Are all roofers ripoffs?

I have an rowhouse in the middle of 12 attached homes. I noticed that the A_One Roofing company was working on a house a few doors down and asked them to take a look at mine. Since I've had water damage in one top corner of the main bedroom, I knew that something was amiss.
Of course, I'm told that I need a new roof. It's only been about eight years since I had a new roof put on so that's pretty quick. I bought some roll of rubberized stuff from Home Despot and this past Sunday I hauled the ladder out of the garage, went to the back of the house, and my next door neighbor and I proceeded to head up to the roof.
I absolutely hate climbing that ladder; I'm not overly afraid of heights (it's more a healthy respect), and it really isn't very far from the deck to the two story roof, but those last ten feet aren't fun. Nor is knowing that I have to get from the roof back onto the ladder and head back down. I guess folks get used to that or find some other area of work.
The part where the roofing meets the dividing wall was peeling away from the wall so we cut that part off and slapped the rubberized sticky stuff along about four feet that was pulling away. That certainly looked like where the water was gettiing in since it was right over the water damage. Hopefully a cure.
Then we used some plumbers putty to fill in some cracks on the overlapping ceramic(?) plates covering the top of the wall. My neighbor fixed a few areas that looked weak on his roof and down we went.
The peaked area at the front of my roof needs work; more than I was prepared to do at the time and I'll certainly pay a few hundred for someone to fix that. But a new roof? It looked pretty good to both of us, and my neightbor does know something about construction.
Am I wrong in thinking that A-One Roofing is a ripoff? Nice old Italian guy and his illegal immigrant workers, but I guess a liar? Before I went up, friends and family asked why I didn't just hire someone. Well, two reasons, first, I kind of like doing stuff by myself (or I wouldn't be on this newsgroup (althought the politics is fun) but I also just don't trust someone to fix something that I can't see.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dgk wrote:

Were they the lowest bidder for that roofing job? If that was the case, what can you expect?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Rock a and a hard place. Of course all roofers - all anybody - are not crooks. What you may consider a ripoff, may be good advice. Without seeing your roof personally, I can't say.
Here's what I can say. Plumber's putty - really? That stuff will bake out in the sun in no time. Rubberized flashing - you put on a bandaid. Flashing a roof to a demising wall that projects through the roof requires counterflashing cut into the mortar joints and covering the top edge of the flashing. Otherwise that top edge will come loose and just collect rain. After a while it could very possibly make the leak worse than before. Existing eight year old roof - who says that the existing eight year old roof was installed correctly? You're having leaks, so it's very possible that they didn't do something right. The devil is in the details in roofing. Just because the existing shingles look presentable, that doesn't mean that there isn't a horror show going on underneath and at the edges. Trust - if you don't trust someone to do a good job, you shouldn't be hiring them. Asking a guy working in the neighborhood is a crap shoot. Ask friends, check references - some new some old, BBB, etc. Do your homework. Doing DIY work on a roof if you're not comfortable - who is going to check up on the roofer that you'll have to hire to finish the job after you get hurt? Medical bills and problems are pretty much infinitely more expensive than roofing.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Thanks, good advice. I suspect the last guy didn't do a very good job. It's hard to imagine that the bandaid could cause bigger problems since the existing stuff had pulled away a good two inches for four feet but I'll keep an eye out for signs of more leakage.
The problem with references for roofing is that problems take years to show up. If someone asked about the guy who did mine, I would have said that they did a fine job, until now. Maybe Angie's list? But that's really the same since references tend to be on current stuff.
I'm a software guy so I do tend to leave the hardware for folks who know better, but money is limited and I do what I can.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
No. Only those as stupid as you are.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 8 Nov 2011 11:32:04 -0500, "Twayne"

nearby. Incompent in roofing perhaps, but not computers.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Only if you can't get a bead on 'em cuz the sun is in yer eyes.
Turn the hose on the roof every couple days. ;)
nb
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Many years ago, flat roofs like that had 20 year pro-rated warranty, but it was reduced to ten and then one or two. I don't know how much the material has changed. I don't know what material was used on your roof and how well it was installed, or what your climate is. Anything I'd say about longevity would be pure speculation. .

