(H)ome (O)wners insurance roof replacement question?

There has been a lot of damaged roofs here due to recent
hail storm(s). I have a question concerning HO insurance
coverage/settlement regarding these roof replacements.

As many of us, a neighbor will be requiring a replacement.

The neighbor currently has a layer of composition shingles,
with a layer underneath of wood shingles. Below that is the
typical roof slats usually found under a wood roof.

I was telling the neighbor that both shingle layers will requ-
ire removal, the roof re-decked with plywood, and then
re-roofed with the replacement composition shingles.

But, when asked if the insurance settlement will cover all
that work/expense, I really didn’t know. I know this could
probably be contingent upon the policy provisions, but in
general, would this extra work be covered?


Most insurance companies handle the claim in the manner you described. There can be exceptions but this is determined by the degree of damage to the comp shingles. If the damage is slight, it may be possible to replace the damaged comp shingles only but this is unusual and the circumstances would have to be just right. Further, the labor required to perform this would be quite high in order not to disturb the wood shingles that now serve as the sheathing for the comp shingles.

Otherwise, I doubt a reputable roofer would attempt a method of repair other than a complete re-roofing to include new plywood sheathing and one layer of comp shingles. It may be possible to leave the slat sheathing in place with new plywood sheathing nailed over it.

I have seen homeowners attempt to claim both the cost of replacement wood and comp shingles, but this tends to be a losing argument because the wood shingles have not sustained a “loss” as their function as a roof protective covering was abandoned when the comp shingles were installed.

A full tear-off down to the rafters, slapping down normal decking (eg: plywood) and then putting on comp shingles is probably more time-effective and also more cost-effective than trying to peel back only part of the onion and patching what I’m assuming is a badly damaged roof. At the end of the day, the house has a new roof with a 25 year guarantee.

Have you ever seen a roof crew do a tear off? Those guys just flail away with pitchforks and shovels and the pieces slide on down into the dumpster. It’s brutal and fast. There’s no time or need to think about whether a given area can be reused or patched.

I had the exact same situation, roof damage by a storm. Except that there were 3 layers of shingles on top of the old wood ones.

The roofing company removed everything, down to the roof slats. Then they added a plywood underlayment, and put shingles over that. My insurance paid almost all of it, except that I had to pay for the plywood underlayment and a couple hours labor to install it. I didn’t argue, because it was a small amount, and I was happy that the insurance company was paying nearly all the cost to replace my roof – it was over 20 years old, and probably due to be replaced soon anyway.

It’s required in Mpls by code if the roof boards have too big of a gap between them. Your roofer could have sent in the statutes so you could get reimbursed.

To the OP’s question, short answer is your policy, what it covers, and local building codes.

It’s more important to have a very good roofer. Did you know the average roofer is in business for less than two years?

Some locales have an environmental landfill tax on used shingles, so the cheap and lazy way to reshingle is right over the old. This might work if the problem is the shingles are just getting old, but if there are large gaps, the result would be uneven and the old ones probably have to come off.

When I reshingled my house years ago, it was old enough that the roof was boards not plywood. I just used the existing boards (what, 1-by-10 or something). that was convenient, as I only had to replace some of the final boards due to rot, not entire sheets of plywood. (On the garage, with plywood, I set the circular really shallow and took off the last foot of plywood to replace.) There were no significant gaps in the boards, so I was not worried about missing the boards with the nailer when the gaps were hidden under the tar-paper seal.

So it depends on what the roofers want to do - use the existing planks or replace them with plywood. My guess is the insurance company will do as little as possible to do a correct job.

Thank you all, very much, for the valuable information and experience.

I will relate this thread to the neighbor described within. I’m sure this will aid him greatly with his re-roofing decision(s).

Thanks again,