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SharonSal

03:16AM | 04/03/04
Member Since: 04/02/04
3 lifetime posts
Bvroofing
I am in need of some advice and hope someone can help! I had my house sided about 12 years ago (vinyl). I also had a new roof put on around the same time. The siding was done by a guy who had absolutely no clue what he was doing. My own fault for hiring him... I was a first time novice homeowner. I also had a new roof put on..TWICE, due to water leaks inside my home. My 2 story house has no overhangs, and 4 doormers. The problem is this: Every year or so I have water leaks inside my house. It leaks when there is ice build up and now it is leaking when it rains! Usually in the same spots...around the doormers, interior wall and around the windows. I have had so many roofers and siders try to repair it through the years,that I am on a first name basis with most of them! The repairs last for a year or so, then it always seems to happen again. WATER LEAKING IN SOMEWHERE! I have been advised that ice shield installed on my roof, 36" up, and new insulation installed into my attic will SOLVE the problem. Also, new flashing and ice shield around the doormers and caulk around the siding/doormers. I seem to think the problem is not only the roof but there may be some serious siding problems. I am so tired of repairs and patch jobs that I just want to have the whole house sided and re-roofed AGAIN! Unfortunately I cannot afford that at this time. Does anyone have any suggestions how I can stop this water problem once and for all??? Does it sound like ice shield and flashing will help?? Do I need new siding?? Hoping for some ideas!Fed up in Niagara Falls!! Thank You for reading this!

Piffin

05:20PM | 04/04/04
Member Since: 11/06/02
1281 lifetime posts
The answer to all your questions is a firm maybe.

or probably

But no-one in the vitual world can tell anything about the house that numberous roofers looking at it could not detect. How do you get the straaight storey at your end?

There are roofers and ther are shingle layers, and there are hacks. The only way to distinquish is by reputation and checking references, and being willing to pay for the best. You've already had a runaround with lowball installers. Now get to work and find a pro.

You might want to study up with a book or two from the library or Taunton Publications

Excellence is its own reward!


pgriz

06:27AM | 04/05/04
Member Since: 01/21/03
66 lifetime posts
Welcome to the world of roofing. Any time a roof is treated only as an assembly of parts, you’ll have problems. The roof is a system, and you need to find someone who understands how the different parts interact.

To start with, you may have water due to leakage (water from the outside) or condensation (water from the inside). Since you have no eaves, I don’t know how your attic is ventilated – in the snowbelt, this would be an almost automatic “condensation-maker”. Adding more insulation may not solve the problem, if the problem if the root cause is a poorly functioning vapour barrier, and lack of ventilation.

Once condensation is ruled out, you have different ways for leakage to happen. Ice dams will allow water to be trapped behind the ice-dam and since shingles are designed to shed water (as opposed to being a true water-proof surface), the water gets between the shingles and onto the deck. Ice and Water shield membrane is supposed to stop this, but it has to be properly applied to work.

Another common cause of leakage is the poor performance of flashings (valley, endwall) and with four dormers, you’ve got plenty of places for sloppy flashing workmanship to show up. Caulking is the short-term answer, but most caulking becomes ineffective after as little as five years. If your problem is caused by poor flashing installation, you can verify this by doing a water test (pour water from a hose into all suspect joints and areas and see if it shows up in the attic or house).

Another cause of leaks is the poor sealing of roof openings (soil pipe/plumbing stack, air vents, etc). Again, the water test will help you figure out if these are to blame.

I’m with Piffin – get yourself a real pro. The really good ones rarely advertise (they don’t have to), and to find them you’ll need to use referrals and/or observing potential roofers in the field. The good ones look professional, act professional, have their licenses and permits, and have good, well-trained workers, and can answer questions without a lot of “umms, ahhs”. Of course, that won’t come cheap, but you already knew that.


SharonSal

07:11AM | 04/05/04
Member Since: 04/02/04
3 lifetime posts
I was reading something on line this morning about a product called Combination Ventilation and Drip Edge System. Has anyone ever used this or a similar product to provide air flow into an attic with no overhangs? An insulation contractor also told me that the loose insulation that is stuffed into the corners all around my attic is not letting any air flow through. I need to install some sort of baffles between the joists and then add the insulation.YET ANOTHER insulation contractor told me to leave the insulation there because there are no overhangs outside and installing those baffles would not do a thing. In other words, if there are no overhangs and soffits, what is the point of installing baffles in the attic for air flow if there is no air coming in along the wall? Thats why I thought of those ventilation and drip enge things.Why do so many contractors and roofers disagree with one another and who are we supposed to believe? Whats a girl to do?????

pgriz

09:40AM | 04/05/04
Member Since: 01/21/03
66 lifetime posts
Sharon,

IF you have ventilated soffits in your eaves, then you need to provide an air channel to allow the incoming air to move into the attic. The baffles work by keeping open an air channel and pushing back the insulation. However, no soffit, no need for baffles.

I am not familiar with the specific product/ventilation system you mention, but in principle, it should work, providing that there's no way for water or other bad stuff to get into the ventilation holes. If there are gutters close to where the vent holes would be, then there's a potential problem.

Contractors and roofers often disagree because not all of them are motivated by giving you good value. Too many are unfortunately ignorant of their craft. That's why both Piffin and I suggested you look for a professional - you'll find that GOOD roofers will give you more or less the same answer. If you don't know any, ask around and check references. I'm a roofing contractor, and participate on this forum because consumers like yourself deserve good information, and hopefully, this will help you avoid the bad contractors.

Piffin

12:02PM | 04/05/04
Member Since: 11/06/02
1281 lifetime posts
Welcome to the vent wars!

Sharon, Once upon a time, in the wild and wolly West, the cattle roamed free over wide open range.

Then came the railroads, barbed wire, and sodbusters. Times were changing and some held fiercely to old ways without understanding how their world was a changing.

Constructiuon technology and building science are evolving as well. Many installers refuse to change with the times or only pick up a technique or two without understanding all that is involved.

When I started working on homes, insualtion was barely thought of. R9-11 was considered a fine thing. Now a wall that is less than R-19 is considered wasteful. Where some used to consider R19 in a ceiling to be overkill, we now aim for R-50.

As we changed all this, the way houses work in their environment and the environment they creat for the inhabitants has changed. Every house works differently but some principles prevail. Basically, with ceilings and insulation, oine of two philosophies will apply, depending on how things are with your house. You need to either have a denspack high value insulation with a vapour barrier that has no penetrations to let interior moisture into the attic, or you need a fully vented attic to let that moisture back out again without condensing on surfaces.

It sounds like you have two problems, one is condensation, which will be worst immediately after extremely cold weather and on the north side, or over a abthroom or kitchen where most moisture is generated. The other problem probably is poor flashings between siding and roofing. Since two different installers were involved in that, one can blame the other. Too many siding installers assume that siding is waterproof. That is not true. Most sidings will let some water in.

Excellence is its own reward!


SharonSal

03:38PM | 04/05/04
Member Since: 04/02/04
3 lifetime posts
Hi again..I must Thank You both for your responses. Now I hope I can find contractors like you both around here! I have an appointment with one Wednesday. He is supposed to be very experienced and has a good reputation. I also checked him out on the BBB. So far so good. I will keep my fingers crossed when I meet with him that he will be able to give me similar information that you have, and then hopefully be able to do the job. I'll keep you posted! Thanks again!!

Piffin

04:08PM | 04/05/04
Member Since: 11/06/02
1281 lifetime posts
Best of luck to you

Excellence is its own reward!


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