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Community and Q&A

A new roof was put on and I’ve been sick ever since

Karen Glassburn | Posted in General Questions on

We had a new roof put on our house and within 24 hrs I started getting sick. My nervous system is whacked out, can’t sleep, intense headaches etc.

I’ve been staying at my daughters house to get away from the chemicals. My husband and son are still staying in the house and don’t seem to be bothered by it. We’ve been using an ozone machine and filled numerous boxes with charcoal and baking soda throughout the house.

Does anyone have any other ideas for getting rid of the chemicals? And, what chemicals are being emitted into the house? My husband can’t understand how the chemicals can possibly come through the insulation, drywall etc into the house.

Help please! I want to be able to get back into my house as soon as possible. It’s been almost 2 months since we had the roof put on. Does anyone know how long these materials can outgas?
Thank you for your help.
Blessings,
Karen

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Replies

  1. John Brooks | | #1

    What is your climate/location?
    If you are not in a cold climate perhaps you could air seal and then pressurize your house.

  2. John Brooks | | #2

    Karen,
    Your husband would be surprised if he only knew how much air can communicate thruough all the cracks and voids between construction materials.
    Especially if you have mechanical equipment and or ductwork in the attic.
    You may have a very leaky house ..
    The air sealing (with proper ventilation)and duct sealing will improve your indoor air quality and give you a big boost in Energy performance.

  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    Karen,
    What kind of "ozone machine" do you have in your house? If it is an ozone generator, you should know that such machines do not help clean the air. In fact, they are usually worthless and in some cases can be dangerous.

    According to the EPA, "When inhaled, ozone can damage the lungs . ... Relatively low amounts can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and, throat irritation. Ozone may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections."

    Companies selling ozone generators as "air purifiers" are engaged in fraud. Read more here:

    http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/ozonegen.html

  4. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #4

    Karen,
    You wrote, "I started getting sick. My nervous system is whacked out, can't sleep, intense headaches etc."

    It should go without saying, but I guess it's sometimes important to state the obvious: if you're sick, see a doctor. That step is far more important to your health than seeking advice on a green construction Web site.

    1. JerrySPsy | | #21

      Sorry but this is a nasty and inappropriate reply to someone looking for any possible answer to ameliorate her suffering. This woman noticed a temporal relationship between the onset of her symptoms and the roof work that she had done. She is looking for clues as to what substances, toxins, allergens, or irritants might be the CAUSE. By going to a doctor they will be looking at the EFFECTS. So without investigative work to ascertain what she might reacting to she will likely never get the answer she seeks.

      1. DCContrarian | | #22

        You dredged up a post from 2010 just to say that?

  5. Chris | | #5

    Karen, a few obvious questions....
    1). What roofing material was installed?
    2). Was the substrate replaced (the plywood or other sheet goods under the roofing itself)?
    3). Was anything else done...insulation added, ventilation added etc?
    4). Has anyone inspected the job to check for anything obviously incorrect?
    5). Have you contacted the installer and/or manufacturer of the roofing materials?
    6). What is significantly different from the roof the new one replaced?

  6. Expert Member
    Michael Maines | | #6

    Karen, did anything else in your life change when you had the roof replaced? Did it coincide with the start of the heating season? Did you start closing windows at night for the first time? Change what you're eating?

    Do you have an attached garage and warm up your car in the morning? You might want to invest in carbon monoxide detectors if you don't already have them.

    Did the roofers change your roof venting system at all? Either cover over an existing vent, or install a vent where none existed? Either action can change how air is being drawn into the house.

  7. Roy Harmon | | #7

    Karen,
    After you have recieved 15~20 responces to this question, Copy them and send one to the roofing contractor that did the work and one to the local building department in your area . Ask for their help formally.
    Good Luck~ really hope you feel well soon

  8. Robert H | | #8

    I think others have eluded to it but you are either having an off gassing issue or a mold issue. Other things to consider are what was disturbed in the attic and did it stir up something that was already in the attic. Was there a change from popup vents to ridge vent. Did the soffit vents get covered?

