I am being ripped off, right?


#1

When I bought my house, it came with a warranty from RoofRX. I paid them some money to repair some broken tiles, reflash pipes and other minor issues in order to activate the warranty.

Since then, I have had two leaks.

The first issue is a leaking valley, they wanted 2800 bucks to fix, with 1000 bucks off for my ‘warranty’. The cost of materials is fairly low, and they said two guys one day to complete. That seems absurdly high to me, but that’s not even why I’m writing today…

The second issue is this. I have a leak in my bedroom above a sliding door and a window. the water drips from the top of frame around the door and window. There is no evidence of any other water damage on any ceilings whatsoever in my house.

I tried resealing around the door and window from outside, but still leaking so I figured it must be the roof. Called RoofRX. They went onto the roof, couldn’t locate an obvious leak.

Their proposed course of action is therefore to replace a huge section of my roof at a cost of 11,000 bucks.

They guy was here for an hour talking to his boss while he created the quote.

They did not go into the attic at all to look for evidence of where it might be leaking. They did not do a water test. They said a massive replacement for a twelve foot wide section on the entire roof was the only way to deal with it. Furthermore, the quote was so high because they said I wouldn’t be able to reuse any of my concrete tiles, I would need 700 new ones.

Everything I have read online says to look in attic, and also do a hose test to find the source of the leak. I am going to wait for it to rain again but I can’t see any evidence of water damage up there, the insulation is all bone dry, no rust or condensation on any nails. I also find it absurd they would need to use new tiles. I have a heavy duty tile roof and the tiles are in generally good condition. The house was built in late 80s but I live in SoCal with pretty mild weather and all my neighbors still have their original roof.

When I went up to the roof I noticed that the concrete tiles on the edge seemed to be a little low down in places and I found I could easily push edge tiles in about an inch or two where it was leaking.

I’m not saying that solves the leak or anything, but surely saying they can’t figure out the exact location and so saying I need to do a 11k repair without even looking in the attic or doing a water test is ridiculous no? It’s not even hard to get up there. The guy said he literally wasn’t allowed to go in the attic. Just seems so ridiculous to me!

Am I right to be concerned? And do any experts have any tips for identifying what might be causin a leak of this nature?

Thanks!


#2

Without seeing photos, a little tough to tell. I’d say the valley quote, for tile, doesn’t seem unreasonable. As far as the other leak, I’d start in the attic. Problem is, being so close to edge, you may not be able to see it. Gravity affect water like it does everything else. Given an unimpeded path, it will drip straight down. So I’d start straight above the leak on the roof then work my way up in case it is running down a rafter or something else.

Don’t know what the terms were of your “roof warranty” but I for one would be very hesitant to pay someone significant money for a roof warranty, especially if everything isn’t spelled out in detail. Why would you buy a warranty when it seems they’re charging you for everything?


#3

Here are some images to better show the problem.

  • damage from inside.
  • image of the roof from outside house, the leak is where the ladder is
  • image of the top of roof
  • image of where the eaves are.

They want to replace every part of the roof from the top down to the bottom for a 12 foot wide section. Even above where those skylights are even though it would literally be impossible for a leak above this part to make it down to the wall without breaking the laws of physics.

I got the warranty with the house, the seller paid. It was cheap, like 200 bucks or something. they make money by forcing you to do any recommended repairs before they are willing to activate the warranty.

To give an impression of pitch, this is a 3500 sq ft home with a single floor, so the roof is huge and angle of pitch is not steep at all. I cannot see how water could possibly flow down from the top without just falling onto the ceiling somewhere. When it rains, water is dripping constantly, it will fill a bucket overnight no problem.


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#7

We do tile repairs almost on a daily basis and the leaks on these
roofs are the easiest to track. All you have to do is start removing tile until a water trail is found, then follow it. Worst case scenario is probably to remove tile from this section, install new underlayment,(double #30 ASTM or ice/water shield), install ELEVATED battens and reinstall tile. They will normally be 25-50 pieces short on tile in which case you borrow it from a non visible section and install new tile there. There are many factors regarding pricing and I can’t judge that from afar but it seems like the company you hired isn’t a tile specialist.

On another note, hard to tell from pictures but it looks like the courses may be overexposed. Looks like 17” tile so can’t be any more than 14” showing.

