I am re-roofing and have covered the whole roof with 30# tar paper and
shingled one side of the house.
Yesterday we got a LOT of rain and I had 3-4 leaks on the side of the house
only covered in tar paper. 2 of them was pretty bad and left big spots on
Should I worry about this and try and find where it was leaking or will the
shingles take care of the leaks when I get them up?
That's a pretty open-ended question. How about tell what kind of roof
pitch, presence of drip edge, if you covered the ridge, any valleys present
and how you covered those, similar with chimneys, and vent stacks, and what
kind of shingles you're using. And, if you really don't mind, where the
leaks in the ceiling are in relation to the roof. The direction and
severity of the wind during the rain, and its directional relation to the
roof may also be factor.
Yes, find the leaks with a garden hose first. If you can't demonstrate a
leak, most likely the wind was blowing the felt paper up during the rain
period. Felt paper, whether #15 or #30 should dry the house in, not
considering strong winds.
First, I hope it's not tar (coal tar) but bitumen (Oil bitumen) paper.
Then, I hope it's not "paper" but fiberglass reinforced underlayment.
If above is OK, then complete your shingle roof.
The "paper!" is there only to prevent snow that may go under your shingles
to create problems.
But beware of proper detailing in your shingle laying!
Have a look at http://www.nrca.net/rp/technical/manual/manual.aspx
Then open the NRCA Manual, go to steep roofing and FOLLOW ALL THEIR ADVISES
Installing roof shingles is a job requiring professional experience...
Can't you afford a professional roofing contractor to do it for you?
I disagree. All it takes is someone who is willing to pay attention to
detail and takes the time to do the job properly. In fact, I've seen
"professional" jobs that most certainly are NOT up to my personal
standards of what constitutes a good roof installation.
Installation of normal residential roofing (not including concrete tiles
or terra cotta) can quite easily be installed by a competent homeowner.
I've done it or helped do over a dozen times.
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
I'm with Bob. The main component of a good asphalt shingle roof job is
reading the directions that come on the shingle packages and taking the
time to follow them.
Then again, Bob, I don't think you are an average homeowner. :-)
You are welcome. I have a decent day here in PA. 42 degrees and
I just finished installing 8 recessed lights in a new suspended ceiling
and my fingers are aching from twisting wire nuts and tie wire. Running
a keyboard most of the day doesn't keep ones hands in very good shape
for wiring or hanging suspended ceiling grid.
I have to admit that a "simple" roof isn't so complicated to shingle
It's all on how and where one starts (Alignment) and how the details (Ridge,
eave, gutter, ventilation, etc...)have been planned.
Yes, Manufacturers installation manuals contain all that.
Yes, some so-called roofing contractors are often messing up the stuff
Yes, I am always trying to push the owners to use the services of building
If they all do everything by themselves, how I will make a living :-((
If you do competent work at a fair price, you'll likely not have a lack
of business. At least you wouldn't where I live. There are lots of
folks that sell themselves as contractors, but few that are really good.
Someone who is willing to pay attention to detail and do the job properly
would be considered professional. If you've seen a "professional" not
install to standards, they can not possibly be considered professional,
except in the sense of self-proclaimed professionalism.
I disagree that installation can quite easily be installed by a competent
homeowner, there is absolutely nothing easy about roofing. Though the
average homeowner maybe able to install a straight forward roof covering,
when it comes to junctures/flashings/valleys/chimneys/penetrations, they
would have had to do some serious reading and have certain tools (brake) to
properly bend such flashings. There are tricky areas in some designs of
which I do not believe anything in reading, except experience could resolve.
I didn't mean to step on anyone's toes. You are most certainly correct
that some roofs are not for amateurs (like myself). I guess I had in
mind a simple gable or hipped roof when I spoke about a homeowner
I should like to point out that there are many high quality roofing
contractors and that they do an excellent job with some very tough roof
On the other hand I'm looking at the roof of a house I purchased about
10 years ago. A new roof was put on the house by a local roofing
company before the house went on the market. There are a few 3:12 pitch
areas that drain into the gutters. It would have been a good install to
have drip edge or similar flashing in order keep water from flowing
behind the gutter and running down the fascia, especially when the wind
The rest of the installation was done pretty well except that there are
no crickets above the chimneys, so water piles up against the flashing
on the uphill side of the chimney and in one case it was not sealed
properly so I got a leak.
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
Don't hang your hat on a word. There are plenty of other professionals
(doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects, accountants, etc.) that I
wouldn't trust to make change of a dollar. Professional, in regards to
the building trades, usually implies one of two things. Primarily it
connotes someone performing the work for pay - whether they earn a
living from it or not is a different matter. Secondly, referring to
the quality of the work, the term would indicate the job being done in
conformance with trade standards.
There's a bell curve in everything, and roofing is no different. I
agree that there are fine points that are not easily within the reach
of your average homeowner, but there are owners that don't care how
long the job takes - they just want to get it right. That's a major
advantage...unless it's _your_ roof that's open and the rain's
Conversely, there are too many people in construction who have improper
or incomplete training. Just because a guy has a business license and
the tools, doesn't automatically mean the work is superior. I'm sure
you're not saying that it does.
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