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Roof advice please!


Bibs

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This is my little sisters' terrace in Tunbridge Wells. Her neighbour recently had their chimney reflashed and ever since my sister's house has been leaking! The upstairs chimney breast is soaked as is the ceiling locally. I've been in the loft and the timbers are black and damp too with some decent mould growing. 

It looks to me that the roofers have carried on the flashing onto her side of the chimney and I'm no roofer but it looks like a tile is dislodged and I'm assuming underneath this the flashing isn't doing it's job and is just dumping all the rain water into her loft rather than down the roof at the side of the chimney. 

Does that sound about right, and is her neighbour liable as they contracted the work or are the roofers liable, and what the situation with someone working on your house with zero permission to do so and causing issues in the process. 

Thanks! 

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Hmm,

I think that the main problem here is that the roofer has forgotten the unavoidable laws of physics being that water flows downhill.

They have tried to flash under tiles that are only around and inch or so from the chimney, hence where the new lead laps under the tiles will actually slope downwards back under the last tile and hence into the house. I suspect that they only had a 6inch lead flashing, whereas they need an 18 inch flashing (which is bloody expensive). The lapping under the tiles needs to be under the next course up from the tiles that they have actually lapped it under, so the last cap needs removing and the flashing redone under the next course up.

I can't imagine that the problem is any better in the neighbours house.

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Blessed with the competence to be a slave to the incapable.

Currently without a Lotus, Evora 400 Hethel Edition in Racing Green with Red leather and 2010 Evora N/A in Laser Blue and 1983 Lotus Excel LC Narrow body in Ice Blue all sadly gone.

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I'm not a roofer either but the flashing looks too short. And shouldn't the flashing be over the roof tiles? Definitely a tile missing though.

Edit: typing the same time as you Colin so only just seen your reply. Cowboy roofers for sure !

Edited by Rambo
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Another couple of views to show the flashing they've used. I think you're spot on @Colin P and @Rambo, they've used a flashing too short for the application here and it's just not large enough to be shaped correctly to stop water entering the loft.

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DJI_0205.JPG

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

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@Bibs another thought. That photo of the roof trusses/joists look suspiciously like wet rot. It might even be dry rot. Best to get it checked out by those in the know.

Judging by the colour though, there has been water ingress for some considerable time.

You'd have thought the (cowboy) roofers would have pointed out the missing tile to your sister when they were up there doing their joke of a job 🤔

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  • Gold FFM
12 minutes ago, Rambo said:

I'm not a roofer either but the flashing looks too short. And shouldn't the flashing be over the roof tiles?

If the flashing was over the tile the water would surely run underneath it, between it and the tile, and then where the tile ended, straight down into the loft!

The roofers probably cracked the missing tile and couldn't be arsed to replace so just took it away!

I came into this world screaming and covered in someone elses blood. I'll probably leave it in the same way. 

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Just now, C8RKH said:

If the flashing was over the tile the water would surely run underneath it, between it and the tile, and then where the tile ended, straight down into the loft!

Over the next row up, below the row above that.

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Blessed with the competence to be a slave to the incapable.

Currently without a Lotus, Evora 400 Hethel Edition in Racing Green with Red leather and 2010 Evora N/A in Laser Blue and 1983 Lotus Excel LC Narrow body in Ice Blue all sadly gone.

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3 minutes ago, C8RKH said:

If the flashing was over the tile the water would surely run underneath it, between it and the tile, and then where the tile ended, straight down into the loft!

The roofers probably cracked the missing tile and couldn't be arsed to replace so just took it away!

I've just looked at my nearest chimney (no drone required 🤣) and it looks like the lead flashing has been raggled into the chimney then flares out over the (slate) tiles

PS I'd post a photo but I'm out of space. Must think about upgrading from cheapo status 🤔

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The tile isn't missing, it just appears to have been pushed both down vertically and up the roof a bit too. 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

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Well the roofer is I hope! I'd imagine that would be an insurance claim at worst for her but to me it seems that a, the roofer shouldn't have worked on her property without permission, and b, he's screwed it up so needs to make it good again and repair any damage caused by his ineptitude.

6 minutes ago, Rambo said:

(no drone required 🤣)

Same. I've got really, really long arms :D

 

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4 minutes ago, Bibs said:

The tile isn't missing, it just appears to have been pushed both down vertically and up the roof a bit too. 

May be they trod on it, pushing it down on rotting timber underneath  and the 2nd photo looks like older damage.  I'd be pretty worried about that area. 

How recently was the work done.

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@pete, any thoughts on the condition of the joists? You've seen a piece of wood or two in your time!! 

Just now, exeterjeep said:

May be they trod on it

I thought exactly the same. 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

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Looks to have been a number of fixes to the roof over the years. So the whole thing looks rather tired. What looks to be next doors roof in the pic, looks similar.

