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zeroarmy27 09-21-2013 11:27 PM

Roofing valleys are caulked and leaking on new home - advice please!
My fiancee and I just bought our first home. The problem is in the title. The roof is made of asphalt shingles. The attic does not have a catwalk, but it does have a lighting fixture further in than I can access. :confused1: The ceiling is blown with insulation, passively vented, and has a sheet of plywood in the peak preventing me from seeing the area with the leak. I can deal with plumbing problems, but I know very little about roofing.

The sealant is flimsy, semi-transparent, and closely resembles hot glue or clear silicon. Here's 2 pictures:

Correct me if I'm wrong.
Doesn't caulk in asphalt shingle valleys tend to leak?

wkearney99 09-22-2013 07:31 AM

I'm no roofer, but that's NOT how valleys are supposed to be handled.

jponto07 09-22-2013 07:36 AM

Looks like someones first time?? It needs to come off.

joecaption 09-22-2013 07:36 AM

One look at that before I bought the home and I would have figure out the cost of a whole new roof and decking and taken it right off the asking price.
Looks like a home owner that knew nothing about roofing and was looking to save money did it there self.
Silicone is never used on a roof.
Valleys done correctly do not need any type of caulking.
The over hangs were done wrong, looks like no drip caps, most likely there's no flashing under the valley just tar paper. The valley should have been woven.
As wavy as that roof is there's something bad going on under the shingles they tried to cover up.

eharri3 09-22-2013 08:11 AM

What did your home inspector say? Should have red flagged it. If you can get up there and see it he should have been able to. That is definitely wrong. I am not a professional roofer but the methods of doing valleys I know of involve small amounts of roofing cement to seal individual shingles that adjoin the valley, not a big thick bead of caulk run down the middle of it. In fact I know of nowhere on a roof that so much caulk is appropriate. Smacks of a 'tar-and-caulk special'.

Caulk has an almost mythical power for DIYers and is a favorite go-to when they don't want to pay a roofer for a permanent fix. "Got a leak? Climb up there and burry it in caulk. Still leaking? Obviously you didn't use enough caulk. Go back up and add more! Still leaking? Just keep caulking, eventually you'll get it!" There are also a lot of DIY roofers and handymen who can drive a nail into a shingle, but that's about it. They tend to think if you don't have the skills or equipment to install flashing, caulking or cementing the living crap out of valleys and intersections is an acceptable alternative.

Yes, piles of gunk in valleys and at intersections can impede the natural flow of water down the roof, trapping it and forcing it back underneath nearby shingles, leading to more leaks. This often creates a never ending cycle where the home owner keeps adding more to make it go away, then seeing it get worse, then adding more again and wondering how many times they need to get up up there and caulk or tar the &$@&ing roof before the leak stops.

Oso954 09-22-2013 12:25 PM

While you are re-roofing, have them take a look at your venting.
You say it is passively ventilated. Then, there is a sheet of plywood at the peak, so you can't see.

I did not see roof vents or a ridge vent in your photos.

joecaption 09-22-2013 02:14 PM

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