Weatherproofing During Construction

Good morning. I am a homeowner working with a large PA architecture/construction frm. Job (residential) involves second-floor addition wherein walk-out attic space is converted into a master bathroom suite by addition of a dormer. We are one week into construction. By Friday last the dormer was framed, plywood was on the new roof, and sections of the existing roof had been stripped back to plywood pending final tying in. Heavy storms were predicted over the weekend. My question (and please forgive me if this is off topic, but I need help!): what is the industry standard for temporarily weatherproofing an open roof? The builders placed Water&Ice on the new plywood and on the exposed existing plywood overlapping onto the untouched roof. They nailed furing strips onto the Water&Ice (I don't know whether nails were driven by hand or mechanically). No other protection was used and a tarp was not placed on the roof. The storm came and we suffered complete failure of the weatherproofing attempts -- water freely ran through the spaces between every sheet of plywood, travelled through the floor and damaged the rooms below. Obviously they failed in weatherproofing the dormer addition; my question is whether they made best and reasonable efforts by using Water&Ice only, or whether the industry standard calls for more aggressive and thorough coverings.

Any assistance you can offer would be *greatly* appreciated.

Regards,

Vanessa, DVM
Bryn Mawr PA
Original Post
Generally, the contractor would be liable for damage due to water damage resulting from a rain that the contractor knew, or reasonably should have known might occur. In a remodel, where portions of the building are finished and thus susceptible to significant damage if there is water intrusion, the bar is further raised.

As an Owner (assuming that is your 'role') you do not need to be concerned as how the contractor did, or did not protect your property. You only need be concerned about the result.

Aside... use of Fire and Ice or similar self-adhered flashings and membranes as 'overall' waterproofing on roofs (especially in 'attic' applications) can be a poor decision, depending on specific design/detailing of the building, ventilation, whether joist spaces are enclosed or open, local climate, and other factors). Use of a waterproof membrane that does not breathe can in some circumstances cause more problems than it solves. Trapped moisture and/or condensation resulting from its use can end up causing decay of structural components as well as mold in same. You should make sure you discuss this with the contractor (who probably doesn't realize/understand the implications... possibly someone at the building department... or preferably a consultant that specializes in roofing and waterproofing systems as a whole, and has experience in diagnosing and solving moisture problems in structures.

hil
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