Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

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z91
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Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by z91 »

I've lived in my townhome for 5 years now, and our units get pretty hot upstairs. One of my neighbors was looking into adding roof vents. Strange, as I thought our units already had them. I looked up at our roofs, and lo and behold, there were vents near the bottom for air to come in, but no place for hot air to go out :oops:

I coincidentally hired an insulation specialist to go up into our attic and they noted there was no ridge vent, nor any other way for the hot air to come out from the attic. Some parts of our attic were over 120F! The installer crawled out sweating like crazy. No wonder our second floor has been so mind-blowingly hot compared to our downstairs. The insulation specialist said the number one thing to do was to get some vents installed, as that would help cool down our attic more than anything else.

I've had AC installed, and even installed a second zone just because of the temperature gap between the two floors. Some of our units have these vents, but one-third (including yours truly) do not. The HOA was receptive initially, but now have been radio silent. They usually respond to my inquiries within minutes, but it's been 5 days since asking for any update (even a "we're looking into it" would be nice) but haven't heard a peep from the office. Which brings me to my questions..

How long should I give them to respond? My neighbor paid someone to get his copper pipes all insulated in the attic because of pinging noises at night (the pipes were constantly shifting due to temp changes), and another neighbor had gotten non-standard vents installed at their cost because they didn't have any. I don't think I personally have any damages requiring any form of reimbursement, but would like to get this resolved before it gets any hotter this summer. I've been told this should only take a couple of hours for a roofer to install.

Anything else I should consider? I suspect this is going to come at a huge cost to the HOA, and someone seriously messed up which is why they aren't responding to me, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and wait it out a couple of weeks.
stan1
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by stan1 »

I'd recommend you go to the next board meeting. Ask them to put it on the agenda. If there is manager he/she might be polling the board members.
Broken Man 1999
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

When we had our villa each owner was responsible for their own roof, fortunately we moved out after 9 years so never had to replace our roof.

So far in 42 years of home ownership bliss, we have only had to put one roof on our homes. That will be changing in a couple of years, depending on how long our insurance is willing to accept our roof's age without requiring replacement.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go." - Mark Twain
Topic Author
z91
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by z91 »

stan1 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:51 pm I'd recommend you go to the next board meeting. Ask them to put it on the agenda. If there is manager he/she might be polling the board members.
Thanks. They have not done board meetings in a while due to Covid, but may have resumed virtually. What do you mean by "polling the board members"? Is this asking them whether or not they would cover it, or inquiring them to see how to fix the issue? I just find it so strange not to get any response.
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z91
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by z91 »

Broken Man 1999 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:04 pm When we had our villa each owner was responsible for their own roof, fortunately we moved out after 9 years so never had to replace our roof.

So far in 42 years of home ownership bliss, we have only had to put one roof on our homes. That will be changing in a couple of years, depending on how long our insurance is willing to accept our roof's age without requiring replacement.

Broken Man 1999
With all due respect, that doesn't answer anything about my situation? :confused

My HOA is responsible for the roof. If they installed it incorrectly and have caused issues, I would surely expect them to resolve it, I'm just trying to figure out my best next steps without coming off too aggressively.
stan1
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by stan1 »

z91 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:04 pm
stan1 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:51 pm I'd recommend you go to the next board meeting. Ask them to put it on the agenda. If there is manager he/she might be polling the board members.
Thanks. They have not done board meetings in a while due to Covid, but may have resumed virtually. What do you mean by "polling the board members"? Is this asking them whether or not they would cover it, or inquiring them to see how to fix the issue? I just find it so strange not to get any response.
A HOA manager generally will have limited authority to make decisions without consulting the board members. If a new or complex topic comes up the HOA manager will ask the board how to proceed. Some boards are better with email than others. I'd follow up with the person you contacted if you haven't heard back in a week or so.
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z91
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by z91 »

