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I just got an estimate for a new roof on my home for $23,000.00. The roofer did an inspection inside and stated that there was sapping on the wood beams at the highest point on the roof. He stated that this is caused by poor ventilation. I also have a crack that goes the whole length of one of the rafters. My roof is large about 3425 and has high pitches which is why it is so expensive. The price includes proper installation that would provide the proper ventilation that is needed and they would also repair the cracked rafter. I am just sick about this and don't want to be ripped off. They would also remove the sap which he said is not necessary because the new roof would prevent further damage. But they would still remove it.

My question is: Do roofers normally check the inside of the roof as well as the outside or is this a sales pitch? Is it the norm for roofers to install a new roof with regard to ventilation? I could get a cheaper roof, but don't want to put a band-Aid on a roof if it's not properly ventilated Thanks.

  • Why would an honest roofing contractor want to install new shingles over a compromised structure. That makes no sense. But check the things he noted yourself. If there are structural issues you should be able to find them yourself. – jwh20 Jul 16 '19 at 13:09
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    Always get multiple estimates. This is to get a good price, but its also to compare all the work that each company wants to do. – JPhi1618 Jul 16 '19 at 15:12
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    "Sapping on the wood beams" sounds just a WEE bit suspicious to be overly concerned about. Pitch pockets (ie, tree sap or resin) happen, the pitch leaves, ends up on the surface, it's not a big deal, and removing it is certainly not needed (and therefore a waste of money.) It does not automatically mean the roof is poorly ventilated, though many roofs are poorly ventilated, but that shows up in ways that matter as ice dams, etc. I concur with "more estimates" and a possibility that they are trying to upsell things you may not need. – Ecnerwal Jul 16 '19 at 16:33
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isherwood is correct. Some so called roofers don't normally inspect anything under the sheathing. A Roofer is not a carpenter by definition. But then they are not being asked to build a wall or staircase now are they? A Roofer makes all decisions as to the structure of a roof. That means a Roofer works on, makes decisions on structure, load bearings, ventilation, truss or rafters, sofettes and anything related to the structure of the roof which is from the attic ceiling joists up to the ridge line.

isherwood may be referring to so called Shinglers working under the guise as a Roofer. These are Roofers that only want to work on replacing a piece of sheathing and laying shingles. Commonly known as shinglers. All they do is essentially remove and replace from the underlayment up. Sadly this is common practice amongst roofing contractors. And not what most home owners need when it comes to roof inspection and repair.

You have to be wary of Roofing contractors that are actually just Shinglers that will claim they will make all repairs, then when the roof is opened up, they don't actually fix anything but rather just cover the damage over with sheathing and shingles.

A true to the term Roofer will indeed do a full inspection of the roof structure, and walk the roof itself to look for damage, roof structure integrity, inadequacies in ventilation, code violations and so and discuss all their findings with the homeowner so the homeowner can make a informed decision when it comes to repairs.

Another option is to hirer an independent licensed roofer/roof inspector with experience in roofing and up to date on building codes to do a full roof inspection. This is a person that doesn't work for a contractor and is not trying to sell you a roof. You have to be equally as careful as to who you hire as not all independent inspectors are the same. You want one that specializes in roof inspections. Not just general building inspections.

Equally you can get three licensed bonified Roofers to inspect and give detailed bids as to the work you want done, which you should do anyway.

Never sign anything that gives them the authority to negotiate with the insurance company - it's illegal. You wouldn't be in trouble, they would. It's felony in most states.

Never sign anything that states they are to receive all monies before they start work. Or all claim money goes to them. Known as an AOB these can be worded differently. It's not illegal, but very commonly used in scams. It means all claim money they get, including for any other damages to the property included in the claim. You more than likely will end up with a subpar roof if any at all, and find it very difficult to get claim monies over and above the repair cost returned once they have it. They know push come to shove, you'll have to sue them to get it back.

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A good contractor will inspect (as far as possible) all the supporting walls and internal beams, trusses etc to give you a good price.

This does not prevent issues coming to light that have been hidden but that can happen.

You could get a different contractor to give you an estimate as well so you have a comparison ie it is good if they both find the same issues that need to be dealt with and, hopefully, the prices are similar.

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    In many years of homebuilding and home ownership I've not encountered a roofer who wanted to look at a home's trusses or walls. It probably happens, but it's not typical. – isherwood Jul 16 '19 at 14:45
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    @isherwood That may well depend on your location compared to mine - experiences can be different... – Solar Mike Jul 17 '19 at 8:46
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No, it's not normal. A roofer will normally check the condition of the roof sheathing, to which the roofing is attached, and maybe fascia, which supports the metal drip edge. They don't normally enter the attic unless you request ventilation updates or other work. Roofers aren't necessarily carpenters and usually aren't qualified to assess structural issues. Of course there are exceptions.

Roofing contractors typically handle roofing. Ventilation is more part of the insulation/building envelope system (though lack of it can adversely affect roofing longevity). Obviously some contractors are wider in scope of work and ability and will want to do as much for you as possible. That's not typical, though.

All that said, I seen no reason to be alarmed. Get another opinion. That's part of the quote-gathering process and your due diligence.

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  • Downvoter, care to comment? – isherwood Sep 29 at 12:51

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