My neighbours slate roof is shot (but looks OK) and it is just about 18-20 years old.

A guy came to replace a few slipped slates and said that the original roof was fixed with the wrong/cheap nails (we know the roofer.- don't think he is a bodger..)

 

 

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https://youtu.be/6Bmhg7W08bI

Looking at the timber the roof has been leaking for sometime and is probably wet rot. Next doors must be same and that is why they have called the roofer in. Is the loft insulated? 

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hindsight: the science that is never wrong

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The lead work does look wider than 6", probably  9" or more. Going up the lay board would probably require more like 18" as mentioned above.

The three bottom ridge do look to have been re-bedded fairly recently as they are on a slightly higher morter bed and you can see a lighter grey one that has been replaced with similar as on the neighbours roof. This may have been already broken and be the cause of the ingress to start with as there are signs of damp higher up the rafter (also causing the neighbours problem by travelling along the trimmer that will stetch into both properties) or it broke when they lifted the ridge. Similar as to what may have happened on the lower ridge where two tiles have been replaced on the neighbours side and one on your sister's.

They may have used a wider lead on the lay board, you can't tell unless you lift the bottom tile. Some terrace roofs have the coverings run continuosly along the length of all the buildings but sometimes you may have the party wall extend above the roof line with a capping of some sort. Here seems to be a ridge capping, are they all like this along the street?

If they have lifted the three ridge tiles I would expect that this would have been done to make good any damged felt. It's possible this has not been done on both sides as only instucted to carry out work on one side. Although informing the neighbour would be courteous.

Try getting their contact details and ask them of their findings whilst they were up there. 🙂

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  • Gold FFM

I'm no roofer either, but I do repairs to my own roof.

Looking at that rot I'd say that's been leaking for some time, the roofers had no choice but replace the flashing on your sisters side, and they could and should have had the decency to inform her. 

I see a couple of the cuts on her side of the ridge are broken and need attention, they could have easily been replaced while the ridge was off, but without getting up there are physically taking off a few tiles to have a look, did they damage the felt? is the lead wide enough?, it's just a guessing game, don't blame the roofers until you have some evidence of their wrongdoing. 

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  • Gold FFM

It very much looks like that flashing at the higher end of the chimney is holding water.  It’s simply not right and needs addressing. Not sure what they have done with those tiles either - but they need addressing as well as in future they will slip back into that flashing and probably damage the lead. They should be cut and dressed to suit not just pushed upwards which they appear to be.

Not a roofer - but I have reroofed 4 properties personally and used to fit a lot of solar.

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Only here once

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Hi Bibs,

I am into roofing but more into industrial metal roofing. I have quite a bit of domestic roofing experience.

So here's what I can see:-

1. The new lead extends across the entire width of chimney breast. This is a good thing as they can't just stop on the boundary otherwise it would leak where they stopped.

2. Ridge tiles joining the two properties is a new one on me and not really good practice. They should have either used lead or a GRP secret gutter detail.

3. The two tiles on your sister's side right next to lead gutter aren't positioned correctly. They should be like the tiles on the adjacent property. You cand see how much it's short by the organe side lap that the tiles used to cover near corner.

4. There's a corner off the secoond tile up from gutter near ridge tiles. It will be leaking there!

5. Without stripping the tiles off above lead gutter, the lead gutter could be short and not lapped under roof tiles enough. It should go upto roughly where the second tiles are. There's no science behind exact measurements but you need a reasonable depth in the lead gutter in order to get water away before it back up and over the back of the lead gutter.

6. The pointing is poor and hasn't been angled off for water to drip off. This is not likely to be cause, more damp over time.

So I would say remove a couple of the ridge tiles (held in place by cement) and lift up tow rows of tiles. You'll see your problem then. It will be either the two tiles need sliding down, the broken tile on second row or the lead gutter not having enough distance under the tiles. It will take about 2-4 hours labour to do this work providing it doesn't need a new lead gutter. If it does then add another 4 hours.

I hope this helps and if you need any more info, ring me anytime!

Edited by superdavelotus
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Dave has summed it up pretty well. Looking at the new lead work it is typical of how you will often see chimney flashings; see page 33 of this lead flashing guide and, in particular, the bossed apron, side flashing and bossed back gutter.

https://www.associatedlead.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Guide-to-Rolled-Lead.pdf

The main question for me would be how far is the back gutter lapped under the tiles as this cannot be determined from the photographs.

From the internal photograph the back gutter doesn't appear to have proper support as the timber boarding looks rotten / missing. As has been said above, the condition of the rafters needs investigating and the sarking felt is perishing too.

It is a pity that the neighbour or roofer didn't approach your sister and explain what was going to be done and ask if she wanted her side done too as her flashings do not look to be in good condition and the side flashing looks like it may have been covered with 'flashband' or something similar (it's hard to tell).
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