Man in the middle - Roofing a townhouse

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Posted by: from Mississauga
5/17/2011 at 2:12:15 PM

Seeking suggestion. I live in midlle townhouse part of a 4home towm home complex (freehold).

One would think that if my roof leaks, the rest of the homes can also be at the stage where it needs some attention. My next door neighbors do no want to fix their roofs. I am also thinking of re-doing the windows.

As the simple text map below shows, my townhome is practically in the middle.

[ ][ ][ x ][ ]

Note: last November I had a leak, so due to budget i decided to just patch up the "holes". This is what the report said:

Temporary Repair Summary:

>>> Roof is deteriorating and way past due for replacement - creating cracks and holes.

>>> The leak in question was at front section of roof at front of house. There was no underlayment so shingles are turning brittle and cracking and deteriorating all over. The deterioration likely started last year or year before and now is getting very bad where leaks are appearing.

>>> Spoke with customer to let him know he needs to reroof.

>>> Customer would like to hear from Juffs to set up an appointment to discuss options.

>>> Homeowner would like pricing for 3 tab versus laminate shingles and wants underlayment.

>>> As a temporary repair in order to help give the homeowner time to complete a reroof - sealed keys of shingles using chem caulking.

Sealed about 30 or more keys of shingles in one area where wood is exposed through cracks

>>> Customer was home and spoke with repair specialist regarding the condition of his roof.


- should I roof on top, or completely re-roof?

- should I do the windows first before roof?

- What are the concerns if I only upgrade/fix my portion of the roof and not the rest.

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Shawn from Arrow Contracting in Vaughan
Date/Time5/19/2011 at 3:23:28 PM

Hi Joe,

The roof of your own townhome is what you are capable of concerning yourself with. You can not force others to make costly maintenance repairs if they choose not to even if they potentially could affect your home. However, being in a townhouse complex, I am not sure if you have a condo board. If so, you may be able to approach them and they may be able to assist you. If not, ensure your insurance coverage is paid in full and know you have maintained your home.

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Dave in Oshawa
Date/Time5/20/2011 at 11:49:40 AM

Hi Joe,

With the information you've supplied, here are the best answers I can give to your questions. A professional roofer may be able to suppliment my comments.


- should I roof on top, or completely re-roof? - That's up to you. You can apply another layer of shingles to your roof provided there is only one layer down now. It's not a good idea to add more layers as it adds a lot of weight with little benefit. The only thing you're really saving on is disposal fees (and labour time to remove). In the end, it's best to remove and replace.

- should I do the windows first before roof? - Roof before windows. Water entry from the top down can do serious amounts of damage. If you only have the budget to do one or the other, in my opinion, it's most important to do the roof.

- What are the concerns if I only upgrade/fix my portion of the roof and not the rest. - There is potential for leaks to develop through your neighbours segments that could run down the common wall and cause damage to your unit. But that's less likely. Ask your roofer to carefully lift the shingles on the edges of your neighbours roofs and slide underlayment 6 - 8" (or more if possible) under their shingles before resealing. Realistically, the worst case is the roof on your unit is going to look newer and the colour won't be consistent across all roofs. Further, in the furture you have to have faith that whoever reshingles your neighbours roofs will not mess up the join in yours. Obviously it's best to do the whole complex at the same time, but as was stated before, you can't make your neighbours do something they don't want to.

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Wiki in Gfg
Date/Time11/9/2012 at 3:52:13 AM

Traditional pitched roofs crown most American homes with materials such as wood, asphalt and slate to increase curb appeal. They also prevent ice and snow from pooling at the top and damaging a house's interior. Despite lacking these benefits, flat roofs are becoming popular on modern homes, with prices depending on material and location.

Thanks for sharing.


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