stan1 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:20 pm
z91 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:04 pm
stan1 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:51 pm I'd recommend you go to the next board meeting. Ask them to put it on the agenda. If there is manager he/she might be polling the board members.
Thanks. They have not done board meetings in a while due to Covid, but may have resumed virtually. What do you mean by "polling the board members"? Is this asking them whether or not they would cover it, or inquiring them to see how to fix the issue? I just find it so strange not to get any response.
A HOA manager generally will have limited authority to make decisions without consulting the board members. If a new or complex topic comes up the HOA manager will ask the board how to proceed. Some boards are better with email than others. I'd follow up with the person you contacted if you haven't heard back in a week or so.
Got it, thanks! Yes I figure they are moreso the messenger. I'll wait it out another week or two.
JBTX
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by JBTX »

z91 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:34 pm I've lived in my townhome for 5 years now, and our units get pretty hot upstairs. One of my neighbors was looking into adding roof vents. Strange, as I thought our units already had them. I looked up at our roofs, and lo and behold, there were vents near the bottom for air to come in, but no place for hot air to go out :oops:

I coincidentally hired an insulation specialist to go up into our attic and they noted there was no ridge vent, nor any other way for the hot air to come out from the attic. Some parts of our attic were over 120F! The installer crawled out sweating like crazy. No wonder our second floor has been so mind-blowingly hot compared to our downstairs. The insulation specialist said the number one thing to do was to get some vents installed, as that would help cool down our attic more than anything else.

I've had AC installed, and even installed a second zone just because of the temperature gap between the two floors. Some of our units have these vents, but one-third (including yours truly) do not. The HOA was receptive initially, but now have been radio silent. They usually respond to my inquiries within minutes, but it's been 5 days since asking for any update (even a "we're looking into it" would be nice) but haven't heard a peep from the office. Which brings me to my questions..

How long should I give them to respond? My neighbor paid someone to get his copper pipes all insulated in the attic because of pinging noises at night (the pipes were constantly shifting due to temp changes), and another neighbor had gotten non-standard vents installed at their cost because they didn't have any. I don't think I personally have any damages requiring any form of reimbursement, but would like to get this resolved before it gets any hotter this summer. I've been told this should only take a couple of hours for a roofer to install.

Anything else I should consider? I suspect this is going to come at a huge cost to the HOA, and someone seriously messed up which is why they aren't responding to me, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and wait it out a couple of weeks.
Attics get hot. 120 degrees isn't uncommon. Some vents may relieve a little bit of heat but doesn't eliminate the heat source, which is sun radiation heating all parts of the roots and attic. Imagine have a pot sitting on a hot burner. Blowing the pot isn't going to do much to cool it off.

It may help a little though. Don't expect miracles. Avoid attic fans, as they may do more harm than good (see separate thread in here on attic fans)
Big Dog
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by Big Dog »

Does your HOA have an architecture committee (to approve gardens, paint, etc)? If so, reach out to them and inquire who might be the responsible party for your issue. I wouldn't do any cutting until you obtain HOA approval.


btw: many roofs don't have air vents up top. Ridge caps haven't been around all that long. Instead, air just gets circulated thru vents in the soffits. If that is your arrangement, just make sure that the vents are not blocked with insulation. 120 degrees for an attic is typical. The key to keep that heat from inside the house is good insulation to block it. Did your insulation guy say your insulation was sufficient?
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Kenkat
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by Kenkat »

z91 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:06 pm My HOA is responsible for the roof. If they installed it incorrectly and have caused issues, I would surely expect them to resolve it, I'm just trying to figure out my best next steps without coming off too aggressively.
I think what you might run into is the response of “define incorrectly”. While vents are arguably better than no vents, are they required by building code? Is it incorrect to have no vents or is it just a construction choice (to save money obviously but that happens with a lot of construction decisions)?

I think it is worth asking but you may not get far if they take the above approach.
criticalmass
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by criticalmass »

z91 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:06 pm
Broken Man 1999 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:04 pm When we had our villa each owner was responsible for their own roof, fortunately we moved out after 9 years so never had to replace our roof.

So far in 42 years of home ownership bliss, we have only had to put one roof on our homes. That will be changing in a couple of years, depending on how long our insurance is willing to accept our roof's age without requiring replacement.

Broken Man 1999
With all due respect, that doesn't answer anything about my situation? :confused

My HOA is responsible for the roof. If they installed it incorrectly and have caused issues, I would surely expect them to resolve it, I'm just trying to figure out my best next steps without coming off too aggressively.
That sounds more like a condo association (owns the common building) than an HOA (has oversight of home exteriors and oversees common area land).