He may or may not be. Give the repair a few months and see how it holds up as well as the rest of the roof. If it leaks in a year, he was correct. If you et another 10 years, he was wrong.
Some roofers are very honest and do great work. Some do not, so be sure to check the reputation of the one you want to hire.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Has it rained hard since you patched the roof ?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 8 Nov 2011 18:54:38 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@juno.com"

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 8 Nov 2011 18:54:38 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@juno.com"

No, and we have had some monster downpours this summer. But it is never an obvious 'water pouring through the ceiling' type of thing. It's a creeping stain/paint peeling. The roofing material was peeling away pretty high up on the wall, and the ceramic overhangs that so the rain has to hit it at an angle to really get in.
The rain will come soon enough. And then the snow.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Sometimes roofers will drive nails through the paper into the mortar joint up high to keep it from peeling away. There were some nails in my roof. I could see them stuck through the felt where it peeled away. Don't know how old that roof was. Once that felt peels away from the parapet you need a roofer with hot tar. Any patching you do won't last long. I don't know if a roofer will redo just the parapets with new felt. Seems possible, since those walls are the weak spot on a flat roof. If you get the roof hot mopped every 7 years or so, a flat roof can last a long time. Mine was so old I had a tear-off done. Don't worry about water pooling if the tar is sound.
--Vic
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It's a lot easier if the ladder goes 4 feet above the roof.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

That makes sense. It should go up another few feet. Thanks. I really do hate that though.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yeah, ALL roofers are rip-offs as you suspect, just like the barbers. Ask any barber if you need a hair cut. They'll all tell you it would be a good idea. Bob-tx
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 9 Nov 2011 06:06:59 -0600, "Bob-tx" <No Spam no contact> wrote:

guess, there are honest ones and dishonest ones. The real issue is how someone who works mostly with software can tell which is which.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In this case properly fixing this roof is beyond your capability...
Your house will only stay dry if the roofing material is properly let into the demising walls and then properly flashed and counter flashed... Sounds like you lack the proper skills in flashing, rubber membrane roofing and masonry to do any sort of actual repair yourself...
To argue that the membrane roof you have "is only 8 years old" and you *think* it shouldn't need to be replaced is ridiculous... It has been out in the weather and UV light for 8 years -- your spendthrift ways would catch up with you as you would need to be making many many linear feet of joint along each wall where the damaged, pulled out sections of rood are cut out and removed and the new material applied and sealed to the sheet on the flat section of the roof....
That is fine to do when the sheets of rubber are still new and are 100% clean but you won't find a professional who will warranty any repairs on something that old for more than 90 days and from your reluctance to go up there at all, it sounds as if creating water tight joints in the membrane is well beyond your skill level...
Just because you think that something is still fine doesn't mean that a professional is *wrong* to tell you that it needs to be ripped out and redone because it is up on the roof... The edges of your roof failed after only 8 years, that is a testament to the lack of experience of the roofing crew that did the previous work for you... If you think that saving ANY of that work is a good thing to do, you deserve the future leaks you will get...
This kind of roof is better left to a company who specializes in doing roofing for commercial buildings, which will cost you more but you will get what you pay for in this situation...
~~ Evan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 9 Nov 2011 05:23:21 -0800 (PST), Evan

One of the problems in home ownership is that many things require doing only once. Some stuff I can fix, other stuff I have to hire someone. No, I would not do a roof, that isn't my area of expertise. Having looked at pictures of various rubber membrane roofs, I don't think that's what's up there. Looks like some kind of white tar paper and white nodules. Damn, I need some pictures.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Sure, one was up there with me and patched a few areas. The neighbor on the other side bought the house a few months back and gutted it, then rebuilt the inside with a few rooms for rent. Blatently illegal but he does seem to know what he was doing construction wise. He has his contractor van sitting in the driveway all the time.
The local civic did inform the Buildings Department but they are either paid off or just too short staffed to investigate all of that stuff that goes on.
He's Chinese and doesn't speak much English but did manage to convey that I had a few areas that needed attention but that the roof was ok. I should have mentioned that in the original post; that was another reason that I suspected that I didn't need a new roof.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.