A roofing company just destroyed my friends house!

Up until December, I was managing a storm remediation company and oversaw a lot of roof replacements, so my friend and neighbor asked me to check in on his roof replacement since he would be gone at work all day. He was using the highest rated company in Atlanta so I assumed there would be nothing to worry about. I was VERY wrong.

The first thing I realized is that they delivered 1/2 plywood but he was paying for 5/8. The job had started but the boss was nowhere to be found so it was a real pain having to call the main number and convince them that they needed to get the right decking delivered. I eventually got the point across and they delivered the right materials just in time to do the complete redecking my friend had requested.

Now the boss finally showed up and I introduced myself and started asking all the relevant questions to make sure there weren’t any glaring issues with his plan for the roof. I asked how many feet of ridge vent he was putting on and he said 70 and I immediately knew he hadn’t done any ventilation calculations, so I showed him how to use the OC ventilation calculator so he could see the the roof only needed 42 lf of that particular vent. 70 lf would have been sucking the A/C out of his house for the next 20 years.

Then we talked about the ice and water. He says he’s going to be applying it to the rake. So I said “okay, and the eaves…?” and this guy looks at me like I’m an idiot and tells me the ice and water only goes on the rake. So now my alarm bells are ringing. I tell my friend I have to go to my doctor’s appointment but that the supervisor has no idea what he’s doing and he should call the company to complain.

While I’m gone it starts to rain. 3 hours of very heavy rain. When we get back to his house, the supervisor keeps asking about if he’s doing a total renovation on the house. Like he was suggesting that if there were water leaks inside that it wouldn’t matter. And my friend says its just the exterior, I’m not renovating, I live here. I was getting abad feeling so I said we better go look around inside.

Immediately, we could hear water dripping. There were huge areas of water damage in EVERY room of the house! This crew did not tarp during the rain. There were several parts of the ceiling that were already collapsing in. It was an absolute nightmare scenario. We called the company and immediately they would not take us seriously. They told us they would send their sheetrock guy out in a few hours to look at it. So I called up the best water remediation company I know and told them to go ahead and stabilize the house and that the roofing company would eventually understand the severity of the situation and thank me for getting the drying process started immediately.

I’ve advised him to file a claim with his property insurance and let them subrogate the roofers insurance. But the craziest part is they sent the same crew AND job supervisor back today to finish the roof job. This is a huge company, they could have sent anyone else to finish the job. It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my time in construction. If you were the owner of the roofing company would you still charge him for the roof?

Update (December): They did not end up charging him for the roof. He and his tenant are still displaced while the house is being put back together. Its been a huge disruption in their lives and I think the company ultimately decided that an insurance claim doesn’t really account for all the ways their mistake effected them. I believe it was the right call, especially as it was a very large company with a good reputation at stake.

You ask a rhetorical question and I offer a rhetorical answer. Do you think your friend is responsible to pay for the portions that didn’t leak??


I’m confused. More ventilation is never a bad thing. If it’s sucking the AC out of the house, it’s not the roofers fault.


I don’t mean for it to be rhetorical. I’m sincerely asking what the roofing company owners on this forum would do in this situation. I’d like to see if I can get a consensus on what would be appropriate given the situation. His life is going to be completely turned upside down for months. Insurance takes some of that into consideration but there’s a lot of stressful elements that just aren’t factored into an insurance pay out. Would you still expect him to pay full price for a job that went this horribly wrong?

I’ve read several studies on attic ventilation that show that both under and over ventilation are detrimental to roof life expectancy and energy efficiency.

If I was the homeowner, I’d look at the following actions;

  1. Insurance claim.
  2. Legal action if professional negligence was at play.

As a business owner;

  1. Fire the project manager and the sales rep.
  2. Eat crow and try any means to make things right.

It will be an expensive lesson for the business in any case.


The company is 100% responsible to pay for the water remediation, any damages to the house, and lodging for him and his family in the meantime if the house is unlivable. That is what general liability insurance is for.

Any good owner or manager would have been on site after hearing they flooded a building and seeing the damage themselves.

The cost of the roof however is a separate issue. The roof will still need to be paid for as long as it is provided and installed according to the contract. The roofing company will have to use their own pocket or insurance to pay for the repairs.

Make sure your friend is documenting everything in case a lawyer needs to get involved. Make all communications via text or email so there is a record.

I am sorry to hear that they have had such an unfortunate and completely avoidable disaster happen to them. I wish them luck.