If you are asking the association to contract and install something, you need to communicate that to the board members. Expect time to decide on doing something, asking a management company to solicit bids, and to review bids. Than voting to approve a procurement. How well do you know your board members? If you are actively attending meetings, what is your process to get something new on the board of directors’ agenda?
If you are just looking for architectural approval, that should be reasonably fast, depending on how often the architectural review committee meets or does business virtually.
With an HOA, always be involved. Don’t wait until you want something, get on the board.
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by criticalmass »

Kenkat wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:56 pm
z91 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:06 pm My HOA is responsible for the roof. If they installed it incorrectly and have caused issues, I would surely expect them to resolve it, I'm just trying to figure out my best next steps without coming off too aggressively.
I think what you might run into is the response of “define incorrectly”. While vents are arguably better than no vents, are they required by building code? Is it incorrect to have no vents or is it just a construction choice (to save money obviously but that happens with a lot of construction decisions)?

I think it is worth asking but you may not get far if they take the above approach.
Most modern building codes require balanced (in/out) ventilation for asphalt/composite roofs.. Anything less will vastly shorten roofing material life, especially in hot climates. That doesn’t save money, it costs far more.
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Kenkat
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by Kenkat »

criticalmass wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:00 pm
Kenkat wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:56 pm
z91 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:06 pm My HOA is responsible for the roof. If they installed it incorrectly and have caused issues, I would surely expect them to resolve it, I'm just trying to figure out my best next steps without coming off too aggressively.
I think what you might run into is the response of “define incorrectly”. While vents are arguably better than no vents, are they required by building code? Is it incorrect to have no vents or is it just a construction choice (to save money obviously but that happens with a lot of construction decisions)?

I think it is worth asking but you may not get far if they take the above approach.
Most modern building codes require balanced (in/out) ventilation for asphalt/composite roofs.. Anything less will vastly shorten roofing material life, especially in hot climates. That doesn’t save money, it costs far more.
There may be eave venting that meets code but is less effective than a ridge vent or other venting options located higher on the roof. I should have been more clear when I said no vents - I should have said no vents of the type the OP received advice from the roofing contractor about.
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by curmudgeon »

criticalmass wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:00 pm
Kenkat wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:56 pm
z91 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:06 pm My HOA is responsible for the roof. If they installed it incorrectly and have caused issues, I would surely expect them to resolve it, I'm just trying to figure out my best next steps without coming off too aggressively.
I think what you might run into is the response of “define incorrectly”. While vents are arguably better than no vents, are they required by building code? Is it incorrect to have no vents or is it just a construction choice (to save money obviously but that happens with a lot of construction decisions)?

I think it is worth asking but you may not get far if they take the above approach.
Most modern building codes require balanced (in/out) ventilation for asphalt/composite roofs.. Anything less will vastly shorten roofing material life, especially in hot climates. That doesn’t save money, it costs far more.
I'm not really convinced that the extra ventilation is really needed for roof life, but I'll agree that building codes have been modified to require more and more ventilation over the years. When we re-roofed a couple of years ago, the inspection required not just adding ridge vent, but also adding a bunch more soffit vents. I don't really have a problem with it, but the previous two composition roofs each lasted 30 years, so I'm not sure what the gain will be.
quantAndHold
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by quantAndHold »

Attics get hot. More venting is nice to have, but the thing you *need* is adequate insulation. What did your insulation guy say about that?
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
adamthesmythe
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by adamthesmythe »

Adding a roof vent is an architectural change and would require approval by the...architectural committee.

Find out the process for approval and write up a request with complete information.

I would be astonished if approval takes less than a month. If approved, that is.

Now if roof maintenance is an HOA responsibility...personally I wouldn't bother...I would just add some insulation as suggested.
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by Mako »

The following thoughts came to mind.

If the roof was improperly installed then sure somebody may be responsible for fixing this…but I know in some places there is a statute of limitations for HOA construction defects and your place is at least 5 years old so it might not be as simple as it seems. Your building was surely not built by “the HOA”, it was built by some builder/construction company, and they might not be liable any longer (or might not even exist). Whether that liability is now on the HOA may not be a simple question either (though you seem certain the HOA is responsible, maybe they are).

