05:47AM | 04/29/05
Member Since: 04/28/05
1 lifetime posts
Hi there,

We had a general contractor installed part of our lower roof and eavestrough. The eavestrough has been leaking since. But we recently noticed a piece of garbage bag sticks out from under the shingles. We asked the contractor about that. He said it was for moisture blocking. Now, I don't know anything about roofing but it doesn't seem right to put garbage bags up there. He also said that he used only about 5 ft of that. I asked what's underneath the rest of the roof. He said it's felt. That doesn't sound like my roof is protected from water. But the contractor said that if the roof doesn't bother me in the first year or two, it would be fine and I don't have to do anything about it.

My questions are:

1. Would garbage bag protect my roof from water?

2. For places without the garbage bag, what will happen to the roof?

3. Should I start worrying about my roof now?

4. Can some good sealing replace the existence of the wall flashing?

Thanks for your help!


04:14PM | 04/29/05
Member Since: 03/27/05
95 lifetime posts
Answering backwards.........

4. "Good sealing" NEVERS replaces hard flashing work, even though many so-called roofers keep doing it that way. Have seen literally hundreds and hundreds of roof leaks over the years on which guys used various forms of goop to fix or "seal" things up where flashings should be doing the work they're designed for. Whether it's a lack of knowledge, money, or due to sheer laziness...the guy is flat out wrong. Flashing work is the most critical aspect of any roof. It's alo the cause for 90% of roof leaks we've seen on pitched roofs over the years.

3. Worrying is not good for your health. Don't worry, but be pro-active in pressing this guy to admit either his lack of knowledge, or to back up his claims. But mainly, I think you might start to prepare yourself to forget about him, and start to get other opinions.

Call several established roof contractors to inspect the work. Ask for recommendations and estimates for making corrections to what sounds like sub-standard work.

2. Who knows what will happen to places without the garbage bag? No way to predict without seeing what you have there.

1. That's a new one. Whatever else it is, it sounds like the work of the "travelers"...the traveling outfit whos specialty is to rip off people {especially older, more vulnerable folks}...except that they would not use a new garbage bag, but rather pull one out of YOUR trash.

Seriously...that's really pathetic.

By the way, many leaks which are caused by poor workmanship may not show up for 5 years or more. A good properly installed pitched roof should never leak for the life of the shingles...except in those situations where the rare extreme 100 year storm may overwhelm even the best typical system.

Bottom line: You might press this guy a bit more to come straight with you, but even if he made so-called corrections...since he failed miserably the first time around, and is now making excuses, through ignorance or dishonesty...I'd recommend preparing yourself for the day when you get this thing done right, by someone who knows what they're doing.

A roof CAN be your friend


02:15PM | 05/21/05
Member Since: 11/06/02
1280 lifetime posts

You mean you haven't heard of all the studies done on garbage bag substitutions? LOL

A copy of this could go in the new Handyman Humour forum here.

Flashing - "Good sealing" IS using properly installed flashing. It's too bad the roofing trade attracts so many hacks.

Excellence is its own reward!

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