I would get rid of them instantly and ask if they had a drywall crew with the same sense of quality, just kidding, don’t pay them and get them off the job by whatever way possible

I am not gonna lie,
This posting is not going to sound very kind to you
First off, i would be highly disturbed if a customer sent someone else to come watch me and intervene with my work.
I already have two inspections from the city.
Second is the 1/2 to 5/8 discrepancy.
Did the homeowner specify that?
Or did the salesman sell it that way?
7/16 or 15/32 is what they sell, is available and is all that is required.
I hope that wasnt a sales technique that has backfired.
I dont even mention the thickness of the sheeting so it doesnt back-fire on me.
I replace the sheeting with the same thickness
which is almost always the half-inch specific thicknesses ive already mentioned or 3/4 inch 1x decking.

Then you coming up and saying the roofer is using too much ridge-vent.
70 feet? You are out of your mind.
Too smart for your own panties…

The roofer screwed up letting the water in.
But i am convinced this “guy” hindered them and screwed with them so much, they didnt have time to get it right. More like scared the crew off the job.
Slowing them down, shutting them down with questions while rain is directly on the way…
The company didnt plan on spending hours of time dealing with an outsider.

Should the roofer get paid?
Yes, after he fixes the damage.

You had no right to call the other company even with the homeowners approval.
The roofing company was willing immediately to take responsibility and set up a professional to fix the damage.
You negated that.
So you should pay any bill the company sends.
Because you are as much a dumb ass as the roofing company.
You dont understand contractual laws very well or you wouldnt have done that. You’ll see.

First, you screw up the house by hindering the crew.
Now, you have caused a huge bill to the homeowner for the remediation company.
And possible to
Lose his homeowners insurance for making a claim
And /or raise his rates significantly.
What a mess!!

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In Georgia there are no inspections required so you really don’t know if someone has done an adequate job unless you ask a knowledgeable 3rd party. I never took offense to being questioned on my roof plan. I understood why people got nervous about their roof install and I felt it was my job to dispell ANY concerns they had even if they seemed like silly questions.

I told my friend that half inch was fine but he paid a lot of extra money to get the 5/8. Even if its not important, you can’t fault the guy for wanting to get what he paid for. If you’re going to upsell then you better deliver what’s on the contract.

As far as the ventilation goes, as I’ve said before, I’ve read multiple articles in industry publications that say exhaust and intake must be balanced. He only needed 41 lf of exhaust. At 70 lf of high efficiency ridge vent, he would have ha d to nearly double his intake vents all the way around his house for no good reason. We are in the deep south so it’s really important to get it right or the roof will age terribly.

The owner of the roofing company thanked me repeatedly for calling out the remediation company. The guy they were sending didn’t have any equipment or experience with water remediation, he was just a drywall guy. The problem was the person I was speaking to before the owner called, thought we were exaggerating. When the guy they sent arrived 4 hours later, he openly admitted he was completely unequipt to handle that level of water damage. Their insurance commpany has already confirmed they will be covering all the emergency remediation work 100%.

It is pretty shocking to me that a roofing professional would blame the customer and me for what happened to his house. I always made sure my crew had plenty of tarps to cover the job in case there was rain. We get scattered thunderstorms nearly every afternoon this time of year. You have to be prepared for them.

The tarps are only ok if you have All the sheeting installed and mostly all the underlayment too.

I would have installed the 1/2 inch wood that was delivered on time and gave back the “upsell” money.
It was completely wasted money any way!
No benefit besides letting a very heavy person maintain the roof in the future without damaging it.

The roofing was planned around the weather.
And it was very important.
Its not all willy nilly.
Its planned to the hour.
You ruined those plans whether you want to believe it or not.

It would have been great if you had just caught them, but let them proceed.
Because then the roofing would have been done on .time.Escaped the rain (as planned)And got it for a much cheaper price because the “upselled” wood wasn’t used.

I am not saying the roofer is not at fault.
He deserves what he gets for upselling wood that was not needed in the first place. He dug his own grave.
But i still want to point out that You contributed to this
And how you did it.

Wisdom would have known the original wood that was delivered was appropriate, work continued and talk about the money difference later.
In the middle of sheeting replacement with rain on the way is Not the time for conversations or debate.
That was without wisdom.

Like I said, I didn’t think the thicker wood was important but it wasn’t my roof. It was really important to my friend and he asked me to be there to make sure it was done according to the contract that he had already negotiated with the sales person. When I initially brought up the discrepancy, they didn’t know if they’d be able to get the correct wood delivered right away and I suggested they come back the next day but THEY were the one’s that insisted everything would be fine. If it had been my roofing company I never would have attempted to do a roof on a day that was forecasting severe weather.


File an insurance claim. OR reach out to the local building or licensing officials.

You’re right, it’s super important to stick to what’s in the contract. Your friend did good by keeping an eye on that. And about doing the roof when bad weather was coming, that’s tricky. I’d usually say wait for a clear day. Safety first, and you want the job done right, without rushing. Hope this helps!


Roofing Sterling VA

Not rushing and waiting for a clear day? You’re not in the construction or roofing business.