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sijunk 07-27-2008 10:48 AM

New 1yr Townhome with Leaking Roof!
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I purchased a new townhome condo unit now a year old and heading into 2nd year. We are covered under a 'New Home Warranty Program' which gives the builder 'x' amount of time to repair any deficiencies, etc. However this is a leaking roof problem and not just a door waiting for repainting. I would expect a leaking roof would be given priority and be expedited obviously quicker than a 'non-immediate' repair.

First of all, I am NOT a handyman (which is why I purchased a new townhome so i would not have to deal with 'repairs' for a long time) which is why I rely and expect the builder/contract to be the 'experts' and trust them as such.

Following are facts/events =

Week 1 (First week of July 2008) =
* Dinner plate sized leak discovered inside bedroom ceiling (see photo) and I contacted builder to have the roofing contractor investigate and repair
* I went up to attic to soak up the water.

Week 3 =
* July 16th I contacted my builder's customer service to update me on what the roofing contractor discovered and repaired.
* I was informed that no update was given and customer service would contact roofer to determine.

Week 4 =
* July 20th = I went up to the attic for the umteenth time again and discovered major water pooling and seeping past the plastic membrane into the underside (see photos)

* July 21st = I was advised by customer service that a the roofing contactor would be out within the morning of July 22nd

* July 22nd = I waited at home until 12pm. Notified customer service that roofer had not arrived. No updates received by roofer.
* nobody arrived for the whole day

* July 23rd = Roofer finally arrived in the morning, a day after scheduled
* they climbed up on the roof and could not visibly see any loose/missing tiles
* roofers did a resealing of the vent and smokestack area
* roofers mentioned that they had quote:'been by a few times already'
* roofers stated that the roof looks fine and perfect like all the other roofs in the area
* I would accept that visibly this may be the case, however you cannot dispute that I have 100% proof in the photos and to my naked eye as to water seeping into the attic from somewhere on the roof whenever it rains (see photos) and that I am up there after EVERY rainstorm soaking up water
* Roofers left and I updated customer service and roofing company that the roofing reps just sealed the vent and smokestack and I am very skeptical that this would work but I would monitor it (because I would think the roofers know more than I do so I would leave it at that)
* Roofing company had the roofing reps return and they crawled into the attic to look at the leak point
* I did not crawl up there with them however I had a ground sheet, buckets and towels laid out, along with a 'blazed path' through the insulation that is clearly marked
* roofing reps looked around and quote 'I cannot see/find a leak anywhere. It is raining hard outside now and it should be wet by now'.
* reps then proceeded to investigate a bathroom vent (bathroom which we do not use to shower, only occasional toilet use) and deducted that the moisture from the vent is causing condensation
* roofing reps left
* it was still raining hard at that time and I immediately physically went up to look at the spot and found a wet seeping in onto the beam which had already pooled water onto the ground sheet and area
* I immediately got on the horn and the roofing reps were sent back and this time and I showed them the 100% proof as they were sitting there that it was wet
* one of the reps was sitting there and stated 'I cannot hear it drip'. I told him that it is a seeping from the roofline clearly seen (see photos) and not a physical 'hole in the roof'
* roofers then proceeded to climb onto the roof, I heard some banging around and then they left
* I did not receive any update from the roofing company when I did a followup on my workorder

Week 5 =
* July 26th = another rainstorm occurred during the day and I returned at night to crawl up to the attic and found the groundsheet wet again from exact same seeping/leaking problem
* I am now facing yet another long week of battle with a 'lemon roof' on my $300K house that otherwise does not have any other major problems to date

I have physically looked (from afar as I have a 4 story townhome) and I cannot see any missing shingles (typical asphalt type). The seeping/leak visibly enters the attic from the junction as seen on the photos, and rolls down the beam, dripping and pooling on the area below.

I am now absolutely livid, irate, fuming and finding this whole matter utterly ridiculous. :furious:

I would appreciate any suggestions and or opinions regarding this matter as I am a COMPLETE newbie concerning home repairs.

Thanks in advance.

Ed the Roofer 07-27-2008 11:34 AM

Photos of the roof would help and if you know how to do a "Screen Shot" of the photo and then draw an arrow or circle where you think the location on the top of the roof coincide with the entry location into the attic is, that would be more helpful than the interior shots.

If you need to know how to do a screen shot:
1. Right click the photo
2. Click edit
3. MS Paint Opens Up
4. Use the drawing tools to mark the roof top of the photo
5. Do a "Save As" and rename the file
6. Post that photo

Also, for help with your builder, please register at another forum for much better advice, called and go to the Forums tab at the top right. Home Owners For Better Buildings.

Another useful resource is which stands for HomeOwners Against Defective Dwellings

Good Luck and please repost the additional photo(s).


the roofing god 07-27-2008 11:36 PM

SEEMS LIKE SHINGLES MAY HAVE BEEN INCORRECTLY NAILED,BUT IMPOSSIBLE to tell from your pics as ED noted,I see no bathroom pipes,and ridge for ridge vent leak seems to be too far away,but any guesses now would be wild,although from lack of visible flashings,poor nailing(particularly of nails form previous courses of shingles lining up with seams of successive course-backed up by rusty looking nails)of roof shingles seems like it will be the winner

OldNBroken 07-28-2008 12:17 AM

Need to see photos of the roof at and above the leak area there.

Ed and John, is it just me or does it look like that roof is two-nailed? Follow the nails across where each run should be, it looks to me like large gaps in between the nails. If those trusses are 24" oc it looks like a good 18" between those at best. Also, a lot of rusting for a new roof.

Ed the Roofer 07-28-2008 11:09 AM


I probably would need to see a wider path photo directly up on set of rafters, but I think you may have a point.

But, unless shingles are blowing off, that is not the reason for this leak, "Yet".


the roofing god 07-28-2008 12:55 PM

onb-looks like just the edge nails from a shingle seam,as single nails are above it,from the uniformity of the nails,it looks like a 2 step rack,although we don`t know the shingle style yet (???)

the roofing god 07-28-2008 12:55 PM

I still say poor nailing is the problem !!! lol

OldNBroken 07-28-2008 05:37 PM

whatever it is, the leak is already under the shingles and running on that sheeting by the time it gets to that leak, normally that would be a wall, penetration, or flashing problem at or above that part of the roof. But I see none of those things from these pictures. Too far down to be the ridge. It has to be from somewhere on those three sheets that intersect in that specific area. If it's in open field, off the top of my head, I'd look for missing shingles (obviously) or improper end lap exposure. (my money is on end laps).
We still don't even know what type of roof it is though so tough to speculate much until we know.

I still think it's improperly nailed also

747 07-28-2008 05:57 PM

Can you post a pic of the outside of the roof. I think you said something about tile. I would be livid and want someone's ass. Also i don't like the way the plwood underneath looks in pic 4. Concerning options. Looks like you have given them ample opurtunity to fix the stituation only to get jacked off. I would get a private roofer in there to take a look. Make them pick up the bill.

parkerfairfield 08-08-2008 03:50 PM

Where are you located sijunk?

I ask because California has very specific laws about 'latent defect' ...

So my advice is to find your state's contractor's licensing board and open a complaint.... your builder has earned it. (Usually I say call your builder & threaten to do so ... )

THEN call the builder and tell them you've filed a formal complaint ....

Then I'd call a construction lawyer and make an appointment. They'll give you 1/2 an hour for free - take your pictures with you - and let them tell you what you should do.

I would be surprised if you end up with anything less than a new roof; that's what I'd be going for.

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