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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hoping someone on here can give us some guidance. 11 years ago we had a new asphalt 3 tab shingled roof installed on our house along with a new ridge vent. The roofing contractor (GAF approved contractor) inspected the plywood prior to installation and found it sufficient to paper and shingle over. They had said that their work was guaranteed against defects in workmanship (nothing in writing as was their policy at the time). The roof performed well for the first 9 years at which point a leak developed in a spot on the far side of the house about 5 ft down from the ridge vent. We called the company who sent over a roofer who said the issue was the ridge vent probably popping up from the fasteners, thereby allowing water to get through. They re-sealed the vent and put "more substantial" nails through the vent. At that point, they did stand behind their work. No complaints.
Last week, another leak surfaced around the same spot as the last leak..maybe about 1 ft away from the other one and closer to the ridge vent. We called the contractor and after a few days, they sent someone out to inspect. in the meantime, I went up in the attic and looked at the issue from the inside. The plywood underlayment had cupped about 1/4-1/2" at the spot of the leak. There was delamination on the plywood and witness marks of moisture were apparent at or near the plywood seam. We explained to the contractor that due to the intrusion, the plywood was damaged and would have to be replaced. They sent the guy out who re-adjusted the ridge vent and left without touching base with my wife before leaving (He had come earlier than anticipated so I was at work when this happened). When I got home and went back up in the attic, the plywood had not been replaced. FYI, my wife explained to him when he got there that the plywood had been damaged and would need to be addressed or at least assessed.
I sent the contractor a picture of the plywood so they could see the damaged piece along with a request that if it wasn't going to be replaced due to the water intrusion, then I would like a letter from them stating that they had seen the picture and based on the image, it was not an issue (knowing full well that I probably wasn't going to get a letter from them.).
Fast forward to today. The contractor's Operations Manager called my wife while I was at work and refused to replace the plywood. They said the issue was because, "The ridge vent is 11 years old and when they were made back then they were prone to leaks. You need to get a brand new vent installed by us that are guaranteed not to leak like the old one ". Also, "The cause of your leak isn't due to faulty workmanship. The problem is due to snow pack on the ridge vent pushing the vent down, thereby popping the nails and causing the leak". As such, they aren't liable to repair the plywood since it is essentially a weather related issue "If a windstorm came and dislodged the ridge vent, you wouldn't expect us to repair it for free, would you?"

Now, I do home improvement stuff frequently but I'm the first to admit that I'm an amateur when it comes to roofing. However, I need some guidance as to these explanations given by the company. For one, I'd think a properly installed vent no matter the age would be leak tight if installed properly and I've never seen snow pack on a roof cause those substantial vent nails to just pop out (mind you, we have a raised ranch with a 5/12 pitch).
I'll include the picture of the plywood for your evaluation. I think this will cause an issue down the road if not dealt with but I think the contractor would be somewhat liable since the issue seems to stem from the install. The guy did admit that the shingles were evaluated by the roofer and were in "great shape".
So if you guys could give me some direction as to where to go with this if the contractor steadfastly refuses to replace the plywood (which is my biggest concern). Someone I work with said to have them submit in writing their evaluation where they are saying the issue is a faulty ridge vent due to inadequacy because of age and snow pack weight, then going to GAF (who made the vent) and have them refute the answer or replace per warranty. In any event, I will take any advice you all can provide. Thanks!

P.S. - I should add the only reason I would be pursuing this was the contractor's policy of, "We stand behind our work. If there is ever a workmanship problem, give us a call and we'll make it right". If what they are saying is true - that these ridge vents from 2010 are prone to failing unlike the new vents, then it wouldn't be a workmanship issue but if that answer is "questionable", then maybe I do have to look into a workmanship issue. In any event, whatever guidance you can provide would be very helpful.

659643
 

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I think that about all I can say is that I don't know any roofers who are going to warranty a roof against leaks for 11+ yrs. I find it amazing that they sent someone out at all.

As far as "workmanship" is concerned, that only means installing products according to the mfg's directions and industry standards... which they likely did. If a product they used failed, (shingles or ridge vent) that's not really their fault, any more than rotten Masonite siding would be the fault of the siding installer.
 

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The plywood is wet yes but not molding? I think the plywood will dry over the summer and be fine. I would consider looking for a better ridge vent.
 

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I would have the vent replaced by whomever you choose. I think you are out of line to expect the original contractor to warranty 11 year old roofing, particularly when three tab shingles, 11 years old, are probably near their end of life anyway. Hope you did not think a 15 or 30 year shingle warranty really meant 15 or 30 years...
 

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Not a single picture of what type ridge vent was used, or how far it was cut back at the peak of the roof.
 

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Do you know what kind of tar paper they've used? 15 lb, 30 lb, or something else.
I also don't see this company fixing a second leak on an 11 year old roof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No, I figure if I can get 20 years out of the shingles, I'm ahead of the game, and honestly when they came back and did an assessment, they said the shingles were in great shape so barring any weather issues or anything else that may damage the room, I'd expect at least another 5-8 years out of them at this point.
As far as a roofer giving a warranty about 11 years out for leaks, no, I'm not expecting that either per se but the issue was that the rep from the company said that the issue was a bad ridge vent due to snow pack on the ridge vent pushing down on the vent and popping the nails out and also the ridge vents back then were prone to leaks. The roofer from the same company who came back in 2019 for the initial problem said it was because they (the company) used nails that weren't as good as what they have now so he replaced those with the upgraded nails and resealed the vent. 2 years later the problem returned in the same spot and being up in the attic and getting a better view, I can see that the issue is at the edge of the vent (if what they said is accurate about the vent being bad).
So I'd backtrack from the comment about having them fix it for free unless it was directly related to the install of the vent and the only way I'd be able to verify that is if GAF was to refute the comments the rep made to me about the vent (it's a Cobra vent) and a 3rd party professional went up there and verified an improper install.
My biggest issues were if the comments the rep made are accurate from an industry standpoint and if the plywood is an issue. I'm working on the former and Nealtw commented on the latter. Roofing isn't a DIY specialty for me so I learn by experiences like this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Do you know what kind of tar paper they've used? 15 lb, 30 lb, or something else.
I also don't see this company fixing a second leak on an 11 year old roof.
They didn't but based on my pitch (5/12 raised ranch) I wouldn't be shocked if it was 15lb
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would have the vent replaced by whomever you choose. I think you are out of line to expect the original contractor to warranty 11 year old roofing, particularly when three tab shingles, 11 years old, are probably near their end of life anyway. Hope you did not think a 15 or 30 year shingle warranty really meant 15 or 30 years...
Nope...I figure 20 years on these will probably be max for me. I check them annually for brittleness or granules flaking off and they seem good now but no..30 years would be a steal.
 
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