• Last Updated:
  • Sep 17th, 2018 7:16 pm
Mar 30, 2011
278 posts

Roofing Question

I'm redoing my front porch enclosure, and the contractor found rotten wood running across the boards the shingles have been stapled too. He is suggesting we can put a new board over top it vs removing and replacing the rotten planks. He saying we cannot remove it cause of the way the structure is cause it could compromise something.

Is this actually okay?

Thank you
Last edited by tofueater on Sep 13th, 2018 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
7 replies
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
8827 posts
I'd remove the roof and replace the rot. That's the right way.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
32367 posts
East Gwillimbury
He's being lazy. @Jerico is right, remove the old boards and replace.

You can't put a band aid on the problem.
Last edited by Gee on Sep 14th, 2018 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 24, 2012
5628 posts
I concur with these dudes. Remove the rotten boards and replace.
Sr. Member
Sep 12, 2012
761 posts
Putting lipstick on a pig doesn't mean that it's still not a pig. Putting a new board on top of a rotten board still means you have a rotten board.
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
2788 posts
I think something is being missed here.

If we were talking about roof sheathing - the planks or sheet material fixed to the rafters, you can't just put new wood on top and then shingle as that area will be 3/4" higher than the surrounding areas. There is no choice but to remove the damaged planks or section of plywood and replace. This is VERY common on most roofing jobs and has nothing to do with the structure.

If they are saying they can't replace a rotten section because it would compromise structure, then you have bigger problems.

One is the roofer is an idiot.

Two is you have rotten rafters or other key framing components.

Pics would help a lot.
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2011
2873 posts
Hang on a second.

I get the impression that the house is older, turn of the century, and has plank laid across the rafters, to which an older and long removed roof (tile, slate, or other) was originally installed.

It is very common for minor water penetrations to cause some limited damage to the plank underneath, over the years, especially if the original roof had been removed, and then shingled (which should never be laid over plank directly, due to the often one inch gaps between boards.)

If the 'rot' is minor, there is absolutely nothing wrong with sheathing over all the plank with a quality roofing substrate (best option is 3/8 roofing ply). followed by ice and water shield or quality roofing paper, then finally shingling.

If the rot is more extensive, planks can be removed and replaced as needed, of course any new replacement has to be matched precisely for correct thickness.
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
6197 posts
^ This sounds like the reasoned approach.

We haven't the advantage of seeing the porch whereas the contractor has and likely knows of what he speaks. Can't assume he is out to cut corners.
Were shingles really stapled to the old boards previously? The correct 3/8in. plywood now with the appropriate felt/paper and shingles applied with 1in. or 1 1/4in. nails will avoid further damage to those planks.