Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?

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lightheir
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Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?

Post by lightheir » Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:49 pm

Ok, I admit I am totally piggybacking off the other Roofing thread up on the same forum (that one regarding $650 roofing estimate), and I just had to ask my own question rather than derail that thread.

I have a definite leak in my roof. Luckily, the water seems to be running out to the overhang before dropping to the ground, but it is definitely entering the roof structure first then draining through small holes in the wood on the underside (not just spilling off the top.) My roof is at least 14 years old, I honestly don't know how much older than that it is.

Who is best to call here - a roofer to evaluate and fix the leak, or a home inspector? And if the home inspector points out a leak, do you not call a roofer to fix the leak?

Thx, I'm clueless about roofs!

Teague
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Re: Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?

Post by Teague » Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:55 pm

You have a leaking roof - these are fixed by roofers. Get at least a couple of estimates.

Home inspectors can be handy, on occasion, when buying or selling a roof that happens to have a house underneath it. But they are very much generalists. You need an evaluation by a roofer (or two or three.)
Semper Augustus

retire2022
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Re: Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?

Post by retire2022 » Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:59 pm

lighheir

I would get at least three estimates and jobs which have been done in your area, I recommend googling them to see if they have any positive or negative reputations. Two roofers who I googled had arrest records in a rural community of 2800 population where my vacation home is.

Watch the video or others on youtube, be informed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwEWjLZ6rKw
Last edited by retire2022 on Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tainted-meat
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Re: Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?

Post by tainted-meat » Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:00 pm

Anything as simple as an exposed nail-head can cause a leak. A lot of times the heat and ice can push the roofing nails up through the shingles and you have to hammer them back down and put some silicone over the top. Depending on the height, you may get up and take a look at it.

Might check the drip edge to see if the shingles are covering it properly as well. Any chimneys or vents (from the bathroom, etc) need to have plenty of silicone around them.

14 years seems young to replace a roof, but if your attic ventilation is bad maybe not.

drawpoker
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Re: Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?

Post by drawpoker » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:12 pm

lightheir wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:49 pm

...... clueless about roofs!
You need to educate yourself here. It's not that difficult.

You know you have a "definite" roof leak, but not sure if it could be something very minor. Or major.
However, there usually are clues.

If you live in a cold climate, do you understand what "ice damming" is? Are the water stains on your ceiling close to the corner(s) of the house?

Or Is the water seepage you are seeing close to where the plumbing (toilet) stack is on the roof? Your leak could be something as simple as replacing the "boot" that goes around the stack, maybe a few shingles around the stack. Usually less than $200.

Can you access your attic easily? If so, climb up there and do a visual inspection yourself. You should be able to easily see any signs of moisture, wetness, etc. on the joists. This will tell you where the water is actually coming in (the source) as the water itself will often migrate some distance before it penetrates your interior ceilings and you know something is wrong.

Whatever else you do, never, ever disclose to anyone (except on anonymous message boards :P ) that you are "clueless" about roofing issues. Yikes. Never :shock:

carolinaman
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Re: Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?

Post by carolinaman » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:43 am

tainted-meat wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:00 pm
Anything as simple as an exposed nail-head can cause a leak. A lot of times the heat and ice can push the roofing nails up through the shingles and you have to hammer them back down and put some silicone over the top. Depending on the height, you may get up and take a look at it.

Might check the drip edge to see if the shingles are covering it properly as well. Any chimneys or vents (from the bathroom, etc) need to have plenty of silicone around them.

14 years seems young to replace a roof, but if your attic ventilation is bad maybe not.
Agree with this post. This could be a simple and inexpensive fix or it may be time for a new roof. Do not assume you need a new roof until the problem is assessed. If it is simple, a good handyman can probably fix it for you. You want to make sure this has not severely damaged your roofing structure.

My mother had a roof leak for years that did not get fixed. My BIL, who is a handyman, put several tubes of sealant under shingles where it was leaking and the problem was solved. No more leaks.

shunkman
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Re: Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?

Post by shunkman » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:07 am

I suggest having a roofer look at it. My leak turned out to be a rubber boot around a vent pipe. The roofer fixed it on the spot for $100.

michaelingp
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Re: Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?

Post by michaelingp » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:29 am

Lots of people have roofs and roofs that leak or are replaced. Put a message on your neighborhood listserv asking for recommendations for good roofers. In a HCOL area I would expect to pay $300 or so to fix a simple problem. On the other hand, if it's been leaking for some time, it's quite possible the wood under the shingles has deteriorated, in which case fixing the roof could cost thousands.

michaelingp
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Re: Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?

Post by michaelingp » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:32 am

drawpoker wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:12 pm

Whatever else you do, never, ever disclose to anyone (except on anonymous message boards :P ) that you are "clueless" about roofing issues. Yikes. Never :shock:
Please explain. People reveal extremely detailed information about their financial lives here, including cluelessness, and it seems to be encouraged.

retire2022
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Re: Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?

