When Unprofessional "Roofers" Have Never Heard Of OSHA

Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

When unprofessional "roofers" have never heard of OSHA.

Many roofs in our neighborhood got shredded by a tornado in April.  Mine included.

Of course I hired a professional I have known for over 20 years - licensed to the hilt, insured, professional in every way.   And voted the best roofer in Virginia.

The first thing I noticed on the morning of my roofing job was the harness and ropes in many places around my house.

Why is this important?  It means my professional roofer understands the 2017 OSHA safety rules regarding residential roofing.  The rule, called The Final Rule, requires harnesses and rope restraints (called Fall Protection) for everyone on a high roof, and a rope descending system when coming down.

Obeying these rules means the homeowner is protected and not responsible for falls.  How could the homeowner be responsible for falls?  If OSHA rules are not obeyed, do you think Workman's Comp Insurance, and liability insurance, would cover an accident?  So who would be on the hook instead?  You don't think a lawyer would come after the homeowner's insurance?

Many neighbors asked me who I used for my roof.  And many opted instead for the unprofessional storm chaser companies to do their roof.  Why?  Money I guess, hoping they can make money from the claim.  All I paid was my deductible, which is what I am supposed to pay.

I watched various roofs getting new shingles all over the neighborhood, and it was a parade of clown cars at the circus.  And the lousy work included lesser-quality materials, and then not installing things required by code, like ice shield, drip edges, kick-out flashing, etc. 


It was unbelievable.

Consider the house just across the street from me.

The company sent 4 people to do this roof (my roofer sent 6 to do my house).  They had two trucks with no company name, and only one ladder which was too short!  Consider some photos.







Photo left - the ladder should extend 3' above the roof and be secured to the roof or gutter.  Any harness or fall protection ropes for him?  No ice shield was used, although many rolls of it were placed on top of the roof. 

Photo right - to get to the lower roof, for safety (!?) one "roofer" holds a step ladder perched on the truck bed while another "roofer" uses the gutter to get onto the roof. 



Photo left - this "roofer," no harness or rope restraint, uses the gutter for support as he measures to cut a shingle.

Photo right - on the other side he actually glued the shingle on with roof tar, no nails.  How could he have possibly nailed it into place anyway?  Later, from the same position, he glued the flashing into place using the same "support" techniques.










Photo left - later, shingle nailer (black shirt) noticed the shingles weren't parallel with the top of the roof.  So he called in a tape measure (white shirt), and boss (green shirt) to figure out a solution.

Photo right - they decided to split the difference for each course going up so they could fudge the result having the top course line up with the apex of the roof.  They ran chalk lines all the way up so each course would line up with the measured fudge job, and the parallel appearance would hold!

Photo left - after the fudge job measurements were complete and the chalk lines snapped, it was time to get rid of stuff so they could finish the job.  Here white shirt is throwing ice shield off the roof, the ice shield they never used.  The white rolls were the ice shield.  They were probably returned to the store later for cash, at the expense of my neighbor and/or insurance company.

Photo right - black shirt is throwing the unused rope for the rope restraint system.  It wasn't really needed - there were no harnesses or attachment clips anyway.
I could go on and on with the fun photos!

In this last photo black shirt is carrying down a box of nails.  I think they used staples for the roofing (which are not approved), so these nails were also probably returned to the store.  For cash...

Also, OSHA ladder rules require two hands on the ladder at all times, and a rope descending system to be used when coming off a high roof.  Notice the cheap ladder bending under the weight!!

I would bet money they are not.

My recommendation:  check out your contractors before they begin work!  Make sure they are licensed and insured and professional!  My professional roofer gave me a written 12 year warranty on installation and against leaks!  My shingle manufacturer gave me a written 15 year warranty against wind damage!  It's not my business, but I wonder what guarantees or warranties my neighbors in the neighborhood got.



Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560



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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

I love your ongoing narration.  I could have watched the same scene, and not understood what was going on.

Oct 15, 2017 06:29 AM #13
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I can see why Kathy chose your post this week...great stuff!

