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Question DetailsAsked on 7/16/2015

When getting bids for flat roof repair/replacement, is it normal for the roofer to rip parts of the roof off?

I've been taking bids for a flat top roof that had a minor leak at the edge which was probably caused by a leak around a ventilation pipe in a wall at the side of the roof. One roofer came and started ripping up parts of my roof material. Is this normal and/or necessary to cause more damage to my roof?

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Voted Best Answer

Absolutely not, and he should be held responsible for repair cost - and he sounds like a contractor I would not trust to repair it either. Sounds to me like he was trying to open up the roof so your repair was not urgent and you would hire him to do the job immediately.

Document well in writing and with photos - and if you had another contractor in earlier his photos or testimony may be important to document the pre-existing condition.

A contractor might poke around a bit for soft or hollow spots - sealing those small (awl or screwdriver) holes with roofing sealant. He might also refuse to give you a firm price until partial tearoff to see what underlying damasge there is - but that should not happen until you have hired him and he starts the repair, basically tearing off until he hits the edge of the damaged area.

I would document the damage, then contact him (or if he refuses, his insurance company) about the damage. One caveat though - if the areas he tore up were defective and had to be repaired anyway, your claim would be very weak - maybe best to just get another contractor to do the repair ASAP. If the new contractor says the damage the first guy did was unnecessary and the roof was good in that area, then that is the time to bring in that guy's insurance company to look at it and pay for the damage. Tough situation, because to make a claim it has to be left intact for inspection, but needs repair to avoid water damage - so might be best to document well and pay to get a second roofer's opinion on whether those areas were bad or not (before his digging into them), and bring in the first guy's insurance company immediately by filing a claim with them - can hassle out what had to be repaired anyway from there on.

And this behavior should be reported to the state licensing board - unprofessional to do destructive investigation without your permission, and there are contractors (especially roofing) who do this specifically to commit you to an immediate repair by them to avoid water damage - and in many cases, especially with flat roofs, they will poke holes or tear into it many places saying there are bubbles or soft spots (when there are not) to justify a total roof replacement.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD


Oops - reread this as a possible reference for another question, and saw in the third line I said "not urgent" - should have been "now urgent".

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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