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Shirley_Jones 10-28-2009 10:48 AM

Problems with neighbour's roof :-(

My Kitchen is a one-storey extension to the rear of my property. The extension has a tiled, sloped roof.

During heavy rain I get trickles of water running down the interior of the party wall that separates me from the unoccupied house next door.

The leak seems to be caused by water entering through a void on the roof of the neighbouring property (again a one storey extension this time with a flat roof).

A roofer has filled this gap with cement but in heavy, prolonged rain the leak continues.

Any ideas to finally solve this please?

nap 10-28-2009 11:01 AM


Originally Posted by Shirley_Jones (Post 346482)
Any ideas to finally solve this please?]

research who the owner is and demand they repair their roof so as to prevent further damage, and expense to them, to your building.

If you are willing to foot the bill;

hire a different roofer that will fix the problem, not just throw a patch on it and hope it sticks.

Shirley_Jones 10-28-2009 11:30 AM

The owner is deceased.

"If you are willing to foot the bill; hire a different roofer that will fix the problem, not just throw a patch on it and hope it sticks."
But what do I ask for? Do you mean replacing my neighbour's roof?

nap 10-28-2009 01:07 PM

it's hard to determine what it would take to repair the roof from picture. It is difficult to determine what the materials in use are as well, which would make a difference.

I assume the leak is suspected at where the goo was liberally slathered on, yes?

If so, as the pic cuts off to the left, it appears there is a gap under that white beam; why?

and once the current owner dies, there is a person or entity that inherits the estate. Is there a representative of the estate known?

Shirley_Jones 10-28-2009 02:00 PM


Leak is suspected to be run-through water entering void (very bottom left of photo). This gap has already been already been (partially) filled with cement to no avail.

No word on new owner of neighbours - in fact property still hasn't been put up for sale.

I'm informed may take a 'Civil', legal case to resolve - had hoped that if neighbouring property was affecting integrity of my own I could legally take action to resolve leak myself.

Is there any way to keep water from entering gap /some kind of permanent barrier perhaps?

stuart45 10-28-2009 02:23 PM

Can you put a few more photos on please? If you can get some showing the whole roof area as well.
Is this house in the UK, as you call it a party wall, and it looks a typical British bodge.
If both are single storey and next doors is a flat roof, you must have a very low pitch for plain double lap concrete tiles.
Is the party wall 9 inch or 4 inch brickwork?

nap 10-28-2009 06:03 PM


Originally Posted by stuart45 (Post 346564)
Is this house in the UK, as you call it a party wall, and it looks a typical British bodge.

bodge :huh: Ok. please supply a link to an English to American dictionary

stuart45 10-28-2009 07:10 PM

1 Attachment(s)
A bodge is a badly done job done in a hurry, usually by a cowboy(slang name in trade for a bad tradesman).
I think I was looking at that roof from the wrong angle. I now think that the roof is single lap interlocking concrete pantiles as below.

Attachment 14474

Instead of butting up against a wall and having a lead flashing dressed over the top of the tiles, it looks like the ends of the pantiles are not covered properly. If the flat roof was there first, then the tiled roof has been badly built. I wonder how much that roofer charged to stick half a teaspoon of mud in the gap.

nap 10-28-2009 08:03 PM

I'm stepping out of this one. I know nothing about English law and the roofing thing is over my head as well.

sounds like stuart has a good idea what is happening so I will leave him to the advice/

jogr 10-29-2009 09:36 AM

If the owner is deceased then you need to deal with the executor of the estate. The house is still owned by the estate and the estate can still be held responsible for the repair and damages. In fact it may be easier to get the problem addressed now than when someone new inherits or buys the house.

Don't wait, pursue it first with a friendly discussion with the executor and if that doesn't go well mention that you'd hate to have to involve lawyers and tie up the estates assets for a roof repair.

Shirley_Jones 10-29-2009 07:03 PM

3 Attachment(s)
"Can you put a few more photos on please? If you can get some showing the whole roof area as well."

Hi Stuart

I can't get any photos of the whole roof until the Weekend but these may help.

Attachment 14489
Shows area of neighbour's roof. Breeze blocks are portion of party wall.

Attachment 14490

Attachment 14491

The house is in the UK.
Both are single storey.
Next door's roof is flat.
I 'think' party wall is cavity and 9 inches thick.

Only moved into the property two years ago and both extensions where already built so unsure what came first.

Would be very grateful if you could describe in detail what should be done to rectify and this will (hopefully) stop me paying for another patch job. :(

jogr, contacting the Executor is going to be difficult. Only way I can think of making contact is to put a letter through the door as I never see anyone in the property now.

meboatermike 10-29-2009 08:10 PM

the estate
Not sure how England works, but over here in the states --you can tell who owns it by researching the Registry of Deeds or Registry of Probate -- or the local taxing authority should know

BamBamm5144 10-30-2009 08:45 AM

I see you posted this over in They did give you the best advice. Call a roofer and have come take a look at it. From those picture it is hard to see where any water may be entering. Also, water travels. I had a homeowner with a leak once and the water was comming in from 15 feet away.

Search public records to find out who owns the property next door. If the owner is deceased, someone has to have taken over the property even if it was the bank. Inform them of the problem.

This is going to be a fix you aren't going to be able to do yourself. Either you can pay to get it done, or just let the damage continue inside your house until it costs much more than it does now.

stuart45 10-30-2009 10:14 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Looking at the latest photos, it does look quite likely that the flat roof extension was there first and your extension added later. I think this because it looks like there is an upstand in the felt near the wall. This would have only been put at the edge of the roof when nothing was next to it to prevent water from going over the side, as seen in the photo below.

Attachment 14500

If that roof was there first, you can't really lay the blame with it, as it is the addition of your extension that has caused the problem.
The detail to the verge has been done badly on that side. You can see that there has been a few attempts with flashband, and blackjack to seal it. A verge can be finished in various ways, one of which is to overhang the tiles and an undercloak by at least 2 inches and point it up with sand/cement as shown below.

Attachment 14502

When that block wall was built, the roofers probably fixed some felt up the wall and on to the flat roof to seal it, but in time the felt may have split, allowing water to penetrate your wall. A flat felt roof can be sealed like this with a lead flashing over the top as shown below.

Attachment 14501

The problem with your roof is that it is a badly designed addition, and really needs to be taken apart and re-done properly as there is really only one way to do a roof and that is the right way from the start. If you get roofers coming up every few months to bodge it up, it will always be a problem, and will cost you more cash in the long run. You also run the risk of timber rot in the structure.
You might be able to find out from the Council which extension was put up first, if one or both have had planning permission. I would be a bit surpised if your roof had been signed off by the Building Inspector.

jogr 10-30-2009 10:14 AM

Look for the owners obituary notice in the paper. From that you can find the funeral home or relatives. They can tell you who is handling the estate. Or try contacting your local city/village government and explain the problem. They usually have some method for finding the responsible owner for problem properties.

Stuart posted while I was posting. He makes very good points. After you contact the estate it is possible that they will conclude that the problem is yours to fix. They may also have water damage on their side from the defective roof that they will want you to pay for. You likely will be better off to first get a good roofing company out to fix it correctly and pay for it yourself in order to immediately stop further damage. Then after that you will have a better idea of whose financial responsibility it is and can decide whether it is appropriate and worthwhile to ask the estate to pay your repair expenses.

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