If the roof was ok according to code at the time it was built, even if not ideal, you may be out of luck. No one would be responsible for improving a code compliant structure just because an owner wants it better. Then any changes would probably be on your own and as others say you’d likely need approval as any vents would likely affect how things look.

If the HOA is responsible for roofs, and they think they will be responsible for this problem, and 1/3 of the property has this problem, they probably will be double checking with their attorney to make sure they really are responsible for this. They don’t want to cover you and then suddenly 1/3 of the owners come looking for a payment. As you said, it might end up a great expense for the HOA.

Even so, an HOA is not making decisions like this in 5 days. As someone else said you likely just talked to the manager who has no control, they just facilitate communication. Yes, the manager should really keep you in the loop but some are better than others. Anyway, the board is likely going to wait for a board meeting to decide anything, which may be monthly, quarterly, yearly...depends on your HOA documents and state law. And depending on your state law and documents you can hopefully make sure this gets on the agenda and go and voice your concerns.

Also, if the HOA ends up being responsible and they think it will be great expense, they are going to want to be in charge of everything. They will get the bids and choose the contractor etc., not leave it to you with no control over price. So this may not be a quick process.

If it ends up being a great expense for the HOA, don’t be surprised if there is a special assessment to cover it. If the HOA can’t sue someone else like the builder then they will have to cover it, and the owners are the HOA after all.

Good luck.
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by HoberMallow »

I agree with the other posters that you should look into improving the attic insulation.

My house was similar to yours - on hot days the upstairs would get much hotter than the first floor. The insulation and air ducts were all 1970s original. I had them both replaced, air sealed the attic floor, and added a radiant barrier to the rafters (the underside of the roof decking). I also installed an airtight insulated zipper hatch to the attic door.

There haven’t been that many hot days yet this year, but I have noticed a much smaller temperature delta between the upstairs and down, plus less need for the AC in general.
Last edited by HoberMallow on Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
quantAndHold
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by quantAndHold »

If 1/3 of the properties are affected by this, and the board doesn’t already have a standard in place for this issue, I would expect it to take at least until the next board meeting to get an answer. The answer could be that they sue the roofer, or they’ll do all the roofs in the next year or three, or they’ll do all the roofs the next time they need to be replaced, or they’ll give you permission to do yours at your own expense. But I wouldn’t really expect them to just hop to it and get it done for you before the hot weather comes. That isn’t how condo boards really work on nonemergency issues.

I would go ahead and get the insulation beefed up, regardless.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
shunkman
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by shunkman »

Unless you live in a desert climate, I would be most concerned about possible mold growth in my attic due to the poor ventilation.
mpnret
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by mpnret »

Sounds like you just need some roof vents put in which really shouldn't be that expensive. HOA shouldn't have a issue being you are just matching what 2/3 of places in your complex already have. Only question is who pays. I would get it done regardless as long as they approve to have it done.
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by mpnret »

Big Dog wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:52 pm btw: many roofs don't have air vents up top. Ridge caps haven't been around all that long. Instead, air just gets circulated thru vents in the soffits. If that is your arrangement, just make sure that the vents are not blocked with insulation. 120 degrees for an attic is typical. The key to keep that heat from inside the house is good insulation to block it. Did your insulation guy say your insulation was sufficient?
Just because ridge caps haven't been around that long doesn't mean all previous older homes are just just venting through the soffit vents. Almost all homes have gable vents or those little square vents on the roof near the peak.
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by RickBoglehead »

shunkman wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:42 pm Unless you live in a desert climate, I would be most concerned about possible mold growth in my attic due to the poor ventilation.
Which the insulation guy would have noticed.

Many homes have no ridge vents.
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by shunkman »

RickBoglehead wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:06 am
shunkman wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:42 pm Unless you live in a desert climate, I would be most concerned about possible mold growth in my attic due to the poor ventilation.
Which the insulation guy would have noticed.

Many homes have no ridge vents.
You have more confidence in the "insulation guy" than I might have. And the vast majority of homes in the area where I live have ridge vents. I'd be hard pressed to find any residential asphalt shingle roof without a ridge vent in homes built within the past 25 years. But I live where humidity is an issue.
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by RickBoglehead »

shunkman wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:22 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:06 am
shunkman wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:42 pm Unless you live in a desert climate, I would be most concerned about possible mold growth in my attic due to the poor ventilation.
Which the insulation guy would have noticed.

