic and looked to my eye not good. Definitely is coming from that 2ft square previous owner repaired area as I mentioned. Probably a 2ft circle that looked like it got wet and about the same size of the blown in looks dampish. Other thing I noticed is that there's obviously been some water seepage around skylight, water stains evident in wood framing to roof deck.

Question- provided it doesn't get wet again before repair is it necessary for me to remove/replace insulation or will it dry.

Plan until I can find competent contractor and get properly fixed is to tarp the affected area tommorow and use that aerosol spray seal all around skylight area ( I bought two cans). Again had no idea that was leaking/seeping never been in my attic before. Lesson learned to inspect all things regularly
Pics in next post
Depending on how wet the insulation is, it may dry out fine on it's own during the warmer months. If it is saturated, remove the wet stuff, buy a few bags enough to cover the spot, and just hand fluff and fill in what is missing. The stuff is only 10 bucks or so a bag and a bag may be more than enough for the area, depending on how bis an area. If it is just damp, I'd see what a spring and summer do for drying.

Skylights can be tricky, if not flashed well, they will always leak. Sometimes the pan at the top is short and ice daming will back up and over the top edge of the pan. When you redo the roof, ice and water shield around the entire skylight area, If the flashing are in good shape, they may be reused.
 
Hiring a contractor out of the blue like that is only asking for trouble.

+1

I contracted my camp addition out when I was under the gun - hindsight is 20/20 but long story short - crappy job, I've been up on the roof more than once fixing their screw-ups. Last year I spent more time and effort hiring the crew to do my house in town.
 
If it is leaking all the way through that insulation to the sheetrock, then you have quite a bit of moisture in there. If it was me, I'd remove the wet and be done with it.

You have some work cut out for you, but if it is time to redo the roof, it is an easy job in the spring to make it all right. Well, technically easy, lots of manual labor. I did my own this past october and it was a great deal of work.
 
Well update again boys and girls! Not that I'm a huge fan of getting on this roof but I get on to do chimneys. All tarped. While I was up there cleaned furnace chimney down. 1 cup of sote not bad.
Had 2 contractors come today. Both much more professional! Just need to decide on who to go with. Gonna cost close to 10g's but that's everything top of the line, damaged blown in took out and replace and whole attic topped up to r60. Can't wait and very glad to not have to do it myself. I will post a pic when done. Thanks all for your help. Felt like a crisis.

On a side note like I said decently ok with getting on this top roof. Today for some reason almost felt shy of a panic attack when I got up there and I'm usually good with heights. Had to sit down for a few and collect myself. Note to all be very safe when on your roof, not worth getting hurt. Makes me glad to upgrade whole roof and get a new high efficiency furnace next year and only have to clean chimneys once in summer off neighbours Sky lift
 
Pic
 

Attachments

  • Contractors...Make me pull my hair if I had any!
    image.jpeg
    187.8 KB · Views: 161
Second floor roof with farmers porch, definitely worth paying someone you trustto do it. Lugging shingles up two storys on a ladder if you are not used to it is lot harder than it looks especially on a warm day
 
  • Like
Reactions: jb6l6gc
Status
Not open for further replies.