Problems dealing with a Roofing contractor?

Problems dealing with a Roofing contractor?

13:29 PM, 10th February 2021, About 2 years ago 24

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In August last year, my tenant sent me pictures of water coming into the front upstairs bedroom. There appeared to be a leak coming from the Bay.

Eventually, I managed to get a contractor to go and look, and he said it needed the Bay recovering, chimney repointing, some guttering needed repairing etc. He quoted a price and gave guarantees for the specific pieces of work I.e. 20 year G’tee for the Bay 5 years for the guttering etc.

Anyway, I got him to do the job and paid him on receipt of the invoice. The Tenant has sent me pictures of the bay again, and it appears that we have a leak again in the same area. I have tried to get the contractor back out and despite assurances promises and excuses he hasn’t been back.

Has anyone been in a similar situation and does anyone know what kind of action I can take to either get this guy back out or to get someone else and pass the cost to this guy?

Any help/advice would be most welcome as this is the first time we’ve had any issues like this since we’ve owned the property in circa 8 years.




13:44 PM, 11th February 2021, About 2 years ago

This is why I bought my own mini tower and I get up on the roof myself, a leak baffled two roofers who gave up and said I need a new roof , and new under felt, I was not going to spend 5K on replacing the rear side part of the roof , which is a straight single slop with no apex or ridge tiles, so i went to investigate the cause of possible roof leak, my under felt was not in a brilliant condition and had perforated in many places, however if the roof tiles are doing their job right then there should be no reason for water to ingress through the tiles even under adverse weather condition and leak on to roofing felt,
So I looked at the roof tiles, I had many spare similar roof tiles, i laid them on a piece of chip board representing as a real roof, with battens etc, but no felt, I then leaned it an angle of 30 degrees as the slope on this roof was just about 30 degrees, I poured water using my garden watering can, representing heavy rain spray, I then took tiles off and saw where the water had gone through interlocking or overlapping joints between tiles, what I concluded was that roof tiles were not designed well enough to drain any heavy rain water that ingresses between the joints on the two adjacent tiles, the interlocking joints consist of very shallow channels two or a single channel, no more than 2 to 3mm high where the tiny ridges which drain any water that has manage to ingress or collected through the gaps between adjacent tiles, rain falling through these interlocking gaps, dirt fills and blocks these channels and gaps, causing drainage problems, so the water that has seeped in through these gapsdoes not run down well, has no where to go other thjan to jump over the ridges and fall straight on to the felt, so if your felt was in a bad or poor state, you have roof leaks,
My quick and very effective remedy was to lift tiles up and clean all these drain channels using a wire brush, and replace any cracked tiles, and without replacing the underfelt I have managed to stop my roof leak.
Conclusion is tile manufacturers did not give enough consideration to channels blocking with dirt and algae that grows on them thus blocking downward drain flow of rain water.
Of course there are different types of roof leaks, this is one of them, and most defying, roofers do not lift tiles up and clean drainage channels , since they are looking for bad or broken tiles, and they do clean most of the growing algae but fail to clean the dirt that is stuck hard in the gaps, these gaps need cleaning all the way from top of the roof to the gutter level.
Yes I am not a roofer but I have laid torch on felt roofs on my extension, I have repaired various other minor roof leaks, this recent job has saved me £5K and I am not spending silly money on a property that has just 50 years lease left on it.


14:27 PM, 11th February 2021, About 2 years ago

Just wanted to add that the overlapping joints at tile interlocks can be as wide in some places as 4 to 5mm wide and as narrow as 1mm or even less, dirt fills these gaps so wider gaps collect more rain and narrow gaps gets blocked up, then restrict downward flow of any rain water that was collected at the top of the roof, so this water flowing downwards has no where to go due to blocked channel, other than to leak sideways inside and on to the under felt, which if it was in poor condition will leak through, under felts also sag making pockets to collect rain water and eventually deteriorate and cause any rain that managed to ingress interlocks joints to collect in these sagging pockets and drain straight through on to the ceiling below rather than drain into a gutter.

As far as I am concerned if I do not have stupid money to spend or waste on a property, I would go as far as getting a dozen tubes of roof mastic and fill these interlocking joints so that tiles can still flex and at the same time seal the gaps, roof could still breath from front and rear edges which overlap a good amount, where leaks dont happen.

