Roof Problem- Need Info & Advice

Old 12-24-07, 08:07 AM
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Roof Problem- Need Info & Advice

Good morning all,

This is my first post on this forum. I live in South Florida and have a house that was built seven years ago. The roof has plywood and standard shingles. When the house was six months old several areas of the roof started pushing up. We called the builder and he said that sometimes plywood sheets get wet and end up warping and they also said they have no control over that.

Initially they didn't want to address the problem until we threatened to call the local TV station and have them investigated. Within three days the builder sent two crews of workers to fix the roof. I stood on the ground pointing to each section of the roof that was pushing up and the roofers cut out that section of the roof with skill saws. They then cut pieces of plywood and nailed them down. Immediately afterwards a roofing crew added tar paper and shingles to complete the job. There was a total of about 12 spots on the roof that had defective parts of plywood and got cut out & repaired.

That was about 6 1/2 years ago and up until recently the roof was fine. I noticed two small sections of the roof pushing up the shingles and closely inspected the areas. All the shingles were intact and I added some roof cement around the area to prevent leaks.

I am not a roofer or trades person, but I am handy with my hands and willing to learn. I frequent Home Depot and do many things around the house. However, in this case I'm not sure what to do. It probably would be futile to call the builder after seven years expecting any service as they weren't any good from day one. I don't know the legal warranty of roofs in FL or how long a FL home builder is liable for a roof. Perhaps someone can direct me to another site if necessary regarding legal liabilities.

However, I am very concerned that when we want to sell this house we're going to have a problem if the roof is not in perfect shape. In addition, it would cost us a lot of money if we had to get a re-roofing job, which at this time we don't need.

Problem # one: Many roofers in Florida are crooks and rip people off on a regular basis with absurd prices for everything. My wife and I do not know anyone personally to get a quote from on this type of job.

Problem # two: I don't believe I need a re-roofing job, but I have a feeling that nobody is going to want to do a small job like this. However, this area is in a recession particularly in the construction industry due to the housing market being in a slump.

I would appreciate any info and help on how I might be able to repair the roof satisfactorily as I am handy and not afraid to try something as long as I know what to do & have the tools.

Thank you all in advance for any advice, info, and other suggestions you may have regarding my roof problem. If necessary, I can take pictures of the affected areas with my digital camera and upload them to this site.

I'd also like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas-(Or whatever you celebrate) and a happy New Year.

Last edited by Walker1; 12-24-07 at 08:19 AM. Reason: spelling errors
Old 12-24-07, 08:33 AM
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Hi Walker,

I don't have much advice for you on the legal side of things, but it sounds like the main problem is that certain areas of plywood were not nailed securely when the house was originally built. Many times when the roof is sheathed, the guys nailing the plywood will either completely forget to nail an area- or they nail it but miss the rafters. With an air gun, sometimes it's hard to tell if you hit anything or not.

So something you could do that would help identify problem areas is to go into the attic and look along the rafters for nails or staples that have missed the rafter. If you end up seeing some, push up on the plywood and see if you can lift it slightly. If there are areas where it's already lifting, you'll clearly see the separation between the plywood and the rafter. By doing this, you'll be able to identify ALL the problem areas, not just a few of them that are obvious from the outside of the roof.

Occasionally I've seen roofs that have warping plywood due to insufficient venting which leads to high humidity. So the amount of venting could also be an issue to have checked out.

As far as who to get that would be reliable, it doesn't hurt to ask friends or relatives who had roof work done and get their recommendation. The problem is that roofing work is almost always done by subcontractors and it's almost impossible to know what crew is going to show up and do the work.

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