Published on August 20th, 2013 | by Henri


Shingles keep blowing off roof

Q.      I had a professional roofer install a roof five years ago with 25-year architectural shingles on our lakeshore camp. The camp is exposed to winds from the west and northwest. Shingles have blown off every year and the roofer has been very responsive and repaired at no cost. However, this year shingles have blown off twice and I approached him about a new roof. He said he would contact the shingle manufacturer and do good by me. The shingles were nailed with a roofing gun with four nails per shingle and not six. The only paper work is a bland one-sheet description of work to be performed with no mention of workmanship guarantee.

For a new roof to go on, the old shingles need to be removed and discarded before installation. What portion of the work should the contractor pay?

A.    If your camp roof is in the shade or the shingles were put on in the fall, winter or early spring, their seal tabs may not have had a chance to set. It takes several weeks of heat and sun for this to take place. Once the seal tabs have set, the shingles are much more resistant to the wind.

You mention that the shingles were applied with a roofing gun with only four nails per shingle; but were they nails or staples? If staples were used, it is no wonder the shingles blew off in the wind as staples do not perform as well as nails (hand-applied) — the only way I recommend that shingles be put on. You may also have fiberglass shingles which are more flexible than organic shingles and more subject to wind damage.

You are very lucky to have a roofer who is so responsible, but his responsibility should be limited to what he may have done wrong, if anything, such as installing the shingles in a windy area at a time when the seal tabs could not set, and using staples to install the shingles.

If the camp roof is in the shade, it takes a lot longer along with hot weather for the seal tabs to set. Placing the responsibility on his shoulders is a tough call. That’s up to the two of you to come to an agreement. But is a new roof the answer? The same thing may happen again. What the roofer could do is to replace the blown-off shingles and put a dab of roofing cement or polyurethane caulking under each of the tabs.

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