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Old 05-18-2010, 11:03 AM   #1
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leaking felt


I am in the process of replacing roof down to tongue and groove boards. Not shingled yet. Put down ice shield at eaves, valleys and pitch. Customer had 10,15,20? year old 30# felt in basement of wharehouse. Product was twice as thick as stuff you get today and seemed in fine condition and he asked if I could use it. Seemed like a fine idea, so I installed with roof nails and staples. Did not do shingles yesterday, due to late delivery of such. Got a call today and he said the roof was leaking from everywhere the felt was. Does this material go bad. Was there different types of felt as in different product uses. I heard that hot tar roofers used a perforated felt, but I did not notice any such perforation while installing. I am shocked at how much water the customer said was coming in. I plan on pulling up and replacing, but I am still concerned about a reason to give to customer. Any ideas?

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Old 05-18-2010, 11:52 AM   #2
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you should have listened to the weather report and tarped the roof in so your ''customer''wouldn't have water in thier house, probably nothing wrong with the felt but what did you think would happen after putting hundreds of fasteners thru it and then exposing it to rain?...you screwed up

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Old 05-18-2010, 01:24 PM   #3
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The reason your give: This tar paper leaks.

Really, I find it hard to understand why people don't just use synthetic underlayment. No wrinkles, lies flat, waterproof, seals around nails, lasts uncovered for months, you can carry 10sq in one roll up the ladder by yourself.

Just think of the labor savings on this job alone!
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:58 PM   #4
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I have never had tar paper leak. Nether 15 nor 30. Are you sure it's the felt that is the problem and not the install?
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:03 PM   #5
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easy to do the valleys wrong
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:57 PM   #6
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Thanks for the bad advice on tarping off Tom. Not what I was looking for. I did go back today and tarped off anyway.

I knew it was going to rain and felt can handle a rain. I have never had one leak being exposed to a rain. I only do it when I have to. What I can surmise is that the felt may have been dryer than I thought and therefore it did not seal around the fasteners as well as it usually would. Tiny holes would not have let in as much water as I saw today on an 8/12 pitched roof.

I may give the synthetics a try. Now I have to by more tools.

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Old 05-18-2010, 07:09 PM   #7
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you should have listened to the weather report and tarped the roof in so your ''customer''wouldn't have water in thier house, probably nothing wrong with the felt but what did you think would happen after putting hundreds of fasteners thru it and then exposing it to rain?...you screwed up

This is not a real world scenario, Tom. I have dried in hundreds of roofs with felt and never had a leak.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:23 PM   #8
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Puppyzeus, the laps on the felt should be facing DOWN, not up!

Without actually seeing it it's tough to say what went wrong but I can't imagine on an 8/12 leaking like you say that the felt was bad. If it was too dry you would not have been able to roll it out and tack it without it shattering.

Unfortunately sounds like ya did do something wrong. Everyone here has screwed up at some point. Nothing wrong with that as long as ya learn something from it. Hope it didn't bring you too dire a consequences on this one?

Like Aaron, we've dried in 100's with ordinary felt and never had problems with a lil rain.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:17 PM   #9
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Before I put the first piece of siding or roofing on the surface I know that my felt/flashing job "alone" will keep the house dry.

The siding or roofing is just icing on the cake.
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:38 PM   #10
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sorry Aaron,im just not very surprised that the roof leaked with just felt on it,if it was my house id be upset,most roofers i know would have tarped it just in case,and we all know what felt looks like after its been rained on
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:26 AM   #11
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I just like to keep good valid info out there, Tom, so I had to bring it up. I hate having to de-educate customers cuza sumpin they read online.
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:51 AM   #12
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Thanks OldnBroken made me lauph. Thanks Aaron for your insight. I did not see anything wrong while I was putting on the tarp, but it was raining and I was in a hurry, so maybe I missed something. Either way, I have my new cap stapler and am going to pull the paper and try the synthetics tomorrow.
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:53 AM   #13
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Why would anyone trust felt when rain is moving in? NOt picking on the OP only, but I see others saying they have trusted felt with rain coming.
Poor planning IMO. If there is time to tear the roof off, there is time to shingle it. It's not like we are in the Pacific NW where it rains every day. Planning is part of the trade.

I doubt there are many "customers" who would put up with that from a Pro.
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:26 PM   #14
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Heads Up!

Read the installation instructions for your choice of synthetic underlayment. Titanium UDF specificly does not warranty when you use cap staples. I called them to ask them about it. The reason they gave was that staples have sharp edges while cap nails have round edges. The staples are more likely to tear their product so it won't have the self sealing properties they expect.
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:29 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by MJW View Post
Why would anyone trust felt when rain is moving in? NOt picking on the OP only, but I see others saying they have trusted felt with rain coming.
Poor planning IMO. If there is time to tear the roof off, there is time to shingle it. It's not like we are in the Pacific NW where it rains every day. Planning is part of the trade.

I doubt there are many "customers" who would put up with that from a Pro.
The majority of the roofing that I do is copper standing seam, with slate, tile, and cedar about equaling the amount of asphalt we do. Those asphalt jobs are often 70-80 or more squares. I don't think we've ever stripped and re-roofed an entire house in a day. Most of the products we install take a lot more time than asphalt shingles.

I'm certainly a Pro, but my customers have to "put up with" a temporary roof covering. It's not that hard to dry in a roof and I did it with felt before the synthetics were available. But there is a difference between "drying in" and "blacking in".

But I don't think I'd even consider using 20 y/o felt. The OP saved $45 up front, but what did it ultimately cost him?

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