Damage To Completed Roofs – Precautions Roofers Should Take

17 – January 1973

A traditional sore spot with the roofing contractor is that his newly applied roof immediately becomes a sidewalk for all.

The main offenders are general contractors’ forces using the roof as a dumping ground and other tradesmen installing roof mounted equipment.

Damage to the roof is caused by foot traffic and by dragging equipment over it or puncturing the membrane while installing the equipment.

More often than not the roofing contractor will be forced to pay for the repair in order to obtain his final contract payment.

Generally those paying the repair costs are not responsible for the damage which, sometimes undetected for several years, can cost the owners thousands of dollars in litigation or roof repair and replacement costs.  Quite a price to pay for carelessness and ignorance through lack of direction and supervision.

CRCA has advised its members of precautions they should take to protect themselves against this abuse of their work.

These are:

  1. At the time of contract signing, be sure there are no obscure clauses exempting others from damage liability either in the specification or contract agreement.
  2. Before commencing the work, check carefully and report any obvious hazards such as other trades in the same area or working overhead.
  3. If the roofing is left in an uncompleted state due to job delay, inform the general contractor in writing to take precautions against roof damage when the roofing forces are off the job and to be especially careful not to damage or puncture any water cut-offs.
  4. When roofing has been completed, notify the general contractor in writing and obtain final approval from the architect. If damage occurs after this date you will not be responsible.
  5. Where damage occurs, protect yourself by taking extensive photographs of the damage, date the photographs and prepare a short written description in reference to each photograph.
  6. Finally, as an overriding precaution, see your insurance agent about added coverage concerning this type of risk.