Many homes have no ridge vents.
You have more confidence in the "insulation guy" than I might have. And the vast majority of homes in the area where I live have ridge vents. I'd be hard pressed to find any residential asphalt shingle roof without a ridge vent in homes built within the past 25 years. But I live where humidity is an issue.
It definitely varies by location. Some have soffit vents, and then roof vents. Image And of course gable vents. The ventilation flow in an attic should be IN at the bottom and out at the highest point - but in the absence of a ridge vent, the highest point may be a roof vent.

My in-law's house had no functional soffit vents due to extension renovations over the years blocking the airflow. The roofer noted that air was coming IN the ridge vent and going OUT the gable vents.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by shunkman »

RickBoglehead wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:46 am
shunkman wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:22 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:06 am
shunkman wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:42 pm Unless you live in a desert climate, I would be most concerned about possible mold growth in my attic due to the poor ventilation.
Which the insulation guy would have noticed.

Many homes have no ridge vents.
You have more confidence in the "insulation guy" than I might have. And the vast majority of homes in the area where I live have ridge vents. I'd be hard pressed to find any residential asphalt shingle roof without a ridge vent in homes built within the past 25 years. But I live where humidity is an issue.
It definitely varies by location. Some have soffit vents, and then roof vents. Image And of course gable vents. The ventilation flow in an attic should be IN at the bottom and out at the highest point - but in the absence of a ridge vent, the highest point may be a roof vent.

My in-law's house had no functional soffit vents due to extension renovations over the years blocking the airflow. The roofer noted that air was coming IN the ridge vent and going OUT the gable vents.
Wow, whoever installed the three vents in your picture was not a roofing professional. Those are leaks waiting to happen. And they look more like bathroom vents than actual roof vents.
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by mpnret »

shunkman wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:03 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:46 am
shunkman wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:22 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:06 am
shunkman wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:42 pm Unless you live in a desert climate, I would be most concerned about possible mold growth in my attic due to the poor ventilation.
Which the insulation guy would have noticed.

Many homes have no ridge vents.
You have more confidence in the "insulation guy" than I might have. And the vast majority of homes in the area where I live have ridge vents. I'd be hard pressed to find any residential asphalt shingle roof without a ridge vent in homes built within the past 25 years. But I live where humidity is an issue.
It definitely varies by location. Some have soffit vents, and then roof vents. Image And of course gable vents. The ventilation flow in an attic should be IN at the bottom and out at the highest point - but in the absence of a ridge vent, the highest point may be a roof vent.

My in-law's house had no functional soffit vents due to extension renovations over the years blocking the airflow. The roofer noted that air was coming IN the ridge vent and going OUT the gable vents.
Wow, whoever installed the three vents in your picture was not a roofing professional. Those are leaks waiting to happen. And they look more like bathroom vents than actual roof vents.
Something very wrong with that picture. Due to the location and spacing I bet they are actually bath vents. Not to mention the flange should be under the shingles not caulked on top. But if it's good caulk it will most likely survive a long time.
shunkman
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by shunkman »

mpnret wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:23 am
shunkman wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:03 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:46 am
shunkman wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:22 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:06 am

Which the insulation guy would have noticed.

Many homes have no ridge vents.
You have more confidence in the "insulation guy" than I might have. And the vast majority of homes in the area where I live have ridge vents. I'd be hard pressed to find any residential asphalt shingle roof without a ridge vent in homes built within the past 25 years. But I live where humidity is an issue.
It definitely varies by location. Some have soffit vents, and then roof vents. Image And of course gable vents. The ventilation flow in an attic should be IN at the bottom and out at the highest point - but in the absence of a ridge vent, the highest point may be a roof vent.

