DIY Doctor

8 year old house with a leaking roof :(

Postby demonweb » Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:18 pm

Hi all

What a great forum, so glad I found this, full of loads of useful info.

I have a problem I don't believe has been covered yet. My house is just 8 years old and the roof has devleoped quite a few leaks. My house insurance emergency cover paid for a roofer to come out, he said I had cracks in the cement under the ridge tiles and put some kind of silicone into them to stop it, great I thought, job done, nope, still leaking! He came out again and said that for some odd reason my ridge tiles were screwed down and that they had lifted meaning water was able to get through the holes so he put silicone around these too, "nothing will get through now" he said, fab I thought. Nope, still not fixed and when I went into the loft today I've found that the felt has several holes in it and water is coming through. This obviously means I must have a problem with the tiles?

I've contacted NHBC who say that it has to be a "defect" for them to cover and they do not consider this to be a defect. I've challenged this since their inspector spent approx 2 minutes in my loft and didn't even inspect the outside of the roof!

Does anyone have any ideas? Would it help to just repair the felt? If so can this be done from the inside? I ask because my house is 3 storeys high and only just below the maximum limit for a ladder so a lot of roofers will insist on scaffolding which is mega expensive in itself (not that I'd want anyone to risk their safety).

The roofer instructed by my insurers also said that the tiles were man made and only had a life expectancy of 15-20 years has anyone heard of this before? My neighbours say I was having my chain pulled but how do I know what to believe?!

Thanks for taking the time to read my begging post, any help/comments greatly appreciated.

Sarah :D (on the outside) :cry: (on the inside!)
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DIY asbestos test kits

Postby Grandad » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:31 am

Hi Sarah,
Where do I start? Firstly, it is very unusual for a roof to leak at the ridge, because this is the highest point of the roof. Usually the felt, which is about 1m wide is placed centrally on the ridge and overlapping the lower felt. If the ridge IS leaking then this would however explain leaks through the felt lower down.
If your ridge is screwed down, this could indicate it is a mechanically fixed ridge which is quite in order. If it is a Redland system there should be no mortar or pointing anywhere near it. It should be fixed over plastic jointing pieces and srewed down on plastic beading each side. I am not familiar with Marley's system, but their literature doesnt seem to show screw holes. What Marley calls a Security ridge has a screw hole in one end. If you live in a windy place and are 3 storeys high, it is probably a good idea to have these security ridges.

My advice is to go along to your local authority and seek out the Building Control department. They will have drawings of your house and will help identify your roof tiles and slope of roof, and even how many rows of tiles you should have up the slope. This should clarify if the correct lap and tile for that slope has been used. If you can get back far enough to take a photo of your roof slope (neighbour's bedroom across the road?) take it with you.

Finally, ignore the 15 - 20 year life. Concrete tiles were sold originally with a 25 year life. They are still giving good service 60 years on.

Good luck. Grandad.
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Postby demonweb » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:53 pm

Hi Grandad

Thanks so much for taking the time, I'll look into it!

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