Question about decking

I had serveral rotten pieces of decking that needed replacement and the contractor just tar papered over the holes on one side and just cut a small piece of plywood that did not fit well to cover another. I assume the whole pieces would need to be replaced or at least half with a good tight fit. Am I wrong to assume that? And shouldn’t they remove all of the old tar paper? They are putting new down over the old. I live in a high wind area and I heard that is not a good idea. Help! I would appreciate any advice.
Thanks! Honeysbestfriend

  1. Where are you located?

  2. Did the contract specify removal of all felt? The general consensus among us here is that all felt should come off, but be prepared to pay for the labor & see lots of uncleanable chits of tarpaper. When all felt is removed (especially from a house that’s had 2 or 3 prior roofs), you have a lot of trash to pick up & it gets in the shrubs making quite a lot of work. Also, price will depend on steepness because a slick plywood deck will make the work more difficult.

  3. As for the plywood, a 1/2" gap is unacceptable. A 1/16" gap is fine.

For my jobs, I usually ‘re block’ the plywood holes with added 2x4’s for side suppport for the new piece & the piece of plywood that gets installed goes from rafter to rafter.

  1. If you can, take a photo (or 2 or 3) & post it here. An acct. like PhotoBucket or Flickr helps. I use PB.

Yes, remove the old tar paper. The rest from a roof get not better from repair. Every repair cost money. This addition go to higher pries. A new roof is for long time cheaper.

We live at Folly Beach SC. We stopped the job and had the city inspector come out. He said they were doing a terrible job and did not have a permit. They were supposed to remove all the old felt, but since no one was there to watch I guess they just thought they could put the new over the old and nobody would notice. Plus they brought the wrong shingles and piled them on top of the house. Isn’t that a no no?This is just the second roof. We have someone coming out tomorrow to give an estimate on fixing it, but now headed into 2 days of rain. What a nightmare!

Please PLEASE post photos; we can give you some guidance based on the steepness (pitch) of the roof.

You need some tarps up there for a temporary water prevention; shingles on the roof is not a no-no (stacking, anyhow). I doubt there is any reasonable way they can get new shingles delivered to the jobsite before rain… they probably already spent your deposit on the wrong ones & to take them back is usually a charge for restock (out here in Texas, I take a 20% hit).

What IS a no-no is the incorrect ones going up there. Make sure the WRONG shingles come DOWN before the correct shingles go up; that’s starting to become too much weight.

Sounds like you need a new roofing co. Can you give us details on what the contract specified? If there is a penalty to pay for the permit fiasco, try to make sure the roofer doesn’t extract this from you in the form of some other mystery charge.

Also, it’s like the complaint about your food… you send it back & the cook sneezes on your hamburger. Make sure something else isn’t compromised.

In a lot of ways, it sounds like your roofer is in breach of contract & as such, they should give you back your deposit minus the expense (correct & reasonable one) that they performed for tear off. Don’t pay for incorrect decking repair & don’t pay for felt that they used because now it’s useless because it has to come off IN ADDITION to the original layer(s) of felt they SHOULD have removed to begin with.

Good luck!

I will try to get some pictures tohight. We will pay them for the removal and hauling off the old shingles. We have not given them any money yet. One thing I did not mention was his crew was a bunch of teenagers. One even had his girlfriend up there! The whole thing has just been a fiasco.

I have PM’d you the name and number of a General Contractor in Folly Beach. If your original roofers didn’t have a permit, they probably don’t have a Folly Beach license, insurance, etc.
Things are slow now, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a licensed roofer to do your job. Good luck!

So that we can learn how to better assist our customers, could you tell us what made you select this co. or contractor to do the work?

Given the distance between Isle of Palms & Folly Beach (about 1/2 an hour if I recall), you might want to @ least get iopsailor to look over your jobsite & provide an estimate.

Ranch Hand,
Thanks for the referral and compliment(?) but I’m just another homeowner like the OP who has made most of the mistakes and rectified a few with the help of the roofers here.
I frequent this board mostly to keep informed. Once in a while I chime in with advice of a non-technical nature if I think it will help. My biggest client does happen to be on Folly Beach but it’s not a roofing contract!

My bad; it’s not often we get an end user on here with ~30 posts unless they have something that went TOTALLY wrong.

3 things.
1 ) leaving felt happens all the time, no big deal.
2 ) piling shingles on top of the house. normal.
3 ) i tell my girl freinds " no you cant come help me roof ".


  1. Don’t leave felt on if you can avoid it. You only get so many chances to see the actual roof deck fully exposed.

  2. Stacking shingles on the roof is fine, but you don’t want to get a whole new load up there in addition to the original delivery.

  3. Gweedo’s girlfriend can’t be on his roof 'cause she’s busy on mine.

Gweedo makes Axiom laugh the loudest… :smiley:

ranchhand make gweedo laugh.
i think.


If there is problem with the decking a roofer with experience will see it with out taking all the felt off.

We very rarly take the old felt off. If the roof was leaking then we will take it off in that area.

Roofs with any knowledge of their trade should be able to see decking problems by walking on the roof, seeing how the old shingles are laying or knowing what kind of decking the house has on it and the problems associated with that decking by the time period that the house was built…ie Indiana houses built in early 70’s 3/8 plywood…not enough vents = junk decking.

Shingles stacked on the ridge is common.

Decking should catch a minumin of 3 rafters when replacing a piece.

We usually do the whold 4X8 piece less work on our end.

Sometimes this replys on this site makes me wonder WTF some of you jokers do for a living.

Thanks to all for your helpful comments. We had our second choice roofer (which turned out to be the best choice) out this morning and he came out in the rain, covered the roof with tarps and identified other problem areas the first guy ignored. He has only one experienced crew and no roofer groupies (groofies?) in tow. He will replace the decking where needed and replace all the felt. We had gone on the recomendation of a local builder for the first guy so we thought we had somebody good… lesson learned and I think all is well. The job should be finished by the end of next week