Always tear-off old roofing material?

After reading of the final report, by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, relating to the “ROOF COLLAPSE” that caused the death of four (4) firefighters I couldn’t help but notice the comments on “ROOF DESIGN.”

The investigation revealed that the roof of the Southwest Inn had three layers of roofing material, with layers having been added during remodeling projects. The report states:

"When re-roofing occurred, instead of removing the existing roof materials, the new roof was placed on top of the existing roof materials. The roofing material consisted of asphalt shingles installed on ½-inch thick plywood roof decking which was nailed to the top chords of the trusses. Clay (cement) tiles were added to the roof on Side Alpha for decorative purposes."

When rescue teams rushed in following the collapse, they had to cut through the roofing material with chain saws and crawl through windows to reach trapped firefighters.

Question: Is your roofing outfit removing all roofing layers prior to re-roofing?

Our outfit makes the decision for the customer to remove all roofing layers. The reason for removal, to us, is to properly view and address any damage or flashing work that may be needed in the process of re-roofing. Simple.

I just keep getting up,

Fortunately, most building departments and code forbid having 3 roof layers. Sometimes, though, we can’t stop stupid. Good article.

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