    Changes may be causing the attic to not vent properly. This can cause chemicals or other substances to now be drawn in to the house. Sealing the plane between the attic and house will help air quality and lead to better energy efficiency. It will essentially end air flow between the house and the attic.

    An energy auditor with a blower door can help assess the air exchange between the attic and house. They can help diagnose air low patterns.

    On the issue of Ozone. Ozone is a caustic gas and has a limited and specific use in certain remediation situations. High output ozone generators should only be used in unoccupied structures - no plants, animals, fish etc can be left in the house. Ozone will deteriorate elastic and other fabrics. High output ozone generators should only be used for a short time 24-48 hrs and then aired out prior to moving back in.

    Electro static air cleaners produce ozone as a by product. Other air cleaners may produce ozone at low levels. Ozone at levels below what EPA considers safe will not provide any benefit and only acts as a potential irritant. In some cases these low output ozone producing machines can produce high levels of ozone when used in a small room or confined area. If someone has asthma or other breathing problems avoiding ozone is advisable.

    You may also want to consider a room air purifier. The HEPA filter will filter out particulates. Most come with a carbon filter too. Not all carbon filters are created equal. Some sold at the big box stores have mear ounces or lessof charcoal. I viewed a so called charcoal filter that was a foam pad impregnated with charcoal. I couldn't even feel it in my hand. A brand I like is Austin Air. They include a HEPA filter with a charcoal filter. Depending on the unit they have between 7 and 15 pounds of activated charcoal. This would be much better than a bag of charcoal.

  9. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #9

    Robert H,
    Don't jump to conclusions. How can you possibly know that "you are either having an off gassing issue or a mold issue"?

    She reports a couple of symptoms: insomnia and intense headaches. (She has a third symptom as well: her "nervous system is whacked out." I'm not quite sure what that means.) The other members of her family are symptom-free.

    As far as I know, no one expressing an opinion on this page is a physician, and none of us has examined the patient.

    Karen, if you are sick, visit the doctor.

  10. John Brooks | | #10

    Martin,
    Your suggestion does Trump All others.
    I went to an EEBA class this week on ventilation & IAQ and
    Gord Cooke's comments were much like yours.

  11. Andy Ault, CLC | | #11

    - Was the roof exposed for any period of time and if so, was there any precipitation during this period? Is it possible that moisture got into the walls and is now creating mold?

    - Did they use any self-adhesive membranes (i.e. Ice & Water Shield) over a 1x board style sheathing (vs. plywood sheets)?

    - Have you asked the installer to show an MSDS on each of the materials they used? (roofing felt? peel-n-stick? shingles? roofing tar? adhesives?)

    And I'd second Martin's comments above about the Ozone machine. I deal with chemically sensitive clients and IAQ issues, and those things are bad-news snake oil! Dump that puppy on Craig's List or e-bay at your earliest opportunity.

  12. Danny Kelly | | #12

    Do your symptoms go away when at your daughter's house?

    Some good points were raised about change in ventilation - Any chance they added any power activated fans on the roof during the reroofing?

  13. jayne | | #13

    Martin,
    As someone who has experience chemical sensitivity, Doctors treat the symptoms, not the cause. They don't take the time or the energy to find the cause. Because we are in the minority, it will continue to be that way.Yes maybe she should go to the doctor to rule something else out, but she is 100% correct in trying to determine the cause in this forum, because no doctor is going to do that for her. I can get an instant headache passing by someone with perfume on can't use any scented products. When I had a series of migraines they just wanted to give me drugs with serious side effects, and told me to keep a journal to try and determine the cause. Sounds to me like she knows the cause and just needs advice from experts like you on how to remedy it.

  14. David Meiland | | #14

    The original poster stated that her problems started right after the roof work, but that's not the same as knowing the cause. Few if any of the folks who use this site are qualified to give a medical opinion, and the risk is that someone will do that and lead the original poster down the wrong path, although of course it's her responsibility to know how to use anonymous advice received on the internet. Unfortunately she never came back to answer any of the questions or give an update, because I for one would like to hear some follow-up on issues like this. Another poster asked an almost identical question within the last year and never came back to post further, in spite of many suggestions made for her consideration.