Post by retire2022 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:51 am

michaelingp wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:32 am
drawpoker wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:12 pm

Whatever else you do, never, ever disclose to anyone (except on anonymous message boards :P ) that you are "clueless" about roofing issues. Yikes. Never :shock:
Please explain. People reveal extremely detailed information about their financial lives here, including cluelessness, and it seems to be encouraged.
Michealing

I believe drawpoker meant in real life don't disclose have a "pokerface" that you don't know.

miamivice
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Re: Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?

Post by miamivice » Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:01 pm

Regarding the roof issue, keep in mind that roofing companies make money from replacing people's roofs, not from doing inspections of roofs. That should give you a solid idea as to what direction their recommendation will point, should there be a bit of gray area.

Home inspectors make their money from inspecting homes, including roofs. Hiring a home inspector who has experience in roofs will result in a less biased answer as they do not make money based on the outcome of their recommendation.

Your situation is a bit unique, so you would want to find an inspector (either home or roofing) with experience in inspecting roofs.

I do think it is interesting how many folks think that this might be a $100 or $200 fix. My experience with older roofs (14 years qualifies as older) is that once they spring a leak, it's best to replace rather than trying to repair.

Iorek
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Re: Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?

Post by Iorek » Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:17 pm

I think the main thing is to get a number of roofing estimates from well-established/recommended firms (start with three and you if don't really trust what they are saying or they all have different ideas of whats going on and what's needed consider another).

michaelingp
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Re: Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?

Post by michaelingp » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:56 pm

miamivice wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:01 pm

I do think it is interesting how many folks think that this might be a $100 or $200 fix. My experience with older roofs (14 years qualifies as older) is that once they spring a leak, it's best to replace rather than trying to repair.
Agreed. Also, if the water is coming through the wood under the eaves overhang, then the water is getting under the underlayment and will be rotting the roof sheathing if it's been going on for long.

Also, in my area, a home inspection company is unlikely to go up on a roof that is either steep or high off the ground. It's just not what they do. They just get binoculars and look for missing or curled shingles and estimate the life time of the roof. They will go in the attic and look for discoloration that indicates a leak, but the OP could probably do that themselves, and it doesn't necessarily indicate where the leak is coming from.

Trader Joe
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Re: Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?

Post by Trader Joe » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:01 pm

lightheir wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:49 pm
Ok, I admit I am totally piggybacking off the other Roofing thread up on the same forum (that one regarding $650 roofing estimate), and I just had to ask my own question rather than derail that thread.

I have a definite leak in my roof. Luckily, the water seems to be running out to the overhang before dropping to the ground, but it is definitely entering the roof structure first then draining through small holes in the wood on the underside (not just spilling off the top.) My roof is at least 14 years old, I honestly don't know how much older than that it is.

Who is best to call here - a roofer to evaluate and fix the leak, or a home inspector? And if the home inspector points out a leak, do you not call a roofer to fix the leak?

Thx, I'm clueless about roofs!
Get some estimates (3).

YttriumNitrate
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Re: Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?

Post by YttriumNitrate » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:14 pm

tainted-meat wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:00 pm
14 years seems young to replace a roof, but if your attic ventilation is bad maybe not.
Also, the pitch of the roof, the quality of the shingles used, and the number of layers on the roof have an impact as well. If it's a second layer on a pitch you can easily walk with low quality (thin) shingles, then ~15 years seems reasonable.

miamivice
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Re: Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?

Post by miamivice » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:43 pm

michaelingp wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:56 pm
Also, in my area, a home inspection company is unlikely to go up on a roof that is either steep or high off the ground. It's just not what they do. They just get binoculars and look for missing or curled shingles and estimate the life time of the roof. They will go in the attic and look for discoloration that indicates a leak, but the OP could probably do that themselves, and it doesn't necessarily indicate where the leak is coming from.
The OP would need to find an inspector who is experienced in roofs and willing to walk the roof. A random home inspector may not do it, but there may be home inspection firms that do that.

The same with a roofing company. If the OP lives in an area where roof repairs are common, perhaps a roofing company can make an estimate on how to repair a roof. My comments are from personal experience in my area - I lived in two homes in the last 12 years that had roofs that needed attention. In both homes, roofing companies quoted the cost for a new roof but did not try to diagnose the current condition of the roof. In one case a roof was leaking and in the second case there was significant degranulation of the asphalt shingles. I got zero helpful information from the roofing company.

We hired a guy to repair the roof that was leaking. His repairs didn't work and we ended up replacing the entire roof as it was at end of life.

CurlyDave
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Re: Definite roof leak - roof inspector or roofing company?

Post by CurlyDave » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:51 am

If the original shingles were high quality 14 years is way too soon to need a new roof. If they were cheapies, 14 years is very possible.

I knew I needed a new roof when I found pieces of shingles in the yard. It didn't leak, but that is a sure clue.

Depending on the roof, and the orientation of the building, it sometimes makes sense to just replace half of a roof. Usually the south facing side will deteriorate much faster than the north side. For a simple roof, it is not possible to see both sides at once from the ground and this is not nearly as weird as it sounds.

I knew a guy who bought a house with one new side and it took him 10 years to realize it.

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