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Old 02-21-2014, 12:32 PM   #31
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Brand New Roof Leaking


Here is what I am keying in on:

1) I still cannot tell what was done with the flashing. As mentioned, the siding is too low for me be able to see it. And I know another layer of shingles is often woven in over the horizontal part to help it blend in with the roof, so I can't make a definitive judgement about that part based on what I see. Someone else may be able to but I cannot.

2) The siding that would have been pulled up to install fresh flashing is rotted and deteriorated. I have a hard time believing the roofer messed with that. To do this job properly a good roofer would have told you a proper flashing job would involve the siding being pulled up, and since it is in such bad condition that will mean those areas will need to be replaced. As previously mentioned, even under the best of circumstances that siding is not easy to work with. I would imagine in the shape it's in in those photos it is impossible to pull it off without destroying it and needing to replace. If the decision was made by both parties not to mess with it to keep costs down, he should have told you he would be reusing the flashing that is already there. Unless he deliberately lied to you about this, I strongly suspect to save money you agreed to, or possibly even asked for, reuse of the old flashing and he proceeded accordingly. Now I have to wonder whether he explained the possible consequences of not replacing the flashing and you agreed, or if he told you everything would be A-O-K and there would be no downside to this.

3) The gutters and downspouts look old and beat up to me. I am guessing they either did the work with them attached or took them down and put them back up when it was really time to get them replaced. A good roofer would have offered to replace those for you if they looked like that. Most of them will always try to sell gutters with a new roof because it saves them from having to handle the ones that are on there with kid gloves to avoid accidental damage and having to replace them out of their end. If they didn't replace the gutters and downspouts, they probably didn't replace the fascia, which I am guessing would mean there is some severe rot issues going on with it.

All this leads me to wonder what exactly the contract looked like and where else corners were cut here. Was this a tear-off or a roof-over? I have to believe you probably also needed some sheathing. Was there any allowance in the contract for re-doing any of the roof deck? Did they claim they actually had to do any of that?

I don't know what a roof on that type of home should cost so I can't really say whether the 8K price tag is ball park. But from what I am seeing it looks like a cheapo, lowest bidder roof job with quite a few corners cut. Like everything was left in place as is, except a new layer of shingles was slapped down over it all. If you agreed to it, you get what you paid for. If you signed for a top notch roofing job with all i's dotted and all t's crossed and this is what you got, I think you got robbed. A solid roofing job on that house should have involved some add-ons and extra labor above and beyond re-shingling. Makes me curious as to what the competing quotes looked like.


Last edited by eharri3; 02-21-2014 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:46 PM   #32
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I'll get on the roof tomorrow when the rain is gone to take close up photos.

Re: the flashing I asked the guy 10x if the existing flashing was ok. He made it seem like I was stupid for asking him that.

I don't think they took any downspouts out but I can confirm when I'm on the roof tomorrow. They never even suggested I replace them because I would actually like them to be replaced - mainly because they look like ****.

This was not a re-shingle. They tore everything out. I've got about 2,000 nails and staples on my lawn and driveway that they just left. They also ruined my brand new shrubs by throwing all the existing shingles on top of them.

Looking at the contract is says "re-seal, re-flash or re-caulk wherever necessary".

I tend to agree that other corners were likely cut but I'm not a roofer so I cant know what those are.

This is not the cheapest roofing company in town by any means and came recommended from my neighbor. That's what bugs me the most.
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:19 PM   #33
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1. When anybody that is trying to sell you something adopts a superior attitude and makes you feel like you asked a stupid question, walk away, they are an A-Hole that you do not want to deal with.

2. It is my opinion that re-useing gutters and downspouts rarely males sense. Its like taking a bath and putting on dirty clothes. LOL It takes too much care to remove them which adds to the price of the roof, and the gutters are never fastened the way I want them done anyway, which is one hidden hanger per rafter tail. usually 24 inches on center. I always require repair and re-cladding of the fascia also, so the gutters have to come off. Hey its a new roof.

