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Building owners allege faulty roof repair in lawsuit

The owners of a commercial building in Penn Township claim in a lawsuit that the roof of their building continued to leak after they paid a contractor nearly $20,000 to fix it.

John and Pamela McWilliams of JPM Enterprises, which owns a building at 259 Route 8, filed the suit last week against Tony Davis of Davis Roofing in Belle Vernon and Paul Efferin of Stay Dry Roofing of Pittsburgh.

The McWilliamses claim that in February last year Davis inspected their leaky roof and gave a cost estimate for recoating the leaking area. After he started working, he discovered soft spots and problems with seams that would cost another $12,000 to fix, according to the suit.

The additional work included installing new rubber seam tape, lap cement on roof pipes, coating the roof with a white elastic coating and other work, and the estimate included a 25-year guarantee for all labor, materials and leaks, according to the suit.

Davis provided the McWilliamses with a certificate of insurance from Next First Insurance Agency. The certificate listed Efferin and Stay Dry as the insured, and listed Davis Roofing as the certificate holder. A certificate of liability insurance named Davis Roofing as the insured, according to the suit.

After paying Davis $19,800 for the roof repairs, the McWilliamses said they discovered water leaking from the roof into one of the office suites in the building in March 2022, and they found a piece of roofing sealer that Davis installed in the parking lot behind the building in June last year.

The McWilliamses then conducted a visual inspection of the roof and found soft spots and areas of peeling and bubbling roofing material, according to the suit.

They said they filed a claim with their insurance carrier for the roof damage and water leak, but the carrier denied the claim because the policy excludes loss or damage resulting from faulty, inadequate or defective work.

Davis returned to do additional work, including replacing sections of roofing material, insulation and sealing patches at no additional cost, but the roof kept leaking, according to the suit.

Davis returned again later in June, looked at the roof and said an additional $44,000 would be needed to properly fix the roof, according to the suit.

The McWilliamses hired another roofing company, which, in August 2022, found seven leaks including two in the area that Davis repaired, according to the suit. They paid the other contractor $1,100 to temporarily fix the patch work done by Davis, according to the suit.

After receiving a $55,000 estimate in September to replace the side of the roof with the white coating Davis applied, the McWilliamses said they filed a claim with Next First Insurance. According to the suit, the insurance company denied the claim because it didn’t issue the liability insurance certificate.

The suit, filed in Butler County Common Pleas Court, seeks over $20,000 in damages for some claims and more than $35,000 for other claims.

Neither the McWilliamses, Davis or Efferin could be reached for comment Thursday.

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