Apple assured us that their roof cleaning process would not harm our expensive landscaping but it did. They call it an act of God & refuse to replace.
Apple cleaned our tile roof in Parrish on July 29, 2013 with the repeated assurance that they took great care to avoid damage to surrounding landscaping. *****, the owner, told us that they were the only ones who provided warranties against re-occurrence and would replace any damage done by his team. Within days of treatment, brown spots appeared in several spots in yard and now plants are dying. He calls it an act of God because there was not enough rain to dilute the chemical. He also claimed they could not have known where the downspouts were to predict where the runoff would occur. This is the exact opposite of what he told us before we hired him. He emphasized how much training he does for other roof cleaners because Apple knows all the potential problems that can occur. Now he refuses to honor his verbal commitments. He also charged us $175 more than the next bidder but justified it because of his warranty & vast knowledge about roof cleaning.
Apple needs to pay for all replacement costs of dying plants and any additional landscaping fees to replace or retreat dying lawn areas. Apple refused to even discuss or over to rectify.
No matter who did this tile roof cleaning job, if the roof was cleaned chemically, you would have had this problem. The problem is this - Your downspouts empty right under, and well out into the yard, right under the Grass! The builder of this home chose to cut corners, unknown to us, and do it this way. We clean shingle and tile with downspouts going into the ground everyday, and never have we had this problem!
This is because every builder always runs the downspouts well down INTO the ground, instead of what they did on your home.
The real problem here is this. Your builder cut a corner, unknown to us, and now we are "the bad guys", in your mind!
Your Tile Roof was filthy, and it took us quite a lot of roof cleaning chemicals to get it nice and clean for you. It was taking so much chemicals to clean it, our employees actually called to inform me!
In fact, in the future, never have your tile roof chemically cleaned, because this problem will happen again, unless the downspouts are disconnected from the ground, and collection bags placed to catch and collect the run off.
A collection bag filled with 50 gallons of run off will weigh 350 lbs, so this is not a very good option either!
In fact, your only option for future cleaning of this tile roof is to insist that only Pressure Washing be used, and NO Chemicals at all!
Pressure Washing your Tile Roof always costs less then what we did (tile roof cleaning chemicals are not cheap), and will not last near as long as the service we provided for you. This is because Pressure Washing uses no chemicals to actually Kill that plant that was growing on your roof! But, since Pressure Wshing uses only high pressure water, the run off is harmless to plants.
As I told you, we are insured, but I was concerned that our Insurance Company would consider this an "Act Of God", and possibly deny the claim.
I will be more then happy to submit this to our Insurance Company, but they will need detailed pictures of all the damage, as well as 3 estimates for landscape repair/replacement.
Had we known (by you telling us), that your builder chose to take a shortcut by simply running the downspouts out into the yard, right under the grass, with a piece of cheap flex pipe, vs doing it the right way, and running the downspouts run off well down into the ground, we would have refused to do this roof cleaning job!
You were unaware of this, and so were we, so let's both agree that it was what it was, an unfortunate accident. I will gladly submit this accident to our Insurance Company, as soon as I am provided with what I asked you for.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Apple continues to deny their carelessness and negligence in this matter by claiming the builder is at fault. This house was thoroughly inspected in November 2012 prior to our purchase and it was specifically noted that the downspouts were in excellent condition so his claim to the contrary is a desperate attempt to deflect their responsibility. All properly built downspouts empty into the yard and the better built ones do go underground. His claim to the contrary is absurd and more proof that he completely misrepresented their expertise in this area. They did not properly prepare the yard or take the usual precautions when using chlorine based chemicals.
The email he included was written prior to the full extent of the damage was known as the brown spots spread to the neighboring yard. He also did not have permission from me or the realtor to include that personal correspondence. This further indicates how desperate he is. He refused to honor any verbal or implied warranty when we engaged his company to clean the roof. I fully acknowledge that the roof is clean, but the damage done to the landscaping is the issue & he refused to discuss any possible solution until this complaint was filed. He claimed it was an Act of God and he was not responsible. Now he claims he made that reference as it pertains to his insurance company. That is a complete misrepresentation of our conversation and he knows it. As I noted in previous posts, we are still assessing the damage and may not know for months if the expensive palm trees were harmed. That could be a couple of thousand dollars to replace and we will pursue legal action if that is the case.
Apple should not have an A rating with BBB based on my experience. Please leave this post as a warning to others who might be deceived by his extensive web presence and claims of expertise.
Final Business Response
There are only 2 ways to clean a tile roof, Pressure Washing, or Chemically. This was explained to you, and you chose us, to clean your tile roof chemically.Your tile roof was extremely dirty, and it took a lot of chemical to get it clean, to our standards.
All the chemical we used to clean your roof has to go somewhere. On a roof with no gutters, the chemical runs off right onto the plants, where we either promptly rinse it off, or cover the plants. Your roof had gutters, that emptied into downspouts.
Your downspouts went right into the ground. We have cleaned over 20,000 roofs in the time we have been in business, many with downspouts that drain into the ground. Most really DO drain well down into the ground. However, your downspouts, unknown to us, drained right under your Grass!
How were we to know this, w/o us actually digging up your yard ?
You paid us for both a cleaning and a roof treatment. The treatment chemical needs to remain on the roof for as long as possible. Here is what happened. I checked the weather that day, and a very slight rain fell at your house, right after the cleaning and roof treatment. It was enough rain to rinse all the treatment chemical off the roof, but not enough to dilute the chemical, and render it harmless.
This is never a problem, on homes that have downspouts that go well down into the ground, below the grass. Unfortunately, your builder chose to run your downspouts right under your lawn, unknown to us, and you.
So, now we seem "negligent" and the "bad guys".
Every precaution was taken to protect your grass, our guys did their usual good job. It is not our fault what happened, but we will turn it into our insurance company anyway, as I told you before. We carry One Million Dollars Insurance.
As far as the damage "spreading", that is highly unlikely, because of the sandy soil we have here in the greater tampa florida area.
Here is an email from your own property manager, indicating the brown spots in the grass will soon grow right back.
She also remarks on the great job we did, cleaning your tile roof!
Hi *****: The Tenant reported there are several areas where, evidently, the
chemicals used to clean the roof have caused brown spots in the yard.
Attached is one of the photos she sent me. I went out and took a look at it
today and there are about a half dozen such places. It looks like it could
be where the sprayer sat. It will probably go away fairly quickly with the
rain we are having but the lawn maintenance company will I'm sure bring this
to your attention. The roof looks a lot better, by the way.
Leslie Wells Realty Inc.
**** ** ****
Parrish, FL. XXXXX
Again, just as soon as I have pictures of the brown spots in the yard, as well as cost estimates to replace the small brown spots in the grass with new pieces of Sod, I will turn these into our Insurance Company.