Good luck.


#8

Thanks for the advice I appreciate it. Just seems to me that not immediately being able to locate a leak without even looking in attic or looking under the tile shouldn’t result in a five figure quote.


#9

Agreed. On batten installations it probably isn’t even nailed.
In those cases I can remove 30 pieces of tile in about 10 minutes. One thing that can complicate this is if tile is nailed directly to the deck, not allowed in the Pacific Northwest where we are, but I think still common practice in Southern California.


#10

I believe the leak is on the left side of the chimney.
Either the surrounding tiles and underlayment
Or the stucco siding has cracks in it
Or the top of the re-flashing chimney repair job that seems to be done years after the original stucco.

I would have set my ladder three feet to the right
Which would have centered the ladder directly centered to the leak which will show you that it is directly in line with the side of the chimney.


#11

I would like to speak concerning the window and door frame leak. Since you did not say, I cannot say for sure, but many leaks that come in this way are the result of water infiltrating siding around penetrations like windows on the second story and then finding their way into the lower story window frame and door surrounds. Like I said, I do not a. know if you have a two or more story house, b. have windows on an upper level above the leaking, and c. that you have a sided wall, but in any case, it should be mentioned that often homeowners will look to the roof for this type of a leak when in fact it is a siding issue.


#12

I apologize. For some reason I was not able to see your images.


#13

Firstly, thanks for all of the advice given here. It truly is much appreciated. I know you guys are taking time to help people basically for free and that is great.

It has been a strangely wet winter here in LA. It rained again today so I was able to get in the attic and see if I could determine the cause.

I already eliminated siding as a cause as I sealed around the frames and I only live in a one story house.

@roof_lover you hit the nail on the head! The leak is coming from the chimney for sure. I can hear a drip drip of water hitting the wood under where the flashing is and rolling straight down to the side of the house where the leak is. It is dry in the chimney area itself, so must be the flashing I’m assuming.

I will now go back to the roofer and try and get them to redo the flashing which hopefully will be a sub 1000 job which is the max of my warranty.

Pretty sure I know what you guys will say already, but would applying a wet patch or other sealing product work as a temporary measure? I know these guys have a long waiting list to get work done as every time it rains in LA they immediately get a million calls.


#14

Why not call someone else? I’m sure their is a local tile roofer that specializes in repair work.


#15

The only reason is that I have a contract with these guys to cover the first 1000 bucks of any work that needs to be done.

I would personally never buy a warranty, I’m only using it at all because it was included in the house sale. If I can get the work done then why not use them.

If they refuse to back down from their ridiculous 11k quote to replace half my roof then I’ll definitey find someone else.

These tile roofs are really common around where I live so it won’t be hard to find someone I’m sure.

Can anyone tell me if applying roofing cement to the chimney as a temporary measure would make it harder for whoever comes to do the job properly? Is it better to live with the leak for maybe a couple of weeks or is it ok to try and patch to at least stop the water coming in? Am worried about mold etc.


#16

If you can hear the drip, than you should also check the chimney cap and where the fluke that comes through it.
That is the most
Common leak if you can hear dripping inside the chimney box.
You can further pin point this by putting a tarp
Over the chimney.
By putting a tarp over the chimney you can find out if it is not the chimney cap,fluke,siding and top of flashing.
If it still leaks, than you have confirmed that it is on the deck/tile/ underlayment / bottom of the flashing surrounding the chimney.


#17

Roof lover is correct to try and pinpoint exactly where on the
chimney and a hose can be helpful since you can avoid areas until it is narrowed down. DO NOT accept tar as a stopgap. The proper repair if it is chimney flashing is to start at the beginning and reflash it properly. If you use mastic and we have to repair it the cost goes up.


#18

Tileman makes a great point about the water-hose and really pin pointing it down.
Get on the roof and run the hose to the bottom left corner tile where it meets the chimney.
Lay the hose right on the tile running into the corner so you dont get any water hitting the side of the chimney above the tile.
Let it sit for 5 min.
See if it leaks.
Keep doing it a tile or two at a time up the side.
Then do it at the top left corner tile.
Then the middle of the cricket valley on that side.
Then the top of the cricket.

When you are walking on the tile
Put your weight on the bottom of the tiles
Never the middle of them.
Light weight person only.
No 200 pounders if possible.