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Old 02-04-2010, 04:47 PM   #1
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Is there anything I could apply to drywall/plaster to determine if roof is leaking?


Is there anything I could apply to drywall/plaster to determine if roof is leaking? We had whole roof torn off and replaced last year. Currently I can only tell if the roof is leaking if the rooms that have drop ceilings. Last month had a leak in front of the house where flat rubber roof meets shingle roof at a dormer (after a foot of snow) and today I noticed a leak by a back window where gutter was replaced but they did not replace the wood it was screwed into. My grandfather attached a sheet of aluminum to that gutter in another spot where it pulled away and attached it right into the roof beam or something like that I think. This leak was a little further down. Needless to say there is a lot of damaged plaster in my house and I need to know if there are other leaks. I would like to apply something to areas that would let me know some how if they are wet (change color or something). My father paid $10,000 for this job before he died and now ALLSTATE ROOFING is out of business so the various warrenties we had are worthless. What should I do if I really don't have any money to spend. Should I call someone out to check the job? Does that cost anything? I really have reached my limit with this stuff. I'm to young to be this stressed over a house that doesn't even belong to me. If I don't worry though, no one will.

Thanks,

Kevin

PS: I added pictures to the post about my roof that was done 2 years ago. The photos were taken at the completion of the job. Also we did not go cheap, we went with the most expensive bid and saw the merchandise that was used and it was everything required for the timberland shingle warranty. The gutters were subbed out to someone else who did a rush job I think. I think the roof looks good but Where the roof meets the dormer has always been an issue on my 90 + year old house and the 2 neighbors identical houses. If you notice in the picture, one of the other houses does not have gutters on top of the dormers? Do you think there may be a legitamate reason not to have gutters on a dormer of this size? Also, should there be tar around the dormer like there used to be? The company said the reason there use to be tar was because the flashing was in wrong and they put it in correctly. You can see the tar on other house in picture.

I forgot to add that the gutter that caused the leak is not visable. It is the gutter for the back rubber roof.


Last edited by kardplayer2k; 02-04-2010 at 08:34 PM. Reason: Added info.
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Old 02-04-2010, 06:12 PM   #2
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Is there anything I could apply to drywall/plaster to determine if roof is leaking?


It sounds to me like you pretty much need an entirely new roof, at at least some very major repair work.

There is no product that I am aware of that will notify you of a leak. However if you have an attic you can climb into the attic and follow the path of the stains along the rafters and sheathing.

Yes I would suggest calling out a licensed and reputable roofer. Perferably one who has been in business more than a month. There may be a charge for the inspection, and it is probably worth it. To be honest if someone told me they needed me to look at their roof and tell them what is wrong with it, but that they had no intention of hiring me... I'd want a little something for my gasoline, time and expertise. But if you were truly considering hiring me to do the work, I'd be happy to meet with you and discuss. Having said that, you're way too far away, but I was trying to make a point.

If you were to climb on the roof, carefully, and provide photographs perhaps we can tell you how you and/or your grandfater can fix those mistakes.


BTW you said a few times that you don't have money. DOn't let a low price be the deciding factor when you hire who ever you hire to fix this roof. Chances are the company you mentioned was the low bidder and chances are if you hire the low bidder you will likely be in the same boat you're in now, but poorer a few thousand more dollars. Use this as a learning experience that when the low bidder wins, you lose.

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The information found in this post is not to be considered legal advice. All information should be considered relative, not specific. Never attempt any repairs you are not comfortable with. Always maintain safety! The author of this post takes no responsibility for any losses that occur. Use at your own risk.
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:01 PM   #3
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Is there anything I could apply to drywall/plaster to determine if roof is leaking?


Here are photos from when the roof was completed.
Attached Thumbnails
Is there anything I could apply to drywall/plaster to determine if roof is leaking?-roof1.jpg   Is there anything I could apply to drywall/plaster to determine if roof is leaking?-roof2.jpg   Is there anything I could apply to drywall/plaster to determine if roof is leaking?-roof3.jpg   Is there anything I could apply to drywall/plaster to determine if roof is leaking?-roof4.jpg   Is there anything I could apply to drywall/plaster to determine if roof is leaking?-roof5.jpg  

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Old 02-05-2010, 12:32 PM   #4
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Is there anything I could apply to drywall/plaster to determine if roof is leaking?


