Wall cracked during shingle delivery

Hello All,

I’m in the process of having a new roof put on my recently purchased first house (a ranch). I didn’t watch the loading of the shingles onto the roof but did see where the truck was parked and how the conveyor was positioned. An hour or so later I happened to notice a long crack in the exterior brick wall just below where the bundles came off the belt. The shingles were loaded near the corner of the roof. Near that area is a window. The crack extends from the lower corner of the window all the way to the ground (a height of about 5 feet). It’s mostly a stair-step crack but it does cut across a few bricks. It ranges from 1/16 to 1/8 inch wide. This is a garage wall and the inside is drywalled. I can’t see any damage from the inside.

I pointed it out to the roofers and they said they didn’t know anything about it and hadn’t seen anything like that happen before. They agreed it was a fresh crack. One guessed that the weight of the truck (which was on an asphalt driveway) distorted the ground and caused the crack. They took pictures and said they would show them to the company owner.

Has anyone seen anything like that before? Do you think the roofing company should pay for repairs?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

we have had sheetrock problems b4 but never brick or foundation,how many layers of shingles are on it now

Look at it this way. If the crack did occur from the loading of the roof, it will not crack any more. It was only a temporary load. A good drywall man should be able to make it look like new, and I would certainly be willing to pay for that to keep a customer happy.

There is only one layer of shingles on there now.

Let’s see if an can post a couple pictures…

The crack extends from the lower left corner of the window.
http://www.roofing.com/images/topics/10049/img_1283381363.jpg

A close up
http://www.roofing.com/images/topics/10049/img_1283381473.jpg

well I would say that if the truck was on the driveway to the right in the picture then, No the truck weight did not do it. asphalt will dent before that. as far as the weight of the shingle doing that…I highly doubt it. all the weight appears to be up top.

the only way i can think that happened is if your wall bowed out from the weight at the peak of the house. this would be caused by your ceiling joists not holding your walls in like they should. that seems to me to be the only logical answer and unless they were truly slamming those bundles down its hard to blame the roofer. I would check your attic and ceiling joist in that area and see if anything is unattached or broken. The good thing is that the bricks are only for looks and can easily be repaired without structural worries. Other then how they got there in the first place.

i will say ive never seen that happen before!

good luck.

Outside wall cracks are usually foundation related. I cannot see how the truck or shingles could damage that wall unless the foundation has shifted, too. I’d check the ground next to that wall for cracks. You may need piers put under your foundation, if you have the nasty shrink swell soil I often find around here. If it has been exceedingly dry, that is the time this happens.

whatever you do, please dont blame the roofer, or make him pay for it.

I misread your initial post. that is obviously not a drywall crack!

Why would you expect the roofer to pay to repair the crack? I’m assuming you realized that a number of men and bundles of shingles would need to be on the roof, I know of no other way to accomplish the job.

I suppose it is possible the crack occurred when the shingles were being loaded. However, all that means is the fracture potential was there and required the smallest trigger for it to happen. It would have happened sooner or later anyway.

I’m not saying it happened this way but I suspect most everyone here has experienced how the Homeowner suddenly notices problems during or after the roof construction. Gutter dings/scratches, sidewall rot, paint scrapes, etc. that were there for some time are suddenly noticed. People have a way of overlooking or not noticing these things for months and years but when their attention is drawn to the roof, these things suddenly leap out at them.

I try to get the guys and the crews to do a thorough inspection of the property prior to construction beginning and make note (and take pictures) of any problems that could ultimately be blamed on the roof crew. Just taking a dozen or so pictures of the exterior with a high resolution camera (which will allow for some substantial zooming later) often proves to be helpful in dealing with these disputes.

Bottom line, it is unfortunate this has happened but unless there is more to this story than has been told, I see no reasonable way to hold the roof crew accountable for the crack.

another example of why i dont roof load shingles…

Make the roofer pay for it unless you signed a waiver from the supply company they never do that unless drive way is messed up and on a house i did years ago well lets just say the truck well went down about 2 inches, driveway broke.

As far as the crack, well could have been a load bearing issue in the home seen this before. Have an engineer out and the building inspector out BEFORE you pay the roofer and explain to him and have him come out to meet with the other 2, heck might as well invite the regional shingle rep along too.

But dont pay until fixed. My bet is a structural issue in the walls did it bearing that much weight. If you had 3 bundles of shingles the exterior load bearing wall with the shingles on it would have bowed or moved causing the problem. If there were 3 layers thats the case 2 layers maybe but not sure unless in the attic looking for cracked shifted or broken wood. If you want to chat pm me a number and i can walk you through all of this.

