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  • Roofing matter getting in line

    Is it possible to get roof shingles in your pipes when having the roof replaced? I had 2 blockages that plumbers said were due to the stripping of my roof as I have a short pipe vent(larger in diameter than the others) and a steep roof. The roofer said it is not possible according to his plumber friend.

  • #2
    Anything is possible. If the day was cool when the roof was stripped the shingles would be brittle. They can easily break into smallish pieces that would fit in a 4" pipe. It's not really likely that the piece would be large enough to jam in the pipe and have the perfect tragectory to fly down the pipe but people do win at the midway ring toss.

    [ 10-08-2005, 08:28 AM: Message edited by: wbrooks ]

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    • #3
      It is also possible for a roofing contractor to have a disgruntled employee who would purposely drop shingle bits into a vent.

      If you have an old orangeburg sewer line in your yard, and a bit of that flaked off into your lines, it would be possible for a younger plumber to honestly mistake that for roofing debris. It's unlikely as a slow collapse is usually how that stuff failed but I have witnessed the flaking of such pipe. A rotaing cutting head could also peel of a tar like residue from orangeburg that would remain on a knife.

      Now if your main vent stack protrudes only a couple of inches above your steep roof line and there is a lot of roof above the pipe then I would consider it very possible for broken roof shingles to fall into the line during the tear off process.

      A good roofer or foreman should have considered this possibility and covered the vent or shoved a balled up rag into the pipe until the tear off was completed. Ask your plumber to give you a piece of the debris they bring back on their knife so you can have it checked. If it turns out to be from your old roof and not to much time has passed your roofing contractor might be willing to compensate for your plumbers bill.

      Contact your roofer and let them know that two different plumbers have told you've had roofing debris in your sewer since your new roof was applied. Send the bill via registered mail and keep a copy of the notarized letter you sent. Your contractor might just pay the bill for you in the interests of good customer relations but he will probably want proof that it was his fault.

      If your sewer backs up again in the near future have a plumber use a sewer camera with a recorder to document any debris that may still be in the line. With a copy of that tape your roofer will probably do whatever iot takes to clear your sewer of any other debris that he might have introduced into your sewer.

      Good luck.
      Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

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      • #4
        On more than a few jobs I have seen roofers use roof drains as a trash can, or even worse a urinal. It would not suprise me in the least that you ended up with debris in your vent pipe.

        I think it would have been wise to keep any evidence the plumber found. Plumber mentioned another possibility, so it is important to determine what lead your plumber to this conclusion.

        the dog
        the dog

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        • #5
          what was the time frame between the roofing tear-off and the stoppage. were the shingles made of wood or composition?

          it should be very simple to prove your findings with a sewer camera to document the debris. also it would be very usefull to determine that the line is free of all debris. if there is lots of debris in the line, a hydrojetter would do a much better job of flushing the debris downstream and out of your system. also use a garden hose to flush out the vents into the waste system prior to the real cleaning process or camering.

          be glad it's not a soda bottle or a tennis ball.

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          • #6
            catnip, within the 2 days of tearoff and stoppage it certainly sounds like the roofer dropped debris into the line. if the line plugged the toilet, 3'' or larger line, then it would be a good idea to make sure that all the debris are out. a camera with a video tape should be all that is needed to prove that the line is clear or still has roofing debris in it. the question is, is it worth the added expense to run the camera? maybe the roofer would be willing to pay for that expense if you find roofing debris. i would ask him in advance to those terms. if you wait till the next stoppage, it might be too long or a waste to run the camera till after the line has been cleared.

            rick.

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