Every year we get calls from people with roof leaks. Many of these problems could be avoided by checking the decking before you install a new roof. True, it is faster and cheaper to reuse the old felt paper. We are not speed roofers — a few people can do a quality job and it usually takes longer than a
day. “Rome was not built in one day!”
When tearing off the shingles and felt to the bare deck, we have found some strange items. You just never know what kind of decking will be revealed! In the past, people have used some pretty interesting decking materials: license plates, odds and ends of leftover pieces of wood, old newspapers, rugs, rolled roofing, rags, plastic, metal, blankets of insulation, foam board, rotted wood, too thin pieces wood, poor quality wood with large knotholes, no felt paper and even, my favorite, drywall. We even had a customer who had leaks from nuts and bolts in his decking.
Here at A Better Way Construction, when we shingle a roof we tear off to bare deck. We do not reuse the felt paper or just overlay the felt with a new
layer. I don’t have x-ray vision and I don’t know anyone who does. Who really knows what’s under that old felt paper? Tearing off all the felt to bare deck is the only safe way to check for damaged, rotted wood or a variety of decking
If your decking is poor the foundation of your roof is poor. It is important to replace any damaged, rotted or unusual decking and install new felt paper. The money you may save by reusing the felt paper is never worth jeopardizing your new roof —nobody likes to have leaks in their home.