Hope this helps, gtp

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I’m certain the crack is new as I’m constantly pulling weeds along that wall.

Just to be clear, I’m not automatically assuming the roofers did something wrong but since I didn’t see how the shingles were loaded on the roof I thought is was a possibility. (Maybe some bundles were accidentally allowed to slam down. Maybe the truck bumped the house. I don’t know.) The other explanation is that this house I just bought has a structural problem. I was hoping someone had seen this type of thing before so they could tell me which was more likely. Just my luck to have something strange happen.

I will tell you that it is most certainly not from the roofers or from loading the shingles. Unless a whole pallet was dropped in that area. That is most certainly a foundation/soil problem.

I am sure most of us have loaded thousands of bundles worth of shingles on roofs before.

I personally have never seen something like this. I only had a problem once, and that was involving the concrete driveway cracking and the supplier took care of it.

From the looks of the job, the roofers haven’t even started yet so I don’t know how they could be blamed for it.

As mentioned, get an engineer out to take a look at your structure.

I cant think of any way possible that could have been caused by the roofers. Maybe the crack is new but it has to be a coinsidence.

I’ve never roof loaded by machine. I do know that brick walls are not load bearing. They are just a facade. I would think if the brick cracked the framing had to give. The brick ties are the only thing connecting the brick to the framing of the home. Even the top soldier, would have cracked I think. Just my opinion. For what it’s worth.

I disagree. It seems very reasonable and logical that the crack was the result of the roofers and shingles being loaded onto the roof. However, that does not mean the roofer should be held responsible for the crack as it is impossible to replace a roof without people and material being on the roof. I seriously doubt the wall just happened to crack coincidentally on the day the roof materials were placed on the roof above it. Possible but doubtful.

Now what hasn’t been said or isn’t clear is exactly how the material was loaded onto the roof. Was an entire pallet “dropped” onto the roof? Did the crew loading the material onto the roof stack 30 squares right on the edge of the roof somewhere near where the crack formed? Did the delivery truck back into the house at all?

I’m not sure why they would do a roof drop on that one story low pitched roof but that is another conversation altogether. I personally see too many potential liability issues with roof top material drops for roof replacements on existing residential structures. But that concern would typically be more towards the driveway that the walls.

Here’s a quick follow up:

I sent pictures to a couple masons and they both quoted me about $350 to repair the brick. So compared to the cost of the 40 square roof, it’s not a lot of money.

I agree I should eventually have an engineer come out just in case there is a problem with the house. I didn’t see any obvious problems in the attic above the wall.

I was sloppy with my wording before. The building supply people are possibly to blame, not the roofers.

The roof was completed today and I paid for it in full. The roofing salesman says a rep for the building supply company will be contacting me to discuss the wall and if they don’t I should let him know.

I think it would be fair for the supplier to split the repair cost with me. It obviously had something to do with the shingle delivery. In my opinion, just because no one can explain exactly why this happened shouldn’t make it automatically 100% my problem.

Again, thanks to everyone who replied to my post.

GTP …Why, in every situation like this, the first words out of your mouth are “make the roofer pay for it”.

As Authentic Dad said this could have already been cracked and never noticed.

I have actually taken pictures of similar conditions as this prior to a job. After the job was completed the home the homeowner noticed the crack and indicated he thought it was something we were responsible for. Fortunately I had the “before” photos to assure the homeowner the condition existed before the house was re-roofed.

This is in no way shape or form the fault of the roofing contractor. Even if it is the result of all the shingles being loaded on the roof at the same time. A sound structure shouls bear that weight. The crack could have been opened up by the weight of one man working along the eave in that area.

This is a structural issue,foundation or header above window are the most likely culprits. Or simply a settling crack which often times will take many many years to show up.

$ 350.00 seems to be a reasonable amount for a mason to come in and and re-mortar the joints.

[quote=“ehd”]Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I’m certain the crack is new as I’m constantly pulling weeds along that wall.

Just to be clear, I’m not automatically assuming the roofers did something wrong but since I didn’t see how the shingles were loaded on the roof I thought is was a possibility. (Maybe some bundles were accidentally allowed to slam down. Maybe the truck bumped the house. I don’t know.) The other explanation is that this house I just bought has a structural problem. I was hoping someone had seen this type of thing before so they could tell me which was more likely. Just my luck to have something strange happen.[/quote]

Has it been especially dry or wet there?

Like the others, the first thing that comes to my mind is there could be foundation problem. If you are pretty sure the crack is roof related, then I suggest you take a good look in your attic for some signs of the roof being overloaded where the conveyor was set up. Of course, they may have also rested the conveyor on the roof. Who knows. Look around closely, both inside and outside.