1. if you guys remember that nice storm we got right b4 new years eve? well i had to clean off a roof after that storm. i had gone to this guy to look at his building to rent. we are walkin out the door on the other side of the building and there is a large leak in his roof. the water was destroying the roof. and there was a large puddle on the floor. i asked him if he would like the snow cleaned off the roof. the roof is maybe 75' X 40? big flat roof. some of it is in the sun but most is in dense shade all day long. the roof is channeled out. there are long canals with sides and there is only one place for the water to drain out of each piece, which is always blocked up. there was about a foot or two of snow on the roof and a couple inches of ice. enough where if i stood on it it wouldnt break or anything. so i sent my guys there to clean the snow, they did it in a 7 hr day. brought the guy the bill and he said that the roof was leaking slightly. so i agreed to take a cut in my pay if he would take care of the roof. he agreed and paid me a reduced amount and that he would take care of the roofer. so i left and went back one day. he was not happy with me. he told me that the roof was leaking and that the roofer had to go look and there was snow up there again. so i went up and looked (cleaned more snow) and there was all ice there... thick ice too... now the roof is flat like i had said, and there are supposed to be places for it to drain, but the water just sits there on the roof, i have seen it.. cause there are like sub channels that run perpendicular to the way the water should go. so the guy called me up yesterday telling me that his roof was in real bad shape, and that our deal wasnt gonna cut it. he wanted my insurance guy's name and everything which i gave him. but he says he wants a whole new roof. because it is being ruined. and that there were lots of little holes in it. there was a lot of ice up there that my guys had to remove. i have whitnesses to how it looked, so that isnt a problem. but what do you guys think? i mean i think that he doesnt have a case. what about you guys? any help would be greatly appreciated...
     
  2. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,412

    Maybe Im a little slow, but please explain where the connection comes between you shoveling the roof and you hiring a roofer to fix the leaks???
     
  3. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,205

    all you did was shovel the roof off. it obviously is still going to leak due to the ice build up. if i understand the story right, this guy cant touch you. by shoveling, you took less weight off the roof so some ice could melt. if the snow was still up there it would probably collapse.
     
  4. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    I'd tell him to take a hike
     
  5. plowking35

    plowking35 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S.E. CT
    Posts: 1,687

    Where is your copy of the written agreement between you and the owner, that states "We are not responsible for any damage that occurs to the roofing surface or membrane as a result of our efforts to remove the snow and or ice."
    ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have a written agreement for any work that you do, whether you are getting paid or not. We do volunteer work at a food festival, and yes we have a written agreement with the festival coordinators. Everything in writing always.
    that was your first mistake.
    Second was agreeing to a lower price after the work was complete. By doing such, you in effect admitted to damaging the roof. You also probably dont have a change order relasing you from further harm.
    Third I assume you dont have any papers or pictures to back you up.
    Forth I also assume that roofing and roof clearing are not what you do very often, that lends more weight to his case, by basically staing that you had no experience, and that led to the damage. And since you dont have this desription in your business liability policy, you may not be covered.
    I hate to say this, but you have been played, and it may be time for an attorney.
    Call your Ins agent asap, let him know everything, and good luck. The best argument you will have is to prove that the roof leaked before you did the snow removal.
    This is just another example to make sure that you dont do work outside the scope of your abilities, and company profile. And that you always document everything.
    Dino

    [Edited by plowking35 on 03-24-2001 at 05:54 PM]
     
  6. 2 things- i have witnesses who can say that the roof was leaking and in bad shape before we got there.
    and also if i have to i can go see the old man that i work for and he will help me.
    3rd. where is this food festival? i love to eat :)
     
  7. plowking35

    plowking35 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S.E. CT
    Posts: 1,687

    Mystic Ct
    The taste of Connecticut
    2cd weekend in Sept every year
     
  8. plowjockey

    plowjockey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 332

    Dino

    You bring up soime very good points that sometimes we may overlook in the course of the all out push (pun intended) to do our winter business. Like you said never never take your eye off the ball or let your, legal in this case, guard down.

    Bruce
     
  9. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 849

    Only once, have I had to clear ice off a flat roof. The ice was 2" thick. This was when I worked at the high school. The reason we went to clear it, was because the ice was stopping the water from flowing off the roof, since the drains were iced around. Some water was flowing into them, but the accumulation of water was deep enough, to leak in areas that leaks wouldn't be a problem normally. Now, since chopping ice on a roof isn't the greatest idea, instead I suggested we dig trenches to channel off water to the drains. We did that, and believe me, it was hard not to gouge the roof getting up the ice, even in one shovel width "stripes". We did as little possible, to limit the amount of leaks we'd cause. I myself was careful, and gouged the roof at least 5 times, doing maybe 80 linear feet of trenches. Add in the other 3 guys that did the same, and we most likely caused more leaks. IMO based on that, I'd guess that shoveling off a whole roof, in bad shape, would likely cause more leaks. So in all likelyhood, you did make it leak worse by doing the job. Which leads to all that Dino said. Cover yourself before you do the job.

    ~Chuck
     
  10. yes, but as i had said earlier, we had agreed that he would take care of the roofer. and i took a cut in my pay for the job. so how can he sue me? if we agreed that he would take care of the roof. and the leak was already there. and right now it has only spread. it isnt as though we made new leaks. it is just that the one area that was leaking earlier is leaking worse now. however before i did anything the water had made a huge brown stain in the tile inside. the new area effected is right next to that. so i didnt go and make new holes, i mean i know i put some holes in there. but none of them leak. and the guy agreed that he would pay for the roof. so how can he sue me? i have witnesses to the work we did, the condition of the roof, and also to me and him making that agreement. i mean in the state that that roof was in when i started working at that property, well before this happened we could tell that water would just sit there and do nothing. even if we had made channels it would not have worked. the only way to do that job was to remove all the snow and ice. and there was a lot of ice. there are walls all over that roof, on the sides and partitioning out the roof top. it cant drain because the channels created by these walls have concave channels in them which collect the water. the 1 drain that goes to either channel is always clogged. so water will always sit there. leaves constantly accumulate there. it is a mess. he needed a new roof before i even met them.
     

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