    1. jaw444 | | #15

      i have a similar question as the original poster but it's kind of different and much more complicated, but i found this forum and it gave me some kind of possibility that there's hope for my life that i didn't have before.

      this thread is 10 years old. i don't know if i should create a new thread. There's really good relevant stuff on this one so i want to stay in possible touch with the people who wrote the replies.

      my brain is fried from trying to solve this problem and to have nothing but dead ends and it has to be happening in the middle of pandemic.

      Today, i want to move out of my house, i've wanted to for a long time but i have no where to go and i don't know where to begin to find another place to live, just temporary, the sooner the better, the house is making me really sick and scared and depressed. All i want to do is fix it. it could be related to the roof. it's a long story.

      there is a lot of information, i could write a book on it, but it would just be a long post. i'm trying to reach someone who could help me trouble shoot what i do know about what happened and what i don't know.

      i want to say, just so it's clear, my symptoms seem to be hypersensitiviity pneumonitis, my upper and maybe lower lungs feel inflamed, short of breath. i was fine before the new roof in early January. I went to my doctor mid January, blood tests all normal, other things checked, ok. symptoms come and go, or used to. now, mostly there. i went to another doctor mid February. Both listened to my chest, sounds fine, don't have a cough, just a burning sensation. i was given referrals to pulmonologists. i want say that at that point, after a month and a half, i didn't think it was related to the roofing. i just thought i was sick with something and didn't know why.

      i have a lot of information, i have the invoice with the parts for the roof. i'm in los angeles area. i've 71 years old, live alone with my dog. i'm seeing pulmonologist by telemedicine ongoing, every 1-2 weeks. In reading the above thread, i appreciate that people are concerned about whether the OP was seeing a doctor. I understand that this forum doesn't have any knowledge of medicine and is here to help with home issues.

      My doctor knows all the theories about what might be causing me to get symptoms from my house but he doesn't know anything about what could be wrong with my home that might be involved. He doesn't know about those things. something is causing symptoms from my house. i have to be a detective but so far it hasn't worked. hypersensitivity pneumonitis is caused by environmental things

      please let me know if anyone gets this message and has any comments or questions or suggestions. i have to move out of here , asap, and all i want is to fix what's wrong with my house but it seems really complicated to me and i need as much info as i get in trying to find the right kind of professional to help me with fixing it.

      i haven't talked to the roofer yet, i didn't think of the roof being involved until i came to the end of the line in trying to get HVAC people to help me. the thing that caused me to suspect the roof is that the symptoms began right after that work was done and have been there ever since, with one exception. it's just such a long story .

      the roofer had checked to see if i had good smoke alarms and he showed me then that i have dark smudges on the indoor walls around the air vents in my house and he said he didn't know what it was but it might not be safe, maybe the furnace, some kind of problem in the attic . he said i should have an HVAC person look at it, offered me a referral. i had a guy already so i asked him. He said very low chance that it was causing any problem, he said "don't spend your money." i also posted pictures on NextDoor, people talked about whether it was ok or not and peiople said they got duct cleaning which made their air better. At that point i didn't know my air was bad. most people didn't have those smudges on their walls. some did.

      Then, 3 or 4 days after the roof work, i started getting those symptoms, burning sensation in respiratory tract, didn't suspect anything environmental, thought i was fine, no symptoms of anything , i was perfectly well, before early January.

      i went to the doctor, blood tests, xrays, symptoms continued, nothing the doctor knew about, went to second doctor, symptoms continuing, mid February. Pulmonologist referral. then i went home feeling worried. i looked up at the air vent with the black smudge around it and i just wondered, could it be related to that? that night i closed the vent in my bedroom and used the space heater . the next day i felt a lot better, no symptoms . but i did have better and worse days, maybe it was a better day? that day, i ran the heat hardly at all, feeling scared of it. that night, i turned off the central air system. After that, i felt good, symptoms gone, energy, feelilng well,, not sick anymore, it was over. so happy. i thought i figured out what it was and i had control over it. i was freezing, the weather was really cold, in the 40s at night, but i couldn't turn the system back on, i just has one space heater due to quality problems with newer space heaters.