Oct 15, 2017 07:18 AM #14
Ben DeHaven
Haven Realty & Investments - Winter Haven, FL
Proudly serving Winter Haven & Lakeland, Florida

Yikes! I wouldnt want to be up there without a safety harness. I hope all these "roofers" made it home without broken bones.

Oct 15, 2017 07:18 AM #15
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Alan - I was in my office doing reports and laughing over and over.  What a joke.  My roofer had more laughs, no doubt, when I sent him this post link.

Kristin - what, you need Kathy S to find my posts?  I'm embarrassed for you!

Ben - they all climbed down (the weak ladder) at the end of the adventure, with my neighbor wise to none of it.

Oct 15, 2017 07:41 AM #16
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Jay. I think this is really eye opening and I appreciate the photos too.

Oct 15, 2017 08:45 AM #17
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

And this has gone on and on all over my neighborhood, Sheila! 

Except my house.  That post is yet future.

Oct 15, 2017 09:06 AM #18
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

This is a classic example of you get what you pay for. Real value comes at a price. Thanks for sharing.

Oct 15, 2017 10:42 AM #19
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Holy smokes Jay - that is just nuts what those guys are doing. A few years back we had a huge hail storm and there were many, many roofs destroyed 300,000 I think. There were a ton of these unlicensed roofers in town and I wasn't surprised to hear some folks were fine by using them.  We chose our trusted local licensed roofer.  To this day I run into sellers that have no warranty for their roofs and have run into issues when trying to sell.....what can I say....not much. We have our guys fix the issue and sometimes it's not so cheap.

Oct 15, 2017 11:08 AM #20
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Scary stuff, Jay, and they and ther company are clueless, as are the homeowners. Heaven forbid something should happen.


Oct 15, 2017 11:29 AM #21
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It is, Corey, and I expect that sooner or later problems will arise!

AB - the boomerang always comes back.  I have heard that if you think a professional is expensive wait until you hire an amateur!

Jeff - or not so cluless.  You think the company doesn't know they aren't putting ice shield on the houses?  One day one of those guys is going to use a gutter for support and it's not going to hold him!  Or that cheap ladder will collapse.

Oct 15, 2017 12:25 PM #22
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good afternoon Jay - I am due to replace my 30 year old roof and this information will come in handy.

Oct 15, 2017 12:26 PM #23
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I'm wondering if you showed any of this to the neighbor and what their reaction was if you did. 

Seems there could be some kind of legal action taken against these guys with these pictures.

Oct 15, 2017 12:34 PM #24
Anthony Kirlew
Keller Williams Legacy One Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Helping You Make Fiscally Sound Choices

I had anxiety looking at those pictures (not kidding). It reminded me of one I observed recently.ladder fail

Oct 16, 2017 12:52 AM #25
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Grant - find a qualified roofer and go for it!  Check the rules.  Any true professional will act so in every way.

Sharon - my wife has sworn me to secrecy.  If they ask me I might share a link to this blog!

I had anxiety watching them Anthony!  And the ladder in your photo is too far from the building..

Oct 16, 2017 03:06 AM #26
Stephen Weakley
Nationwide Mortgage Services - Rockville, MD

I always handle large projects like I would at work.  At least three quotes, research into the companies licensing and then references.   Then stay home to monitor the work in progress.

Oct 16, 2017 11:00 AM #27
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Stephen - that roof is well done, with the requisite 2' of ice shield at the bottom of the roof AND synthetic underlayment (instead of tar paper).  Plus, fall protection harnesses!

Oct 16, 2017 12:36 PM #28
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

So important for homeowners to understand the consequences and differences with licensed roofers!  Great, informative post Jay!

Oct 16, 2017 09:44 PM #29
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Jan.  It is important to understand that with every trade!

Oct 17, 2017 12:52 AM #30
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I learned a lot from this post. I will bookmark it and share it with others

Nov 08, 2017 02:00 PM #31
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

That's the intent, Rita!  There was a lot going on there, and those who foist unprofessional work on people will eventually get it in the end.

Nov 09, 2017 03:23 AM #32
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