Replacing a Roof — Blog Post #2
Visible Roof Damage
Before we even had the roof examined to get an estimate for the repair work needed, we could see a number of problems. Both photos below were taken after the wind storm but before any repair work had started. In Photo 1, in the ovals I’ve drawn on the photo, you can see where large sections of the roof shingles are missing. The rectangle shows one end of the second story roof fascia board where you can see that a chunk of the trim board is simply gone. If you could zoom in you would also see that the end of the fascia board has suffered years of dry rot. You could see daylight through the cracks in the board.
Photo 2 was taken from a lower angle and in the rectangle we can see more detail of the fascia board dry rot damage.
While most of the exterior of our house is stucco, the front of the house, on both the first and second floors, is covered in wood sheathing. In the circle you can see a pattern in the surface of the sheathing. This is where dry rot has caused the wood to decay to the point that the paint has cracked and has separated from what is left of the wood. While the circle shows one area of the damaged wood sheathing, you can see the same pattern all across the front of the second story. Looking to the right of Photo 2 along the second floor roof line you see what look like bulges where the shingles meet the top of the fascia board. These were clumps of moss, which only grows where there is moisture. This was more evidence of wood damage due to water.
Looking at the roof, after the wind storm, where the roof shingles were blown off, we could see that there was a second layer of shingles. When we purchased our home, back in 1988, we were told that a new roof had been installed within the last year. This was true, but what we weren’t told was that the seller had saved some money by only paying to have a new asphalt roof placed right on top of the existing asphalt roof. Since the house was built in 1977, the ‘new’ roof was installed on top of an existing roof that had been in place for over a decade. I’m sure this reduced the cost of the new roof because it meant the seller didn’t pay for the labor to have the existing roof removed, and they didn’t pay to have the old roof dumped in the landfill. If you think about it, a roof of asphalt shingles for an average house would be several truck loads, and the cost to dump that much into the landfill is not cheap. This also meant that we were paying for the labor to remove two sets of old, worn out asphalt shingles and the cost of hauling and dumping the material from both roofs.
Because the seller didn’t remove the existing roof, any problems with the roof underneath the asphalt shingles were not discovered and were not repaired. Instead, a second set of heavy shingles was put on top of the existing plywood roof and any issues below the shingles were not dealt with.
It was becoming clear that we were not just replacing a roof; we were fixing problems that had been in place since the house was built. You will also notice in the photos that our house did not have rain gutters along all the edges of the roof. The house, as build did not have any gutters. Several years ago we added gutters along the front of the house, but only one the first floor. Given all of this, we needed to have two sets of roofing shingles removed and hauled away, a new asphalt roof installed and new gutters along both the first and second floors.