Ask an Expert: Repair versus Replace

Ask An Expert is a question-and-answer column designed to address common questions related to forensic investigation and property damage. Each month we’ll feature one or two questions submitted by you – our readers and customers – and provide detailed, easy-to-understand answers. Email your questions to [email protected] or submit your questions here.

Question #1: 
Does wood framing that has been heated up and has sapped out on the sides need to be repaired or replaced?

A: Structural characteristics of that wood have not been altered by the heat, and it may remain in service.

Question #2: Can an architectural shingle be tested for repairability/brittleness?

A: We reiterate that there is no “brittleness test,” however architectural shingles can be evaluated for repairability in a manner similar to 3-tab shingles.

Question #3: What are some of the causes of damage to the windows that are fogged up? Can hail cause this?

A: The cause of damage is failure of the seal, which is age-related deterioration. Hail can damage a window by breaking the glass, denting the frame, or chipping the paint. Hail will not cause a window to fog. We have an advanced webinar on collateral hail damages, including to windows, coming up in May. You can register for this by visiting

Question #4: How do you feel about repairing a roof with two layers, the underlayment being organic shingles?

A: Codes do not allow for covering over two layers of roofing and roofs with two layers of shingles have their own special problems. Any repairs being considered should be minor; if they are extensive and expensive it is better to consider removing all the old roofing and installing new shingles.

Question #5How do you repair or replace exterior sheathing from the interior?

A: We have a document titled “Repair of Wood Framed Structures with Brick Masonry Veneers” that outlines this protocol. You can download it here.


Hungry for more? Attend an upcoming webinar or view other resources at

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About the Experts

Mr. J. Marvin Aikens III joined Donan in 2008 and currently serves as Chief Engineer based out of Mobile, Alabama. Mr. Aikens’ areas of expertise are flood studies, wind versus water damages, and wood, steel, and concrete structures.
View Marvin’s full professional profile here.

Mr. Richard Grimshaw joined Donan in 2009 and currently serves as the Engineering Training Manager based out of the firm’s Atlanta, Georgia office. His areas of expertise are structural failures of commercial and residential facilities, international building codes, international residential codes, residential and light commercial construction and indoor air quality.
View Rich’s full professional profile here.


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