My in-law's house had no functional soffit vents due to extension renovations over the years blocking the airflow. The roofer noted that air was coming IN the ridge vent and going OUT the gable vents.
Wow, whoever installed the three vents in your picture was not a roofing professional. Those are leaks waiting to happen. And they look more like bathroom vents than actual roof vents.
Something very wrong with that picture. Due to the location and spacing I bet they are actually bath vents. Not to mention the flange should be under the shingles not caulked on top. But if it's good caulk it will most likely survive a long time.
Even the best caulks will not hold up in this application.
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by criticalmass »

curmudgeon wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:34 pm
criticalmass wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:00 pm
Kenkat wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:56 pm
z91 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:06 pm My HOA is responsible for the roof. If they installed it incorrectly and have caused issues, I would surely expect them to resolve it, I'm just trying to figure out my best next steps without coming off too aggressively.
I think what you might run into is the response of “define incorrectly”. While vents are arguably better than no vents, are they required by building code? Is it incorrect to have no vents or is it just a construction choice (to save money obviously but that happens with a lot of construction decisions)?

I think it is worth asking but you may not get far if they take the above approach.
Most modern building codes require balanced (in/out) ventilation for asphalt/composite roofs.. Anything less will vastly shorten roofing material life, especially in hot climates. That doesn’t save money, it costs far more.
I'm not really convinced that the extra ventilation is really needed for roof life, but I'll agree that building codes have been modified to require more and more ventilation over the years. When we re-roofed a couple of years ago, the inspection required not just adding ridge vent, but also adding a bunch more soffit vents. I don't really have a problem with it, but the previous two composition roofs each lasted 30 years, so I'm not sure what the gain will be.
I don't suggest extra ventilation, just adequate balanced ventilation. Soffit only ventilation has very limited utility at relieving temperature and moisture. This also makes the roof susceptible to ice dams if it snows. In the summer, excess temperature deteriorates roofing products and causes comfort/AC overwork issues.
criticalmass
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by criticalmass »

Kenkat wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:26 pm
criticalmass wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:00 pm
Kenkat wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:56 pm
z91 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:06 pm My HOA is responsible for the roof. If they installed it incorrectly and have caused issues, I would surely expect them to resolve it, I'm just trying to figure out my best next steps without coming off too aggressively.
I think what you might run into is the response of “define incorrectly”. While vents are arguably better than no vents, are they required by building code? Is it incorrect to have no vents or is it just a construction choice (to save money obviously but that happens with a lot of construction decisions)?

I think it is worth asking but you may not get far if they take the above approach.
Most modern building codes require balanced (in/out) ventilation for asphalt/composite roofs.. Anything less will vastly shorten roofing material life, especially in hot climates. That doesn’t save money, it costs far more.
There may be eave venting that meets code but is less effective than a ridge vent or other venting options located higher on the roof. I should have been more clear when I said no vents - I should have said no vents of the type the OP received advice from the roofing contractor about.
To clarify, I said balanced ventilation, intake and exhaust, with equal total area. You need both intake vents (soffit) and exhaust vents (ridge or similar). You CANNOT have balanced venting with only soffit vents or soffit vents with an undersized ridge vent. Old school gable vents can help if there are gables, but are less useful than ridge vents. Only soffit venting without sufficient exhaust venting has little utility, as warm air rises, year round.
Mr. Rumples
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by Mr. Rumples »

Yes, they should have at least given you the courtesy of a response, even if it was that it was being researched. Give them time as noted above - a week or two - to respond. Then a follow-up and give that a few days. If no response to your satisfaction, ask to either present it to the board if they have an open forum or have it added as an agenda item.

You might check your state's laws regarding board meetings for HOA's (it might be also buried in laws regulating non-profit corporations). Some states, not sure about all and HOA law varies widely from state to state, require that all board meetings be open to owners and that all emails be made available to unit owners (with certain limited caveats). Thus, if push comes to shove, you might ask to be at the meetings even if virtually and to see all the emails regarding this issue (they can charge for copies probably).

The governing documents will say who owns the roof. I've seen HOA's which have an information sheet about who owns what so an owner doesn't have to go through the governing documents. It might be them or not. If its them, from my board experience, its not going to get fixed this summer: they would have to have the $, gets bids and so forth.

