First, I am not a builder so cut me some slack if I use the wrong
Here is the situation: We are interested in buying a house that the
owner is now deceased and the son lives in another state. The house
has some existing water damage that had (sort of) been previously
repaired. The drywall on the ceiling has been cut away to reveal the
damage. They previously fixed the damaged rafter (? the beam that
slopes upward to the peek of the roof) by smearing some white plaster
looking stuff on it but did not fix the source of the leak. It appears
the wood has the beginnings of dry rot -- slightly soft for the first
1/8" of depth in an area about one foot long. We are in the desert so
there is not much rain here.
The damage and the plaster stuff is where the rafter meets the eave
which would indicate that the leak is somewhere higher up on the roof
-- the water gets in somewhere and runs down under the round cement
shingles (made to look like clay) until it finds its way under the
fabric and the plywood, near the bottom edge of the roof, and then
exits about 2 feet from the bottom edge of the roof and soaks the
The son wants us to make an offer on the house "as is" so we do not
have a way to determine the extent of the repair costs. The house is
15 years old, on a prime location and the interior has been extremely
well maintained which means that after fixing the roof, this would be
a very nice little home.
I am going to make a few assumptions and would like someone to correct
me if I am wrong:
1. The only way to find the leak is to remove all the round cement
tiles and the fabric upwards from the leak to find where the water is
getting in. There do not appear to be any broken tiles. I did notice
on another part of the roof that the flashing does not extend out far
enough to reach the tile so the water runs off the flashing and under
the tile. Many of the tiles on the side of the house have their
corners chipped away from the roofer missing the nail and hitting the
tile instead. It appears to be a poor roofing job.
2. There would be a lot of tile breakage meaning that new tiles would
have to be purchased.
3. There could be additional water damage discovered including more
dry rot and possibly mold (none observed).
4. The house is 55' x 45'. It would be very expensive to remove the
tile, find the leak, fix it and any damage. The cost could vary from
$5,000 up to $25,000 if the entire roof needed to be done over.
Do my assumptions sound about right? How much should it cost to have a
professional roofer assess the situation?