Paul Shears

19:15 PM, 11th February 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 11/02/2021 - 14:27
A man after my own heart and a world away from the millennium woke culture that I increasingly encounter in my tenants, virtually all of whom are graduates, many of whom have Masters degrees and none of whom have any employable skills that add anything to society except a bureaucratic burden. I have landlord friends who have had exactly the same shocking experience.
One very good military trained electrician told me years ago that one structural problem that society faces, is that the calibre of people who in the past might train as tradesmen, have been absorbed into worthless "higher" education and it's associated disastrous personal debt.
The result is that all that is left is a inadequate group of young people who are untrained and have inadequate natural ability and whom fill the void left that was previously filled by apprentices, Government Skillcentre people and the like.
This electrician cannot find an assistant of adequate ability and so he just has someone that he uses to do the more mundane aspects of the job to assist him. This is not what he wants, but it is the best that he can do.

wanda wang

22:25 PM, 11th February 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Accommod8 at 11/02/2021 - 12:00
Any suggestion how to find a good roofer? It is very difficult, I made a 20 calls , got through 4, most of them didn't answer, left message not returning calls. One turned up had a look and said, you would received a quote later on of day, but never happen. Looking from checkatrade, it doesn't live up the review.
I called a company with all these NFRC member, competent Roofer stamps on, the person gave me a quote, never went up the roof to look, just looked from loft and quote the job.
I am in Norwich, any recommendations ?

Paul Shears

22:40 PM, 11th February 2021, About 2 years ago

My advice: Tenacity and patience is required. Don't let your immediate need dissuade you from the fundamental requirement to minimise the risk by maximising your confidence in their ability to do the job. It took me over a year to find a competent roofer prior to which, much money was wasted.
I even had one fool who turn up with a toy helicopter with a camera that he immediately established, he was not allowed to fly in my area. He was too frightened to go on the roof after me, and told me that he had a minimum charge of £20K but would work through a third party who would be responsible for any work done!!!!!!! What a total waste of space these "people" are.


10:56 AM, 12th February 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by wanda wang at 11/02/2021 - 22:25
Hi Wanda,
I'm afraid it's a lottery as to who responds when some might possibly prefer to be furloughed if they had established accounts, and others with a large workload when home owners have had time to get round to dealing with things they'd been putting off.
Anyway, perhaps you could contact your nearest roofing merchant (not builder's merchant), and ask who they know well with a reputation for good customer service and who would look at a job of any size, who can provide you with a written quotation after actually looking fairly closely at your issue. It depends on the height, pitch (steepness) and accessibility of your problem as to whether they'd be able to directly reach the location of say a roof leak without for example a "zip-up" tower, but usually for two storey problems, they'd get their extending ladders off their van and get as near as is reasonable, also weather dependent due to slipping. If it's a significant issue, I'd offer say £50 for them to erect a tower for a proper examination (if not causing damage by standing on a brittle or deteriorating area), if otherwise they can't get to it. They can use a cat-ladder from a tower normally for closer access, and then take a few photos if safe to do so).
Otherwise you would in my view be better calling at a number of neighbours (or noticing them on a walk for Covid reasons of not calling at others' houses), especially if there are properties of the same or similar design, and ask them who they used and whether they gave a quality and reliable service. Not a big fan of Checking A Trade type services. You need a firm with an address too, not from a leaflet with a mobile phone number!


11:00 AM, 12th February 2021, About 2 years ago

Just to add of course for a very minor repair, you might get a contractor to carry work out immediately, if you can get them there!

Paul Shears

11:23 AM, 12th February 2021, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Accommod8 at 12/02/2021 - 10:56
And check that the "address" is not shared by a dozen other companies. It will then be just a virtual address such as a solicitor or accountant or mailing address. I found this recently when somebody recommended a tradesman who was supposedly "just down the road". On driving to the "address" I could see no evidence of any company. On coming home and checking on the internet, I found it was just a home based accountant who allow dozens of companies to use his address as their trading address. Exactly the same this could be done with a low grade mail holding address.

Paul Maguire

11:29 AM, 12th February 2021, About 2 years ago

I've used rope-access roofers a few times in Edinburgh on 4 storey tenement roofs. It's a lot cheaper than scaffolding for jobs that are less than a week's work. About £1k a day.


13:38 PM, 12th February 2021, About 2 years ago

Another thing is the property that developed a roof leak was a sa result of several broken or cracked tiles around the thinnest part which is the interlocking part, the next door neighbour had called some roofing contractors to look at his slated roof, which is in terrible state and had been repaired with all sorts of patches and what not, slates are slipping away, you have no chance of walking on a slate roof as you could slide down with the slates even if your shoes had grip, I saw lots of their broken slates and other debris sitting on my tiled roof, and all the cracked tiles were as a result of these cow boy roofers walking on my side to fix neighbours roof, because I do not have any evidence I cannot sue my neighbours contractors, they broke about 8 tiles all along the rows nearest to neighbours.

So often you can have a leak free roof and contractors can and have been known to damage adjoining roofs, in the hope of getting called to fix yours as well.

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