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Repair Talk


If you have gotten this far into the subject of roof maintenance, you already know that there are about two zillion different attitudes on and approaches to the subject and that (and even more frustrating) there is nowhere one goes to get a PhD in ‘Roofology.’ Over the years I have developed some pretty firm ideas on repairs and I’ll try here to make them clear, even though as you will see, there is a great deal of subjectivity involved with what not to do, what to do, when to do it and how much.

What we are trying to accomplish with the whole idea of roof maintenance and especially repairs is to get as much life out of the roof as we can, as prudently as we can. This is the single most important reason why we provide a Maintenance Plan on our Completion Statements. What we are not trying to do is to ‘love the roof to death’ and/or to cross the line from where you tell yourself you are doing maintenance but what you are really doing is rebuilding the roof one bundle at a time. That’s a dumb (and expensive) thing to do.

So, you can easily see that we are rapidly into a situation in which, based upon what your goals for the roof are, it all becomes a matter of at what point do we start “looking the other way.” I say this because even though there are an awfully lot of judgement calls required in doing shake roof repairs, there are, in my opinion, two very hard and fast rules that I have learned over the years. I would ask, once you have heard all the ideas about repairs you care to, that if you remember nothing else, you remember these two things: 1) The roof always, always, always looks worse than what it really is from a serviceability standpoint, and 2) There is always one more shake to replace. I can’t begin to count the number of roofs I been on that for all the world looked like they had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. You could send a hundred roofers to look at them and every one of them would say the roof needed to be torn off and replaced – and I wouldn’t argue at all. However, what if the roof doesn’t leak? Now all of a sudden it becomes a question not of what do we see, but rather one of what are we trying to accomplish? Let’s see if we can sort out some options and considerations.