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Old 08-12-2014, 10:57 AM   #1
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Roof Leak and 2 contractors have 2 solutions - help!

I have a Cape Code 1 1/2 story house. There is a dormer on the left side of the roof which is sided in aluminum. The roof material is asphalt and about 12 years old. This side of the house faces southwest and is constantly battered by wind, rain, and sun.

Since early spring, I have developed a leak somewhere in this section of the roof when we have strong storms, high winds and heavy rain. When looking at it, all the shingles and dormer area look fine and there is no obvious damage to the shingles or dormer. However, there is a water leak coming into my first floor dining room ceiling right at the spot where the dormer meets the asphalt shingle roof line. I have tried caulking the dormer window and any spots on the dormer where it looked like caulking might help, but I am still getting water leaking into the first floor dining room during heavy storms (not during a light rain though).

I had 2 roofing contractors come out. One said that the shingles on the roof of the dormer were lined up in a row in one spot, creating a drainage "pathway" where water could come down and drain down the dormer and leak into the roof into my interior.

The 2nd contractor said that the flashing where the dormer met the asphalt roof shingles on the main portion of the roof needed to be replaced. He did not say anything about the shingles lined up in a row on the dormer roof.

I do not know who is correct and how to proceed. The first contractor quoted a price of $600 to replace the shingles on the dormer and offered no guarantee on the work. The 2nd contractor offers a guarantee, but has not yet forwarded me his quote.

Frankly, I have no idea which contractor is correct when it comes to this leak. Can anyone provide some guidance, help, advice, etc. as to how to proceed?



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Old 08-12-2014, 11:14 AM   #2
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Not sure how anyone on any website can be of much help, where not there to look at it and there's no pictures.
If these are 3 tab shingles there near the end of there life so that expensive a repair may be like playing whack a mole.


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Old 08-12-2014, 11:37 AM   #3
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Photo of roof issue

Sorry - hope this makes it clearer. Arrow 1 points to contractor #1 solution to fix shingles on dormer. Arrow 2 points to contractor #2 solution to fix flashing where asphalt meets around dormer. The leak is occurring in the first floor dining room ceiling, right under the dormer.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:11 PM   #4
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Did either of them use a hose and spray the area? Hit area 2 with water staying away from area 1 and see if it leaks.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:17 PM   #5
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Neither used a hose. Contractor 1 climbed up on the roof and walked around and then took photos to show me the shingles lined in a row along the dormer roof. Contractor 2 didn't even get up on a ladder - just looked from the driveway. Both contractors are roofing companies, high ratings on internet sites, and been in business 12+ years.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:03 PM   #6
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I would say that more likely you have a flashing problem. Now the problem might be on the slanted side of the dormer as opposed to across the bottom.
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by HDS View Post
Did either of them use a hose and spray the area? Hit area 2 with water staying away from area 1 and see if it leaks.
Exactly...If it isn't obvious then I always go to the hose. I tell customers all the time " we can stand here and speculate all you want, if you want to know for sure lets throw a controlled storm at it".
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Old 08-13-2014, 06:51 AM   #8
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Unless you can concretely identify the issue, you can never know.

That being said, the more prominent issue on the dormers is the flashing and the shingles should be easy to spot the issue. If it didn't leak before and the shingles were as intact then as they are now, its not the issue.
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:15 AM   #9
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didnt have to read any further when you said no guarantee. just give him $600.00 and bid him on his way. if he cant guarantee it then he doesnt know what the problem is and is just taking your money., theres plenty of them out there that will do that. in extreme cases not guaranteeing a repair happens, but that is seldom. what your paying for is the guarantee. for myself ive had one roof that i couldnt see where it was leaking just form looking at it. i told the home owner that i was going to need to remove some tile to find if i could find it and that would cost a few bucks. she agreed and i ended up finding the problem. there is always the case where the roofer might not be 100% sure on what he tries and therefore doesnt want to guarantee it, fine as long as hes charging accordingly. in other words not charging a ton and then it doesnt work.


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