Ok here are my initial observations.

You have ridge vent. Do you have an intake at the soffits to allow fresh air to flow inside?

At the back left piutched roof, what is the purpose of that pipe? If it is a soil pipe flashing it needs a lead boot. If it is a furnace or hot water heater exhaust pipe, then it needs an extension. Either way it's not properly flashed.

The siding is aluminum, meaning the previous roofers likely reused the roof to walls tep flashing (aka baby tins). I say that because alot of times on aluminum siding the siding can become damaged to remvoe and repalce the tins.

The back dormer photograph shows a gutter, it does not looka s if you have a gutter flashing. furthermore it looks as if the gutter brackets are spaced about 3' apart. They should be spaced no more than 3', but preferrably the spacing should line up with the rafter spacing. The flashing is important because water and ice can back up into the building and/or rott the fascia board.

The flat roof doesn't look that bad, but I am cusrious what they did to join the roof to the dormer wall That flimsy apron flashing is useless, and you can tell they re-used the old flashing. This is why on any job I do I ALWAYS replace the flashings. I am also curious how far they brought the modified bitumen membrane up and underneath the shingles. I also do not think they used any sort of metal perimiter flashing at the edge of the flat roof, meaning the job's not finished.

The chimney flashing, well I am not at all a fan of straight flashing. I prefer to step my flashing with the mortar joint. I am also curious why they came up so high. I wonder did they cut into the brick and insert the flashing into the brick or is that flashing simply a surface mounted and caulked flashing. If it's a surface mounted flashing and does not tuck into the brick you WILL have problems with the flashing if not already.

One other thing unrelated to the roof, get a metal hood for the chimney so birds and rodents don't climb inside. It will also help with keeping most water out of the itnerior of the chimney.

Your chimney cap, the mortar piped atop the brick, is a hack job. That mortar will crack in a few years if not already, and those cracks will allow moisture into the brick. The mositure will rott the brick and the mortar. At this time my suggestion is either break all that mortar up off the top and apply a custom poured in place concrete chimney cap. Or else a custom fabricated metal chimney cap. The 3rd alternative is to get a good elastomeric coating and apply multiple liberal coats to the top of the cap over all that mortar to keep it from cracking and make it water proof.


You mentioned to me in an Email that you have the timberland warranty. I am assuming GAF Timberline? If so you may want to look into that warranty, you may have paid extra for the workmanship guarantee. GAF *might* be on the line to fix the roof leaks.

Inspect the entire roof, look for any exposed nails and apply a generous portion of polyurethane caulk. Use your fingers (maybe wear a glove) and work the caulk into the shingle so it sticks permanently.
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Sometimes the savings that comes from doing it yourself can be blown away with one mistake.

The information found in this post is not to be considered legal advice. All information should be considered relative, not specific. Never attempt any repairs you are not comfortable with. Always maintain safety! The author of this post takes no responsibility for any losses that occur. Use at your own risk.
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Old 02-07-2010, 09:03 PM   #5
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Is there anything I could apply to drywall/plaster to determine if roof is leaking?


Toilet paper.....1 ply

Its is great for spotting any dampness. Just touch it to the suspected area. It is very sensitive to any water. give it a shot
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:02 PM   #6
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Is there anything I could apply to drywall/plaster to determine if roof is leaking?


I would suggest cutting a saw kerf into and along the bottom of the window sills and adding flat flashing to carry the water away from the window/roof joint. (Get rid of the tar). Don't most roofers double lay the roll roofing for an 18" exposure to last longer and leak less? The house wall/roof flashing stops short of the window corner in picture #5, wind driven rain could leak there....
Check from the attic for the correct length nails protruding through the decking. Rent a moisture meter to test the plaster for dampness or a digital laser thermometer for a variable reading.

Be safe, Gary
Be safe, Gary

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