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Question DetailsAsked on 5/31/2017

Does it ever make sense to leave rotted (but not dry-rotted) roof decking in place when replacing garage roof?

Contractor just finished the first day of a two-day job replacing my garage roof (it's just two guys working). He said that some of the wood was rotten but was emphatic that it does not need to be replaced. I think he was talking about the roof decking but I'm not 100% sure. Could it be a reasonable thing to deliberately leave rotten wood in the roof? I would have been willing to pay extra for the additional time and materials required to replace the rotten wood if I had been given the option.

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Not significantly rotted wood - does not matter if dry rot or wet rot, the end result is about the same- and it should be cleaned up and treated at least, so the rot does not spread to the rest of the roof (it is bacterial and mostly fungal in nature, so grows when above a certain humidity or in the presence of free water - and can commonly sit dormant for years between wettings and still reactivate.


Also -if more than surficial mold and mildew (which should still be killed and treated) it should be looked at by a Structural Engineer to determine how much if any needs to be replaced to preserve the integrity of the structure.


He should have told you immediately when he hit it and given you the option of either stopping work and tarping it till you could get another contractor in to do the repairs, or given you a quote for the repair (maybe after completing tearoff to measure the full extent).


I don't know where you go from here - but untreated rotten material should not be left in place and reroofing over it does not meet building code, so he is out of compliance with his work in that sense, assuming your area is subject to normal building code. Of course, stopping him will require an asjustment on contract - for the delay for an engineer to look at it and if another contractor does the repair, or for additional work if he tears off what he has done (might be mostly just torn off right now) and fixes the decayed areas.


You could ask him first thing tomorrow to show you some examples of what he is hitting - if a detached garage, particularly if quite old, you might decide (as he evidently did) that it is not worth repairing and is not likely to seriously degrade the strenght of the framing, and go ahead with covering it over. Particularly if the rot is limited to the upper plies of the sheathing but is not into the framing.

Answered 1 year ago by LCD




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