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CrankyDragon 10-16-2010 07:51 AM

Decking Issue after new roof install
6 Attachment(s)
I had a new roof installed in August due to a massive hail storm in May (baseball sized hail). It was agreed with my insurance company that the roofers would install new decking as needed after the tear off. I ordered GAF-Elk Cool Barkwood shingles. The company installed Barkwood shingles. We had them come back, tear off the new roof, and install the Cool Barkwood shingles in September. I got up on the roof and checked the work (I'm no expert), and it looked good. When I checked the attic, I found several holes in the decking. These holes are on the north side which is where the hail storm hit the hardest. I am guessing the hail storm weakened the planks and that they broke like this on the second install.

My questions are: Will this be a problem down the road? Will it lead to leaking? Will my insurance company insure the roof?

I'm attaching photos to this post. It is, or should be, tongue and groove plank decking.

retired guy 60 10-16-2010 09:26 AM

Do I understand you correctly that all of the decking was to be replaced? Some of the planks look older than the rest of the planks.
Can't say if the insurance co will honor a policy covering the roof, but those broken boards are no good. A person should be able to walk on a roof w/o fear of his foot going through. And yes, those areas may be more prone to leaking though a pro roofer will assure you that it is the shingles that waterproof and not the decking.
Can you call the roofer back and have the repairs made under his warranty? I'd guess that the roofer may have made the holes when he shingled unless there is something in the history of the roof that I don't fully understand. The roof is unacceptable as it is now.
I think the repairs can be done to just the damaged areas. I would not expect the roofer to do a complete strip and reroof, nor would he be willing to do so.
One more thing, shingles need to be securely attached to the decking. In every spot where a roofing nail is grabbing nothing but air that shingle will be prone to failure in a strong wind. Giving it some additional thought, I doubt the ins. co would insure the roof under your homeowner's policy.

federer 10-16-2010 09:33 AM

that looks bad to me but i am no expert

BigJim 10-16-2010 10:02 AM

I agree with retired guy 60, and I would for sure call my insurance agent to come out and take a look at this so you can cover your fanny in case something down the road happens again. It is for sure if a hail storm hit again with hail that size your roof is going to have some serious holes in it.

CrankyDragon 10-16-2010 11:15 AM

Wow, thanks for the quick replies! The initial damage was severe. We had thousands of baseball sized hail. I have never seen anything like it, and I live in Oklahoma where hail is common.

We could not get the insurance company to agree to replace all of the decking. Their agreement was that damaged decking would be inspected after the tear off and replaced as needed. At the time I believed that all of the decking on the north side should be replaced, but I did not get my way :(. Our insurance policy is good, and we have replacement cost, so the decking was supposed to have been replaced with like materials.

I did contact my roofing company's roofing manager, and he had this to say after viewing two of the photos:

"Both of those holes are where knots were in the wood deck. It's not uncommon for those to pop out during the roof installation. The nail you see through the one hole... well, not sure what that is for. I do know it's not a roofing nail and because of that and the other hole does not have any nails through it, your roof performance should not suffer. You would do more harm than good by patching those holes.Please let me know if you have any questions."

My contractor had this to say:

"The area in the photo's appeared to be where a knot hole was. We replaced 400lf of decking and inspected the rest. You have a walkable surface and wholes like that probably happened when we drove nails into the new roof. Do not worry about leakage. You have your felt and shingles that will protect your roof. You have all your warranties are in place against any kind of leaks."

Finally, we have contacted our insurance company to come out and inspect it.

Are they feeding me a line?

BigJim 10-16-2010 12:01 PM

I would put what they said in writing and get them to sign it just in case. I would still have my insurance provider come out and look at it to make sure they will cover it if anything goes bad. As far as knots are concerned they are wrong about that, the first picture does have a resin patch in the board but look to the right of the resin and you will see wood that has no resin spot and is busted. All the rest of the pictures are not any signs of a knot IMHO.

retired guy 60 10-16-2010 02:37 PM

The manager and contractor are lying. Maybe one hole may have had a knot but the damage goes way beyond a knot being pushed out. The rest are positively caused by boards that were broken when the nails were driven in. Maybe the boards were cracked before they were installed but that's not your problem. Either way, these guys are just covering their backsides thinking you won't know better. No, you can not walk safely on the areas where the boards are broken and if hail the way you described it hits those areas you may well have a hole in the roof.
A warranty even in writing is only worth the integrity of the company issuing it. In other words, not much in this case.
Definitely have the insurance company look at the roof and see if they will support your position and offer some assistance.
The sad thing is that the repairs needed would be no big deal. I could do them myself in maybe 3 or 4 hours and I am much slower than the average professional. The roofer should admit that repairs need to be made and then do them. The cost in terms of materials and time would be negligable.
If you can't get the roofer to act responsibly then I would file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. If there is no favorable response, then hire someone to make the repairs. You could recoup any money you spend for repairs in small claims court but this would be time consuming. I would also make sure that potential customers know what to expect from this contractor by using the Internet, either a posting or rating on one of those websites that allow you customers to describe their experience with a contractor. Those pictures tell the story. Be sure to rely on them otherwise its just your word against theirs.

CrankyDragon 10-16-2010 03:14 PM

Thank you very much for your replies. I will definitely take the good advice I have been given and ask them to repair the damage.

They also did the siding on our house but haven't sent us an itemized bill for either the siding or the roof. So the good news in all this is that they have not been paid yet. I have every intention of paying the full amount, but I don't think it is unreasonable of me to expect quality work.

Now I just need to wait to see what they and the insurance company have to say...

retired guy 60 10-16-2010 03:20 PM

Since you have not paid yet you have considerable leverage to get the job done right. Good luck.

Slyfox 10-16-2010 04:12 PM

Photos 1, 4 and 6 simply show poorly cut new lumber, the gaps are not aesthetically appealing but there not mechanically harmful tho.

Photos 2 and 3 are both knots in the lumber, the mechanical issue there is not with the small hole in the lumber, but with the fastener driven through nothing but underlayment, eventually the heat of summer will suck/pull up on that fastener and it will become a pop-up and pop-ups do have an tendency to leak under certain wind driven rains.

Photo 5 is a crack in the existing board that broke free when the roofer ran a fastener there, it's a minor mechanical issue, nothing severe.

retired guy 60 10-16-2010 05:51 PM

Slyfox is correct. Some of the boards were simply cut incorrectly rather than damaged during the nailing process. Still, as Slyfox says, nails not securred to the decking have a tendency to pop out resulting in leaks. I suppose I am too much of a perfectionist to make a living as a roofer.
When my contractor built a dormer there were gaps of 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch between the plywood boards forming the exterior wall. I ended up putting strips of 1/4 inch plywood over every gap. Their work may have met code but it didn't meet my code.

RoofDiagnostics 10-17-2010 03:53 PM

CrankyDragon, After looking at the pictures you provided and read all of the correspondence this is my humble opinion.

While not aesthetically pleasing the roof deck is not compromised in terms of its functionality. The roof deck is walkable and you should not experience any water infiltration attributed to the decking.

While possible that the nails knocked a "knot" out of the wood - it is highly unlikely. Most likely, the wood was cut sloppily and the Foreman made a discussion or two to leave the spacing instead of filling in the smaller gaps in the deck.

Hope it all works out.


RLWNINE 07-04-2011 10:26 AM

Roof decking problem
I read your post and I have a similar problem after having a new roof installed about 3 wks ago. Like your roofer mine tells me not to worry. I am wondering how your roof is doing after about 8 months. Please let me know. Thanks

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