What's the best way to sort out a roof leak and repair?

Old 10-08-11, 08:30 AM
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What's the best way to sort out a roof leak and repair?

Here is that situation.

I have a concrete tiled roof and in one area I saw water dripping down from the ceiling.

I called a roofer and they came and investigated. They said the water actually leaked from the chimney, probably the chimney roof flashing is bad and water penetrated there and got inside, travelled inside the slope of the roof and started to drip where I noticed it. The treatment is to rip up all the tiles around the perimeter of the chimney and redo all the flashing correctly and replace with new tiles.

They did the repair and I paid. Two months ago.

Recently we had another big storm. I noticed the leak AGAIN.

I called them and they came and looked. They told me it could be a variety of things.

It could be that they didn't repair the chimney correctly, and the flashing is acting up. He doubt it, but it's possible.

It could also be from a "valley" near by that water is travelling down from.

In order to find out they need to rip out the tiles around the chimney (AGAIN) and the valley and trace it. If it's the valley it could be a "BIG JOB".

I said, if it's not the chimney, does that mean their initial diagnosis that the leak came from the chimney was incorrect? That they chimney may not have needed repair, but the valley did? He said not so, because the chimney flashing is now nice and tight and will not need attention for many years to come, and the chimney could have been leaking too, it is not uncommon to have multiple leaks happening.

I am a bit perplexed now...and a bit concerned about ripping out all these tiles just to trace water. I asked why we can't use a garden hose up the roof and make the leak happens and see it on the inside to locate the precise spot, he said he can't, the leak is happening under the tiles and a garden hose does not help.

I am also concerned about the "new" leak that may come from the valley and not the chimney, if they incorrectly identified the source of the leak in the first place, shouldn't they have done the chimney flashing? They had ripped up the tiles to do the chimney flashing, shouldn't they have been able to see back then that it was (or was not) leaking? I mean, someone would have seen something during the repair and said "oh look, here is why you were having this problem, see this crack..."?

Last edited by MiamiCuse; 10-08-11 at 10:54 AM.
Old 10-08-11, 05:35 PM
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While it's possible that the water can travel along a joist, I haven't seen that yet. Most times the leak is right above where it shows on the inside.

What I do is measure from the closest two walls at right angles to each other. Then I go on the roof & use those numbers to locate that exact spot. The last time I did that, I found a nail creeping upwards, so I knew that I was in the right spot.

If that procedure fails & you don't see anything on the roof, open the ceiling inside & look for traces of water on the joists. Replacing dry wall is easier then removing half of the roof.
Old 10-17-11, 08:01 PM
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Attic Access Panel?

If you have an attic access panel go up there next time it rains. With a flashlight, look for any drips on the trusses, rafters or underside of the roof sheathing. There is no doubt water will travel after getting through the roof...and it will most likely show up elsewhere on the drywall.

Water test with a garden hose. I don't see why you can't water test the valley to see if the leak occurs when water is run only there. Have a friend apply water to the valley while you are in the attic looking for drips.

You may not find anything, but it doesn't hurt to try. I have found many-a-water-leak this way.

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