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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I'm a new DIY'er and don't know much - my husband and I are trying to purchase a home but the home inspection turned up some soft spots in a newly repaired roof.

The homeowner got the contractor to write us a report on why the roof was okay and that our home inspection report was wrong. Essentially what he said was this:

Soft spots in the roof are normal and common in older homes where the rafters are further apart and the plywood is normally thinner. There probably was flexibility in this plywood from the first day of construction. Newer codes eliminate this in new construction. All roofers with many years of experience will recognize this. When the plywood cracks… that is a sign that it might be
delaminating. Also normal and may never cause a problem.​

Is this ever true? Are soft spots in a roof ever normal/not a sign of any problem at all? I can't find anything on the internet to support his claim.

Thanks all!

KHW
 

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That's interesting. In my brain-thing it could make sense to me, but I'm just an average Joe myself. I'm curious to see what others say.

What year was the home built, and what state? Also, if you're in the house again soon, I'd measure the rafter gap and add to this post.
 

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Thanks that'll help the more qualified here to give ya a proper answer. In the meantime you could ring up some of these folks and see if you can get an informal response:

http://pds.cityofboise.org/building/

http://pds.cityofboise.org/building/bld/residential/

http://pds.cityofboise.org/building/building-codes/

Good luck to ya! I'll be watching, curious to see what others say :) But I'd guess that yes it probably does have to do with what building for residential codes were back 56 years ago. I have no idea but, I'm betting there's some substance in that response you got.
 

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Sorry, I'm a skeptic, "The homeowner got the contractor to write us a report". Done all the time and the contractor would not have been hired if his report wasn't going to be favorable to the current homeowner. To get the right answer you need to hire a good independent home inspector, or engineer, one who has no affiliation with the real estate agency.

The contractor should have provided pictures of the underside of the problem area. A dark coloration would often be an indication of a moisture problem.

Why was the roof repaired, shingles leaking, plywood damage, same area or different area, all questions you need to have answered?

In my experience in a 1960 home it would not have been common to have spaced the rafters other than 16" on center. Very old home, maybe, or modern homes with trusses, but they would have used thicker plywood.

Since the spongy feeling is only in "spots" and the spacing on the rafters would be the same everywhere, that says something is going on in those spots. An inspector representing you needs to get into that attic and get some answers.

There is more we can offer, but we will need more information, like the style of the home, ice dam issues, and perhaps an outside picture. An address will sometimes allow us to get a Google view of the house.

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Bud 9051!

I really appreciate your response and I think what you say makes a lot of sense. I will try to see if we can get another inspection done or push back in some way. Thank you so much for your help.

Here is a short link to the home on Google Earth. That white line on the roof is electrical conduit. https://goo.gl/maps/7yEVcmXhGLP2
 

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It may have 3/8 plywood, 3/8 is the norm here.
If it does have 3/8 plywood, its probably at or near the end of its life if it's original to the home. Do you have any pictures of the roof sheathing from the home inspectors report?
That said a little bit of flex isn't abnormal, but it shouldn't feel soft or look warped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi PatChap!

Here are some images I have of the roof from the inspection! I hope they work.





(Edited to add: Okay, I see they are definitely not working. I uploaded them to Google Photos but Google doesn't want me to share them for some reason). I will keep trying!
 
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