      so i decided whatver it costs, i needed to have whatever was causing the black smudge dirt on my walls around my vents and causing me to have those symptoms, completely fixed. I thought about what people said about duct cleaning . my guy didn't do duct cleaning.. i started hurriedly looking for someone to fix my problem . it didn't occur to me that i wouldn't be able to find someone who would know what was wrong based on the smudges and the way turning off the system stopped my symtptoms. i thought that was sonething those guys would know. i got a guy from yelp good reviews, bad mistake by me. He was ok but he looked in the attic and said i needed new ducts, he would replace them. Also he would seal the old round swamp cooler vents in the ceiling in every room he said air from the attic which was bad, was coming into my home all the the time. i asked if that would cause the symptoms and why would the symptoms start all of a sudden in january and stop when i turned off the central heat. he said he didn't know, but what he was going to do he said, would fix it. he said he was also going to install a whole house air purifier in my house which would really address my needs and he said his guys would take care of all my HVAC regular maintenance from now on. i said i was happy with my current guy. i'm putting too many details in, sorry.

      They came out and replaced the ducts, they put flex ducts in. i had stainless steel before i didn't want anything changed, but they did that, they did it in a big hurry, a lot of dust got into my house that day . (i said no to the whole house air purifier until i could study it more). i was still happy, i thought now i could at least turn off my system and be safe but now i would have heat again.

      After they left, as the night went on, my synptoms all came back and worse. i had 6 days with no symptoms, first time since January, they would come every day or every day and a half. Now, back stronger.

      i called the guy, he came out a couple of times, he sent another guy out who looked at the AC roof unit and told me i needed a whole new HVAC unit. to fix the one i have a crane woiuld have to be used and it would be expensive.

      They did the work on 2/25. He was coming out to check things for a couple of weeks, he was going to refer me to an environmental air tester, something like that, was going to get back to me but didn't.

      Meanwhle the Covid thing was getting more intense and it was early March, and things getting crazy and harder and harder. symptoms continuing. i got the pulmonologist so i consult with him weekly. Hard to get food now cause not supposed to go to stores.

      i knew then i had to move out of my house. that was too painful, mind boggling, i didn't know where to go, i don't have anywhere go, i don't think i have the money, in the long run. i don't know anything about it. the last time i rented a place was 1994 january. before that , i rented one in february 1982 . i don't know how i would do that now. but i have to get out.

      as a last shot, i called the roofer to ask for the referral for the HVAC guy he knew and thought was good. i told him what had been happening. i assumed it was from the black smudges he showed me. he gave me the referral, i called the guy, he wanted me to get a Covid test first. i made an appointment, but i got an email saying i have to bring a valid photo ID. my drivers license expired in April, and i had a renewal appointment in April but DMV closed down and canceled all the renewal appointments, my ID didn't work at the pharmacy when i tried to get a decongestant, they need ID for that.

      So, that was the night i was sitting there in the living room feeling so bad about hopelessness . and i thought about how the only thing that happened at the time the symptoms started was the roof. i googled 'can a new roof cause symptoms' or something like that and i got this one, 'A new roof was put on and i've been sick ever since.' The link to this thread. Reading those posts gave me some ideas about possible answers. it could explain why the HVAC guy didn't know anything about it or what was wrong. i sure would like to talk with people who posted stuff here. A vent was removed from my roof when the roofing was done , he told me he was going to do it and asked if it was ok . i said 'do i need it?' he said no so i said ok. that vent was on a stem coming out of the utility closet in the kitchen, it had a fan at the top and i could see it going around , it's gone now and the place where i could look up and see out is blocked now, at the ceiling.

      i have mostly felt better when i wake in the morning and then get worse as the day goes on, so i did an experiment starting in early april i think, staying in my room all day and night, wearing an N95 mask when i go into the rest of the house. i thought it was helping, maybe but the burning sensation does come back, worse some days than ever but really scaring me last night, felt deep and always there, no relief, better today so far. i think the experiment has shown that i still have to move out of my house.

