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TReally 05-10-2010 06:05 PM

Need advice, my roof blew off
A year and 5 days ago I had a torch down roof installed on my new shed dormer. It was done by the contractor, not a roofing company. Two days ago during a storm with 60mph winds the whole roof (35'x16') ripped off the back of the house, flipped over the ridge and damaged the chimney. I'm now dealing with him and determining what he is liable for. I spoke to a friend of friend about it today. He said he does a lot of roofing so I wanted to pick his brain as to why my roof would have failed so easily. He was pleased to learn that the torch layer did not separate from the base fiber layer, but was disappointed to learn that the base fiber layer was installed with pneumatic coil roofing nails, not cap nails. Evident now that the complete roof now laying on my front lawn up side down, I can see tons of holes in the base layer where the small nail heads tore right through. They were nailed in 3 rows per 36" sheet, about every 10", but I guess that wasn't enough? Before I confront my contractor on this I was looking for some advice. Would not using cap nails allow the complete roof to rip off the sheathing like that?

tpolk 05-10-2010 06:08 PM


rustyjames 05-10-2010 06:17 PM

Check the installation details of the manufacturer.

AaronB 05-11-2010 12:54 AM

Yes it would. You would need a minimum of steel cap nails.

Use a qualified roofer for roofing.

slickgt1 05-11-2010 08:45 AM

Holy crap, That is a big peice too. Yea I would not make that contractor fix this, just try to get him to pay for a roofer to do it right.

igneous1 05-11-2010 08:50 AM

I'd think that screws would be worth looking into, instead of nails.

ews 05-13-2010 10:51 AM

Next time get roofing work done by a roofing contractor

jogr 05-13-2010 11:44 AM

Make sure you talk to your insurance agent. It's likely covered and they will likely pay enough to use a real roofer (minus the deductable)

seeyou 05-13-2010 11:49 AM


Originally Posted by igneous1 (Post 440313)
I'd think that screws would be worth looking into, instead of nails.

Holding power is not the issue here. The nails are all still stuck in the sheathing, but the base sheet they were nailed through tore around the nails. A nail with a larger head would be the proper fastener. The wrong nails were used. Screws would have had even less bearing surface on the base sheet.

AaronB 05-13-2010 01:44 PM

If we are talking screws with plates, then I would say they CAN hold better, if you use the proper amount.

On the other hand, I have never used screws direct to wood, as ring shank or spiral shank at the proper installation pattern have always done the trick. Never had a pullout or blowoff issue with them. Smooth shank nails tend to pull out more easily, although all roof blow offs I have ever repaired on shingle roof have been with shingles blown off, and the shingles had torn through with the nails still in the deck.

seeyou 05-13-2010 02:12 PM


Originally Posted by AaronB (Post 441461)
If we are talking screws with plates, then I would say they CAN hold better, if you use the proper amount.

You are correct, sir. And that's how we install insulation and recovery board under membrane. I've never seen the base sheet screwed down, though. Never seen it nailed with roofing gun nails either.

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