3. I think that you needed new siding, and all new base flashings. The only way around new siding would have been to saw cut the siding up about 5 inches and sliding a counter flashing up under the felt and siding. This would be a royal PITA and you need new siding anyway.

4. You should have had ice dams protection membrane in NJ. Im pretty sure it is code there.

And finally: There are leaves clogging your gutters, that cannot be helping.
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:54 PM   #34
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It sounds like you definitely need someone who knows what they're talking about to get eyes on that roof and write a report about it. This guy figures you aren't knowlegable enough to articulate what he screwed up, and if he digs his heals in and keeps denying it is his fault you will give up. Chances are much better that if someone can articulate specifics on what is wrong up there he will change his tune. We would love to see pics to help guide you but at the end of the day a professionally written roof inspection report will hold more weight than what a bunch of people on the internet said.

Last edited by eharri3; 02-21-2014 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:39 AM   #35
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From what I can tell from your pictures they definetly did not flash the roof correctly if any new flashing was even used.But,it looks like they have covered their ass in the contract. "re-seal, re-flash or re-caulk wherever necessary
There could be several issues.A company that will cut one corner usually cuts several.
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:16 PM   #36
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In looking at the pictures of the front of your home, you have very little siding to deal with. Replacing the couple of squares of siding will allow you to properly install new base tins and base flashing's at rising walls.

As a Professional Roof Consultant and a Certified Construction Specifier, I can tell you that you never use words in a specification that beg another question. For Instance, "As required" (As required by whom?) "As Necessary" (As necessary according to what?) See? It basically leaves the requirement up to the contractor.

It was incumbent upon your roofing contractor to install ice dams protection membrane on your home at least at the eaves, in my opinion, but I would check with your local building inspector to see if it is code in your county in NJ.

There is no way for any of us to know exactly what is causing your leaks without a comprehensive investigation of your home, but if you did not have leaks before the roof was installed, its a pretty good chance that your roofer messed up, and it is probably flashing related.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:52 PM   #37
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How is a roofing contractor supposed to warranty against an act from God?

It seems obvious that the extreme amount of water is because of the way the gutters are ran and the ice dam. You have majority of the water from the upper roof dumping onto the lower roof where there is currently an ice dam.

I'm sure the roof is done correctly and if you never had ice accumulate, this would've never happened. It looks to be either a siding issue or water that is entering further up the roof.

Then again, all I have to go off is pictures.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:56 PM   #38
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How is a roofing contractor supposed to warranty against an act from God?

It seems obvious that the extreme amount of water is because of the way the gutters are ran and the ice dam. You have majority of the water from the upper roof dumping onto the lower roof where there is currently an ice dam.

I'm sure the roof is done correctly and if you never had ice accumulate, this would've never happened. It looks to be either a siding issue or water that is entering further up the roof.

Then again, all I have to go off is pictures.
An act of god?

A properly designed roof assembly provides adequate air flow up under the roof deck so that ice damming does not occur. Granted, this could require retrofitting of the current home to accomplish the desired end, but that's what separates a roofing professional from someone who simply "puts it back like it was"

Now, assuming that the roof did not leak with the old roof system in place, it is fair to assume that something has changed. In looking at the pictures of the siding that the OP put up, it was pretty obvious to me that the flashing's were going to be a problem on this roof. It should have been obvious to a professional steep roofing contractor.

This is one of those situations where you have to hit the homeowner with the truth, and if he/she only cares about price and nothing else, well you have to walk away. As a roofing contractor, I very rarely lost a job after I explained what had to be done to do a job correctly.

It is obvious to me that this roofer simply did not know his trade well enough. My dad, RIP, always told me never to worry about the ones I lost, because they were not worth doing.

The amazing part of this is that people that went with a less comprehensive job, or the low bidder, usually ended up calling me up asking me of I would fix the problems they now had. I helped them when I could, but as you know, roofing is sequential, and you cannot always just go back and fix a poor installation.

The fact that this roofer left nails all over this mans property tells me all I need to know about this guy.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:14 PM   #39
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I didn't read through the whole thread. Ignoring the nail issue because it didn't leak, I don't know how an ice dam can't be considered an act of god.