      i just wish i had some idea of what's going on with it. i thought the problem was dust at first, but from soemthing i read here, i think it could be fumes too. i need someone who knows how to help with this. is there anyone who would have skills and knowledge about this? befeore calling my roofer about possible roofing cause of symptoms, change in the air circulation, or anything like that, i want to be as informed as possible, so i'm trying

      one other thing, i don't know if it would make sense to anyone but soon after the ducts were replaced and new filter and sealed old swamp cooler vents, i took a shower, normal, nothing weird, but i came out of the bathroom into the short hall to go to my bedroom to get clothes. In that hall was a very bad strong smell, never had before. Above where i was standing and smelling it, was the big air vent where the filter gets changed. Before the guys came to replace the ducts, i had a resuable washable filter, for 4 years, it was always pretty clean, my guy would hose it off, rinse it off. The guys who did the ducts took that away even though i asked them to leave it and they put some filter he said needs to be replaced every 3 months. i told him i want my washable filter back, i guess they threw it away, he said he would cut me a new one but he never did and i don't really want anything more from him.

      So, this bad smell came right after a shower in the nearby bathroom where the filter is. no smell in the bathroom. i didn't want to breathe it. i left that part of the house. i went back over there later and the smell was gone. i forgot about it, i can't remember all the things that are wrong. overload. a week or so later i took another shower, got out, same thing in the hall, strong thick smell. unfamiliar to me. no idea. it soon went away . i havent used that shower since, i use the other one. it was backed up so plumber came. the one next to the smell in the hall isnt' backed up at all. seems fine.

      this all seems impossible to straighten out. what would other people do? you can't just walk away and leave the only house you have . but if i have to, i have to. i'm so desperate. :(

      1. Expert Member
        Zephyr7 | | #16

        My first thought is you have an issue with mold in your ducts or filter somewhere. Places to check first are under the A coil, in any low spots in the ductwork, and in the area where the filter and blower reside. If the problem was only during the heating season, I’d suspect carbon monoxide, possible due to a cracked heat exchanger or improper combustion venting. It sounds like your issue also comes up when you’re running the air conditioner and not just the heat though.

        You probably want to contact an environmental testing company and have them test those black smudges and probably also the air in the duct. Remediation companies that do things like asbestos abatement will be able to refer you to an environmental testing company.

        While you’re figuring out the cause of the problem, I’d suggest ventilating your home with outside air to limit your exposure to whatever is making you feel sick. We on this site are construction and engineering/design people, so you’re not going to get medical advice here, but you’ll probably get some ideas of what systems in your home may be suspect.

        Bill

  15. jaw444 | | #17

    Bill thanks for replying! that gives me several things to try and places to start.
    The guy who did the duct replacement in February said there was no mold. Others have said they don't see sign of mold, in the past, not recently. if mold is in the ducts or AC system, is it likely that it happened since the duct work in late February?

    i read on the EPA website about ducts that a downside of flex ducts was that they can't be cleaned with approved safe mold cleaner and must be replaced. i'll get that checked. i wonder what those duct guys did up there, they had the vent cover off all day and there was dust in the hall all day that was thick enough to feel when i would go in and out, i breathed a lot of that.

    i never had a mold issue with this house, my parents bought it when i was 10, 1959. Since mold is related to moisture, i have to think the duct work people must've done something around the filter that has put it in some kind of contact with moisture during a shower. i sure hope the cause can be tracked down.

    do you think i might need both a plumber and an AC guy? Would i start with an AC guy?

    my usual AC maintenance guy (who doesn't do ducts) had put a washable resuable filter in so it didn't have to be changed frequently. The new guys put a new filter in that has to be changed every three months. i told him i don't want that and he said ok, he wanted to do the every three month filter change 'and general maintenance.' i was happy with my other guy. but now i have this filter i was told is special and needs frequent change. i just realized it's now 3 months since that filter was put in. i hope i can get my usual guy and he can put another washable filter in.

    Unless there's a reason not to use those that i don't know about. it was in good shape, looked like new. i think it was rubber.

    The strong odor after/during a shower began two days after they did the work (Feb 27). my shower/filter didn't smell like that before. Can mold grow that fast?

    thanks for the info , i will have someone check under the A coil, and low spots in the duct work, and where the filter and blower are. i want the washable resusable kind replaced, by my same guy who put the first one there, it did the job for 4 years.