When the building was built, it should have met code, that could be their out.
Topic Author
z91
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by z91 »

quantAndHold wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:29 pm Attics get hot. More venting is nice to have, but the thing you *need* is adequate insulation. What did your insulation guy say about that?
As noted in the post (had you read it) he said the best thing to do was to get some exhaust vents.
criticalmass
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by criticalmass »

RickBoglehead wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:06 am
shunkman wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:42 pm Unless you live in a desert climate, I would be most concerned about possible mold growth in my attic due to the poor ventilation.
Which the insulation guy would have noticed.
I doubt it, unless mold was really really bad. Is the insulation guy trained in mold remediation? If not, no bet.
Many homes have no ridge vents.
True. Gable vents were common through the 1960s. Townhouses don’t have gables, except one on end units. Now we know better, and so do codes.
criticalmass
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by criticalmass »

Big Dog wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:52 pm Does your HOA have an architecture committee (to approve gardens, paint, etc)? If so, reach out to them and inquire who might be the responsible party for your issue. I wouldn't do any cutting until you obtain HOA approval.


btw: many roofs don't have air vents up top. Ridge caps haven't been around all that long.
Depends what you think all that long is. Ridge vents became common for single family homes beginning in the 1970s. Our house had one then (still does).

Townhouses may not have enough usable ridge for effective ridge venting. That is because many codes prevent any cuts through the mandatory fire retardant sheathing within 4-5 feet of a firewall between the home and any neighboring town home. That’s a significant reduction for a townhouse with neighbors on both sides, still a decent reduction for some end units. That is why many townhouses use other high (exhaust) vents, active or passive.
Spooky
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by Spooky »

We added a ridge vent to our previous gable vents in a 1964 ranch and also added soffit vents and it made a big difference in how much we used the air-conditioning in the summer. We found some calculations about how much area the soffit vents and the roof vents should be and followed that.
GrowthObsessed
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by GrowthObsessed »

Skimmed through a lot of the posts here, and didn't see many mentions of reading your HOA docs. You need an actual understanding of what they are and aren't responsible for.
z91 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:06 pm My HOA is responsible for the roof. If they installed it incorrectly and have caused issues, I would surely expect them to resolve it, I'm just trying to figure out my best next steps without coming off too aggressively.
Just because the HOA might be responsible for the ROOF (as in, the shingles, and general upkeep of the physical common area materials such as the plywood that the shingles attach to), that doesn't necessarily mean they are responsible for any construction issues that affect the level of heat in your unit.

If the "roof", the shingles, were replaced in kind to what was there already there was no "incorrect" installation. The only potential incorrect situation might have been during construction, and the HOA would not be responsible for that. If you had vents and then they were removed that would be an issue for the installer, and again not necessarily the HOA unless they approved the removal of the vents. The HOA could potentially go after the installer for removing the vents and to correct it.

If you don't want to come off too aggressive then your first task at hand probably should not be to automatically assign blame to the HOA and assign the cost to them "I suspect this is going to come at a huge cost to the HOA".. if you attack the HOA looking for money then you will surely be shut down quickly, especially until they consult on their legal obligations, and legal OUTS.

If this is how the houses were built, and it's generally an issue that only affects you -- because you don't like the hotter rooms -- it probably won't be the HOA's responsibility to remedy. It would most likely be at your cost, if the HOA allowed the modifications to the exterior of the building. You already said "another neighbor had gotten non-standard vents installed at their cost because they didn't have any" so what makes you think you're going to be any different?

Don't want to rain on your parade but I haven't really seen anyone tell you that you're probably going to go at this alone and it's on you and your wallet. Just want to offer you a more realistic picture of what's going to happen...

Good luck.
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z91
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by z91 »

GrowthObsessed wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:05 pm Skimmed through a lot of the posts here, and didn't see many mentions of reading your HOA docs. You need an actual understanding of what they are and aren't responsible for.
z91 wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:06 pm My HOA is responsible for the roof. If they installed it incorrectly and have caused issues, I would surely expect them to resolve it, I'm just trying to figure out my best next steps without coming off too aggressively.
Just because the HOA might be responsible for the ROOF (as in, the shingles, and general upkeep of the physical common area materials such as the plywood that the shingles attach to), that doesn't necessarily mean they are responsible for any construction issues that affect the level of heat in your unit.

If the "roof", the shingles, were replaced in kind to what was there already there was no "incorrect" installation. The only potential incorrect situation might have been during construction, and the HOA would not be responsible for that. If you had vents and then they were removed that would be an issue for the installer, and again not necessarily the HOA unless they approved the removal of the vents. The HOA could potentially go after the installer for removing the vents and to correct it.

