I got about 1.75" of rain the other night and a long slow leak in my
roof finally made it through the sealing. I bought this house last
year and I was left the name of the roofer who replaced the shingle
roof 5 years ago. I called him up and he told me that it's not his
flashing that the water is most certainly coming through the actual
brick of the chimney and that I should call a mason contractor to fix
the chimney. Is it customary for a roofer to not even come by to check
to make sure his flashing was done correctly? There is also a dormer
right next to the chimney so the chances that it's the flashing should
be even greater correct? Is there a way to tell which it is? Should I
get an estimate from a mason or should I insist that the roofer come
and check it or should I call a different roofer to check the original
Should he come by? Yes, but there's really no way to force the roofer
to come by. Playing the devil's advocate, how long do you feel a
roofer should warranty their work? Generally there's a one year
warranty. You also have to remember that the first time the roofer is
hearing from you you're complaining about his work and you haven't
given him any money. Strictly speaking there is no business
relationship or responsibility for him to have to deal with you,
unless you could prove gross negligence, and even them, I'm not sure
what your state's laws are in this respect.
Not sure where you are, but here in NY we had a crap load of rain and
there were a number of things that leaked that normally don't. I
don't know what the configuration of your dormer/chimney/roof is, but
I've seen some designs that were doomed from the start. Situations
that only leak in extreme storms can be difficult to track down. It
is also possible that the roofer is right about the chimney, so I'd
probably try not to burn any bridges until you know exactly what's
Since the original roofer seems resistant, it's probably best to
locate a different recommended roofer. If it does turn out to be the
original roofer's negligence, you'll have to see what remedies your
Most likely bad flashing. There may be a 20-30 year warranty on the
shingles but flashing may not be covered.
Myself, when I was younger, I'd be on the roof looking at chimney and around
it; maybe, even repair with roofing cement.
You did not say how old your house is. Mine is 33 years and in fact I have
a chimney guy coming out this week to cap off one of my fireplaces and seal
the cement on the top of the chimney which is degrading.
When I moved in the house 33 years ago, the roof was leaking and builder
told me to go in attic during rain to see where water was getting in. When
I looked along side of chimney, I could see daylight. He fixed that one but
I had to sue him for other stuff ;)
What he might mean is: "I do good work, so if it leaks, it must be
some other problem. So why come out?"
I saw the electrician who did the townhouses I live in at a n'hood
party once (he still lived in one of them), and I wasn't asking for a
repair, just chatting, but I told him how he (or his men) had made one
(or two) mistakes, and he didn't like my saying that. Insisted he
hadn't. I was sorry that I had brought it up. I didn't know how to
back out gracefully. I thought he would just laugh, but I had
challenged his competence**
If it's safe, you could get on the roof with a garden hose uphill from
the fashing and let the water run over it, while someone in the attic
(or the top floor but it will take longer to see) watches to see if it
leaks. You could yell at each other or use cell phones to talk to
each other, but use an earpiece so you have both hands free.
IF it is a blowing rain that causes the leaks, you could simulate that
Or you could wait until it rains again.
I'm not sure about how hard it would be to test the chimney.
**If an electrician has a crew, does the boss really check every wall
switch in the house to see that it does what it is supposed to, or
does he rely on his men? They actually made 3 mistakes, all small
imo. a) The two-way switches in the front hall were wrong, so that if
one was off, the other one didn't do anything.
b) The switches at the stairs were backwards. They were by the down
staircase, but the one closer to those stairs controlled the upstairs
landing and upstairs hall. And the one farther from the downstairs
stairs controlled the basement landing and the basement ceiling.
c) The switch in the powder room was located near the light over the
sink, but that made it on the side of the door with the hinges,
instead of the other side where switches are supposed to be. That one
was not worth fixing, and I still sometimes look in the wrong place
after 24 years.
If his worker did these wrong, should he have noticed them?
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