Can New Roofs Leak?

David Sherwood Sherwood Inspection Services, LLC Leave a Comment

The picture you see here is over a roof that was recently
installed on a house. The owners of the house believed that they had the roof
properly installed, and that everything was done to complete the installation.
They believed that since the roof was brand new, there could not possibly be
problems with the roof.  At the same
time, the owners of this house started to notice that when it was raining there
was water leaking into their house, and they were unable to determine where that
water was coming in. When they found themselves unable to solve the mystery,
our company was called in to do an inspection of the roof.

While inspecting the roof, we discovered that the chimney
had a brand new flashing done in conjunction with the roof installation. New
chimney flashings, if not installed properly, can be just as bad as a worn out
flashing, or even as bad as a worn out roof! As you can see in the related
photo, the upper edge of the flashing is resting against tar paper, and neither
the tar paper nor the flashing are secured into the chimney itself. This set up
leaves the top edge open to water, which drains down behind it and into the
house. In the words of a fellow inspector, “it’s like tucking your rain pants
into your rain boots, causing the water to leak into your boots and fill them
up.” Obviously no one walks around with rain gear tucked into their boots, and similarly
no one should have a chimney flashing and roof set up the way that we see in
this picture.

What can we learn from this? Perhaps the most important
lesson to take away is that even with a brand new roof installation, it makes
sense and is important to have an inspection done of the roof before the
warranty runs out. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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