If you don't want to come off too aggressive then your first task at hand probably should not be to automatically assign blame to the HOA and assign the cost to them "I suspect this is going to come at a huge cost to the HOA".. if you attack the HOA looking for money then you will surely be shut down quickly, especially until they consult on their legal obligations, and legal OUTS.

If this is how the houses were built, and it's generally an issue that only affects you -- because you don't like the hotter rooms -- it probably won't be the HOA's responsibility to remedy. It would most likely be at your cost, if the HOA allowed the modifications to the exterior of the building. You already said "another neighbor had gotten non-standard vents installed at their cost because they didn't have any" so what makes you think you're going to be any different?

Don't want to rain on your parade but I haven't really seen anyone tell you that you're probably going to go at this alone and it's on you and your wallet. Just want to offer you a more realistic picture of what's going to happen...

Good luck.
Thanks. I did read the HOA docs, and the HOA is responsible for the roof. This includes shingles, sheathing, and framing. Alterations at the request of the homeowner are approved by the board (architecture board), none of which were requested by myself, or any previous owners of my unit.

The roof specifications they bid out for 10 years ago state that an equal amount of intake and exhaust venting is to be installed on every unit, which is not the case for my unit, nor others in my row.

When I say the HOA is going to be responsible for this, I mean that they are supposed to figure it out with the roofer they contracted the work out to. Ultimately it will be the roofing company that should be held liable for the work (or their subcontractor if any I guess?), but in any case I should not be forking any money over to anyone, assuming there's no exhaust vent, and one needs to be installed per *their* specifications (not mine).

They finally got back to me and are sending a roofer out to doublecheck what's going on. They seem rather confident that a ridge vent exists on our row, but I have yet to see any sign of that. I climbed up our attic again to verify. I don't claim to be a roofer, but would be surprised if there's anything up there letting air out. There are zero roof vents I see, and no sign of any ridge vent system. I felt zero air on top of the ridge, and no way for anything to go through. It's all single pieces of sheathing. I would love to be proven wrong.
Mr. Rumples
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by Mr. Rumples »

As an owner, they should be able to demonstrate to you where the ventilation is. If it was done right, that would be the fastest way to address your concerns. If the roofer did not do it to Code, its up to the HOA to get it fixed. As noted in an earlier reply, if your state allows you to get board emails, you might need to see how they are discussing this with themselves and the roofer if push comes to shove.

They should have a copy of the original contract with the roofer since its a long term item. As an owner, you have the right to see contracts I would assume under state law.

There are HOA forums where these issues are discussed. Some states have mandatory mediation in disputes. Hopefully, it won't come to having to take formal remedies whether seeing the contract, seeing emails or going to mediation.
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Windylotus
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Re: Roofing/attic issues - What questions should I ask my HOA?

Post by Windylotus »

RickBoglehead wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:46 am
shunkman wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:22 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:06 am
shunkman wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:42 pm Unless you live in a desert climate, I would be most concerned about possible mold growth in my attic due to the poor ventilation.
Which the insulation guy would have noticed.

Many homes have no ridge vents.
You have more confidence in the "insulation guy" than I might have. And the vast majority of homes in the area where I live have ridge vents. I'd be hard pressed to find any residential asphalt shingle roof without a ridge vent in homes built within the past 25 years. But I live where humidity is an issue.
It definitely varies by location. Some have soffit vents, and then roof vents. Image And of course gable vents. The ventilation flow in an attic should be IN at the bottom and out at the highest point - but in the absence of a ridge vent, the highest point may be a roof vent.

My in-law's house had no functional soffit vents due to extension renovations over the years blocking the airflow. The roofer noted that air was coming IN the ridge vent and going OUT the gable vents.
Those do not look like static roof ventilation roofing vents. They look like a dryer or range hood exhaust roof boot. Roof vents should be closer to the ridge, not so far down as the image shows. They were never weaved in to the shingles and it looks like a boy scout with a hatchet installed them. They were just installed right over the shingles and an adhesive/sealant used around the nailing fin. Definitely a rookie install.
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