    Would an AC guy be the right professional to check those things?

    i don't know if the problem is only with the heating. the problem (symptoms) has been bad since they made the problem come back in February, and i have not had the heat on once since trying it out the first night, before i knew it was still so bad. i was scared to use the AC too. i left the whole thing off, but unlike before their work, that didn't stop the symptoms.

    then there was a heat wave a few weeks ago, the first one this year, and it was unbearable, my dog was suffering, and i started using the AC for the first time since the duct work, i don't see any change in the problem, maybe even a little better, maybe the air seems cleaner, but i can't say for sure. apparently the level of the irritant in the air varies, judging from how the symptoms die down and flare up, several times throughout a day, , while overall, whole days can be better than other whole days. but the point is, the reactions aren't varying with any change between having the AC on or no air at all, or windows open or closed. Sometimes i think i feel a lot better when i am outside on errands for 45 minutes or so, but not every time i'm outside.

    The main thing that highlighted the role of the heating system was when i turned it off in February and the sympt0ms dramatically went away until the ductwork was done, after which there's no way to make the symptoms stop. i wonder what they did to change that.

    Maybe i should start by putting the same kind of ducts i had before back in and trying to fix everything back like it was, unseal the swamp cooler vents. i wonder if replacing the roof vent with the fan that the roofer removed could help.

    The problem did start during the heating season, early January. I'd been using the heat a lot since maybe November. In mid December, the heater shut off, the air became unheated, just the fan running. I got a guy to fix it the next day, he said the heater motor wore out. The system is a Lennox from about 2003. He replaced the motor with a new Lenox motor. i think the box and old motor are in the garage.

    After that, no problem, or no symptoms of environmental irritant, just normal house like always. Then, the roof was done on Jan 2. There was a bad smell late while they were working, i asked the lead guy about it, i think he said it was glue or something like that, he said it would go away pretty soon. it was strong, bothered me, but went away after an hour or so think.

    then, within maybe 2 days after the roof work was done (they still did some more work on 1/3), i don't know for sure, the symptoms started right away, fluctuating but not stopping until i turned the heat completely off around 2/20.

    i will get someone to look at it and check for cracked heat exchanger and improper combustion venting. What kind of professional would be best for that? the roofer had said the smudges on the wall could be caused by a cracked furnace. Does that have anything to do witn the heat exchanger? i asked the duct guy about a cracked furnace and he said i didn't have it. he wasn't seeing signs of carbon monoxide, he said. He said after their work was done, i wouldn't have the smudges around the air vents, he said they would remove them, but they didn't. it looks like they tried.

    this idea of improper combustion venting and heat exchanger damage, seem to go together with how i imagine what's happening, compared to mold. it seems to me more like something wrong with venting and the heat system. i will get both checked. i really appreciate it.

    thanks for telling me how to find an environmental testing company to test those smudges. i had googled in an attempt to find something like that and they only seemed to serve businesses, didn't find anything residential, but an asbestos abatement kind of business sounds like the right place to go. my pulmonologist said, when i asked, that he knew of some but "i don't know what they're doing these days." He said he'd check but he didn't ever find anyone.

    Thanks Bill, for giving me plenty of things to have checked. it might take me til after payday, 31st sure could use another one of those $1200 checks back from the taxes i have paid, this has been the worst month ever money-wise.

    i have wondered if AC guy is the right professional because my regular AC maintenance guy said he didn't know about it, and the company i called to get it working after i turned the heat off and my health problem went away had no idea about any things that might cause onset of something like that, and he wasn't interested in turning the air system off resulting in getting rid of the lung symptoms. i thought that was some kind of clue. So i wonder i there is a different kind of professional. Who would know if removing the vent that circulated air between my kitchen utility closet and outdoors might cause a change in the air in the house? and other things that maybe hvac people don't think about. Is there no reason to think the roof work would be involved?

    1. Expert Member
      Zephyr7 | | #18

      An HVAC guy would be the right right guy, but you need someone competent. There are a lot of small shops that aren’t very good at anything unusual. If you can find a commercial mechanical contractor that will take a look at your project that may work better. The commercial guys usually have more experience (but not always). Building performance people (the folks at energy vanguard may be able to refer you to someone in your area) might also be good at oddball ventilation issues.

