Should a roofer inspect the structural integrity of a roof before putting a new roof on?

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Should a roofer inspect the structural integrity of a roof before putting a new roof on?

I bought a house that needed a roof job; it had a visible sag in the front of the home and a few known leaking areas. What is my recourse against the roofer if the roof is not supported because of missing purlin braces in the attic? Should he have investigated the cause of the sag before installing the new roof?

Asked on January 29, 2012 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It would be reasonable for a roofer to inspect the structural integrity of the roof before installing the new roof to determine why it was visibly sagging.

You could sue the roofer for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that in this case a reasonable roofer would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove duty (of due care mentioned above), breach of duty (failure to exercise due care by not inspecting the structural integrity of the roof), actual cause, proximate cause and damages.

Actual cause means but for the roofer not inspecting the structural integrity of the roof, would the new roof have been installed? If the answer is no, actual cause has been established.  Proximate cause means were there any unforeseeable, intervening acts which would relieve the roofer of liability?  If the answer is no, proximate cause has been established.  Damages is the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for negligence against the roofer.  Damages would be the cost of repairs to the roof.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by selecting a roofer to make the repairs whose charges are comparable to other roofers in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive roofer you could find, your damages would be reduced accordingly.

 


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