Yes you can reduce them or almost entirely eliminate them but nature will always win. I've done numerous jobs where I corrected ventilation and even got reviews that were grateful that we took care of their ice dam issues. One of these roofs was 2010 and last year (after 3 winters) they finally wrote the review and thanked me.

Fast forward to this winter when we've had constant freeze thaw cycles and 25-30+ inches more of snow than our acreage of 30", they had small ice dams form.

Now I'll say, 99/100 roofing contractors never look at ventilation and only replace what is there so the homeowner may have never known different. On the other hand, he may have had a contractor who does a thorough job and explained this to them but didn't want to pay the added cost.

Another question is why if this was noticed promptly was the ice dam not instantly removed by either the homeowner or the contractor?
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:01 AM   #40
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Im sure you know how an ice dams form. They form when interior heat is lost into the attic and hits the underside of the roof deck, causing melt water to run down toward the eaves where it hits the cold area above the soffit and freezes. As long as the temperature below the deck is kept at the same temperature throughout you will not get an ice dam. How it is done depends on the configuration of the home.

They (Ice Dams) have become much more prevalent with 2 x 4 trusses and minimal slope which exacerbates the pinch condition where the truss tails rest on the exterior wall plates. We never heard of ice dams when homes were stick framed, with at least 2 x 6 Rafters, and usually 2 x 8's. I am a big fan of using 3 inch Isocyanurate foam from the exterior wall 4 ft in instead of fiberglass. 3 x 6= R18

Have a Good Evening ParEX
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:55 AM   #41
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I looked at more than a dozen houses last week in Milwaukee from 60-100 years old with ice dams.

I don't disagree that the interior heat plays a part but if you can honestly say weather doesn't play a part in it I can't seriously have this conversation.

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Old 02-23-2014, 08:17 AM   #42
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Im sure you know how an ice dams form. They form when interior heat is lost into the attic and hits the underside of the roof deck, causing melt water to run down toward the eaves where it hits the cold area above the soffit and freezes. As long as the temperature below the deck is kept at the same temperature throughout you will not get an ice dam. How it is done depends on the configuration of the home.

They (Ice Dams) have become much more prevalent with 2 x 4 trusses and minimal slope which exacerbates the pinch condition where the truss tails rest on the exterior wall plates. We never heard of ice dams when homes were stick framed, with at least 2 x 6 Rafters, and usually 2 x 8's. I am a big fan of using 3 inch Isocyanurate foam from the exterior wall 4 ft in instead of fiberglass. 3 x 6= R18

Have a Good Evening ParEX
If it is at or near freezing and sunny out you will still get ice dams even with a well designed roof. Just won't be as bad. In my opinion the op got a subpar roofing job no matter what but there hasn't been enough info to determine exactly why there is a leak.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:20 AM   #43
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A competent roofer would have demanded that the siding be removed. Generally, they will run the iceguard up the wall about 12" or so. Looks like there is no ventillation at the soffit. Not sure if there is ridge vent or not, but without the soffit vents, the ridge vent is almost useless.
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:45 PM   #44
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A competent roofer would have demanded that the siding be removed. Generally, they will run the iceguard up the wall about 12" or so. Looks like there is no ventillation at the soffit. Not sure if there is ridge vent or not, but without the soffit vents, the ridge vent is almost useless.
And Vice versa LOL
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:01 PM   #45
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I think everyone agrees that some better applications and techniques could have been used here.

New gutters and downspouts routed properly and not dumping on the lower roof
Removal of the siding at the intersecting walls and getting Ice/Water up the side wall and re-flashed with taller step flashing
Possible ventilation modifications
etc.

That being said, Ice Dams are sometimes unpreventable.

The roofer missed several golden opportunities here to do the roof in a more bullet proof fashion but if the shingles were installed properly along with the flashing, I am not sure you have a case to make the roofer fix it.

Hopefully he does and hopefully you can both agree on the necessary modifications to make sure this doesn't happen again.

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