      I’d also check if your roofer did anything to block off your attic ventilation, assuming you have a vented attic. Classic problems are plugging up ridge or soffit vents

      If the problem only occurs when you’re running your heat, then it’s likely to be combustion related. You can try running your system in “fan only” mode for a while and see what happens. If you still have issues, then your system is probably either the source of the contaminant or it’s pulling in something from somewhere.

      Someone is going to need to open things up and like around, and that someone needs to be competent and thorough to figure things out. It’s probably going to take some time to find the problem unless it’s something relatively easy to spot like a bad heat exchanger.

      Bill

      1. jaw444 | | #20

        Bill
        thanks for the perspective, i knew i needed someone competent, and that was part of the problem, is there any such thing? your answer addresses that. i have been thinking that there are some HVAC companies with good reputations who have been around a long time and have maintained good reputations, and i was going to call one of two that i know of, one of who helped me before, around 2008, and informed me about problems with the company that installed the unit, based on the shoddy work he saw when he came out to fix a problem i was having that the installer company wasn't fixing, despite coming out. he took photos and showed me and emailed them to me, and he advised me to contact the owner of the company and ask for the repairs to be paid for by them, and he clearly patiently gave me the reasons justifying that. The unit was about 5 years old, and he said something about Lennox not wanting to do business with someone who would install their units that way. The difference in the before and after photos was dramatic and anyone would think it should be the second way. It was a pretty expensive repair and he said i should have it paid for by the company that installed it---it had been leaking on the patio and i had called them to come out and the guy from that company came out and said it was fixed but it kept leaking. i called him to come out again and he never showed up for an appointment. i think that was the point when i called the other more expensive company. What he found was that the installer company guy had used duct tape to tape it together to repair the leaking and it had soon come apart again. Photos of duct tape hanging down, looking sloppy. He said it needed a P trap and the drain pipe should be supported, it was just laying haphazardly on the roof.

        But i'm not sure if being thorough like that guy was and great communication, would mean that they would take on the kind of detective work it seemed might be needed, and your response addressed that. I have ideas about what to ask them, if i talk to them about it. Realistically, finding the right person is probably the biggest challenge. thanks for giving me some direction on that.

        As far as whether my roof is vented, how do i tell? there are what i think are vents on the roof. i googled roof vents and soffit vents and ridge vents. they look ok to me? i don't know. there is one thing that he said he was going to remove and asked if it was ok with me, and he said i didn't need it, and it's gone now, and i think it's called a vent. i tried looking at roof vent images , not clear what the name or type of it was, i'll attach a photo of what i think looks most like it, but i could be wrong, i wasn't paying that good of attention to the details. but it was probably the biggest vent on the roof. there are some other shorter ones and flatter ones on top of the roof. i thought the one that was removed had a fan in it that i could see from inside the utility cabinet where it was attached. Now when i look, it's closed off and the vent thing is gone. As far as what it might have been for, i don't know where things are in my attic like the furnace. The utility cabinet in the kitchen is next to where the gas fueled fire place is. i don't use the fireplace.

        i can see that an HVAC guy, a good one, would know about venting in the attic, and i think that's what the roofer was getting at when he was recommending the guy he referred me to. when i'm ready to call the roofer, when i know a little about it, i'll find out what kind of vent that was that was removed and what it did, what was its purpose? i'll ask about the other vents too, maybe ask him to come by and look it over. he says he's always working somewhere nearby.

        On the contract it says two O Hagin attic vents were installed . it says 'nail on raised ridge caps.' i don't know if that has to do with ridge vents. there's an invoice for the parts.

        the problem isn't only when using the heat. i didn't use the heat at all after the duct work was done on 2/25 but still have the problem, and was scared to use the AC too but when the weather got really hot here, i had to use it and there was no sign of anything being worse.

        i'm attaching a photo of what i think the removed vent looked sort of like.

  16. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #19

    Jaw444,
    Unfortunately, this is not the type of issue that can be solved on an internet forum. You have medical symptoms, so the specialists who can help you are medical doctors. People who post advice here are just guessing. Good luck.

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