Q&A – Potential Poor Install?

AAR Poor Install
March 23, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.

After a recent roof replacement, this Tennessee homeowner had some concerns and wanted a third-party opinion on the quality of the work.  

Felan, a homeowner in Tennessee, was concerned about the quality of their recent roof replacement and wanted a third-party opinion before reaching out to the roofer. They asked: 

I’m concerned my roofer cut some corners when they replaced our roof in July 2022. My husband found debris in the attic and some pieces of wood that appear to have come from our decking… I wanted to submit a few images to ask if they reflect poor installation. This is just one image, though I would like to add more. But I thought I’d start with this image first. I wanted to ask a third party about this before going to my roofer for concerns that I might hear “it’s not my fault.” I wanted to be ready with solid information so my concerns will be taken seriously and I won’t be viewed as a fool. 

Below is what our roofing expert John Kenney from Cotney Consulting Group had to say: 

I can't voice an opinion on the wood pieces in the attic by description only. Some wood chips or dust will commonly fall on the new reroof situation. Here is what you look for; holes in the deck, badly discolored wood decking, felt paper or shingle showing through large holes. If you have any of them, the wood should have been replaced. That is, if it was a full tear and new install. If they had installed the new roof over an existing roof system known as a roof over, this would not have been noticeable to the roofer. 

I can't tell if the chimney flashed correctly from the photo alone. The metal corner details do look a bit rough. There should be what is known as step flashing installed in the counterflashing. See the detail below. From the photo, I think your concerns are valid and worth further investigation. 

Another roofing expert, Marty Stout from Go Roof Tune Up, says:  

The debris you found in your attic is quite likely a very normal occurring condition. As the old roof was being removed debris falls between the sheathing boards, decking and lands in the attic. The photo you sent shows the counter flashing at the chimney. From the photo, it looks like it could have been installed better. It should be tight against the chimney at the top of the flashing. Normally the ½” lip is inserted into the mortar joint and then sealed with caulking, and the corners should be sealed and tight. We would suggest that you ask your roofer to revisit that and maybe he will be able to confirm for you that everything is good. 

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