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Roof Replacement—and A Discussion of Respect Among the Trades

April 13, 2016
Read time: 3 mins

When reroofs are piecemeal rather than systemic, little things like drip edge can snowball. #HonorYourCraft

The roof on this house has leaked ever since the homeowner bought the house, about five years ago. 
He hired a roofer to 'fix' it, so the roofer sprayed waterproofing membrane on top of the roof and gave the homeowner a five year warranty. 
It didn't fix the leak and the homeowner has called the roofer back year after year for the first four years of the warranty. After four years, the roof still leaks, but the roofer stopped answering his phone. 
"Sometimes they think they can fix everything with coatings, but sometimes a roof cannot be fixed with coatings."

Before tear-off, dig into the history

Taking a core section of the roof reveals the layers: torch down, rolled roofing, rocks. 

One of the problems with this roof is the edge metal: it has a kicked-up edge, designed to retain gravel for a gravel roof. But this roof is not a gravel roof anymore.

The gravel guard edge metal keeps water from flowing off the edge of the roof. It causes it to back up, and if there are any problems with the roofing installation, the water will find it and become a leak.

Or the edge metal can become the leak all by itself, if installed without roof cement, it will rust over time with all of that water ponding on top of it.

For torch down roofing, do not use gravel guard. Use regular drip edge metal that will allow water to drain off the roof.


Prepare the roof deck

Before reinstalling the roof, make sure the deck is properly prepared. This roof has 1x8 ship lap. Eric recommends three nails per board rather run two. Otherwise the board can cup with moisture, making the roof humpy. You can cover the deck with a new layer of plywood, but if the 1x8 is structurally sound, then it may not be worth the investment. Moist people will never see the slight humpiness and it is not a structural or waterproofing problem.

It is worth, however, nailing off the existing deck properly because once it is covered, there won't be an opportunity to tighten up the deck for another 20 or 30 years.

"Take your time and try to fix the mistakes that other people have done ... "


Respect a roofer for their roofing knowledge, not their nationality

It at this point in the video, at 7:23, that Eric changes the topic to mutual respect and tolerance among the building trades:

"I'm not trying to school anybody. Some people they come to my channel and say 'Oh, you're trying to school the American people'—I'm not trying to school nobody. Between workers we're supposed to have mutual respect. You have to know when you're right and you have to know when you're wrong."

"When I learned my trade, I learned from Americans. I learned from Samoans, black people—I leaned from everybody. Mexicans, too ... I learned from people in other countries, and I have so much respect for those guys and I don't care where they're from."

"You respect a roofer for his knowledge, not his nationality."

—Eric Garcia


[Editor's note: #AmenBrother]


The result of eric's work is a smooth layer of touchdown roof that will not leak.

And a minor brain fart about which type of shingle he wanted to use above. 


"Thank you for watching guys, I hope you liked it."
—Eric Garcia is a roofing contractor in the LA area who posts a lot of videos on YouTube
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