New Roof, leak in valley, damage who pays for repairs?

Finally got my new roof installed and everything completed Friday. We got a little snow (maybe a 1/2 inch) and noticed some wet carpet by a bedroom entrance right next to the wood floors. Investigated and found water entering the crawl space and later some water damage on the drywall in the corner of the house. Roofing company was contacted right away (Sun AM) and was able to come out along with the sub cons to address the situation. In addition a water damage mitigation company was called out as a third party. Crawled into the attic (minimal access) and they found the area of water intrusion along with some wet insulation. They are fixing the issue, apparently the cold weather has not allowed the shingles to seal and regardless of having Ice and water shield in place the snow caused a backup of water to be forced under the shingles. The roof will be repaired on Monday and in the meantime the water mitigation company is running a dehumidifier and air scrubber.

My question is what is the proper way to go about and handle the repairs? The roofing company has not experienced an issue like this, the sub con says the roofing company will take care of it and the water mitigation wants me to file a homeowner’s insurance claim and let them get the $ and deductible back from either the Roofing company or sub con and they highly recommend I do this. (which I really would not rather file an insurance claim and not sure of the ramifications of increased premiums etc)

Right now we are looking at some moisture mitigation, drywall/paint work and possibly some carpet at a minimum. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.

I got thrown under the bus by a mitigation company. My feeling is that they trump up a lot of mold mitigation work that would probably self resolve and then inconvenience the homeowner with machinery running constantly. And cause grief for any unlucky contractor that gets mixed up in the deal.

Best course would be to let the roofer put a fan in the attic and a dehumidifier letting them resolve the problem themselves. Seems like the gentleman’s thing to do.

Did you sign a contract for the mitigation? Have you seen a bill? The fees can be high.

2 Likes

Thanks for the reply. This situation has been a mess and time consuming. Actually had a mitigation company come (agree they push a lot of mitigation that is not necessarily needed). They wanted me to file a homeowners claim (Which I found out later I probably would be dropped due to having a recent roof replacement claim) and my insurance adjuster from the roof claim recommended to not file another claim. I agree their estimate the fees are high.

Anyway there was a delay in mitigation (just put in a dehumidifier and hepa air scrubber) for the first couple days until somebody would sign for responsibility. Finally they brought in some floor driers (wood floor is starting to buckle) and fan to dry the carpet. Today they want to drill holes in the wall after removing baseboards and run aerators and add more floor driers since they did not have enough (hopefully to save the wood floors from needing repair). Already noisy and inconvenient. Not to mention my electric bill will no doubt be increased in the $100s . Beyond that I will need some dry wall repair/paint, maybe carpet but most likely just a partial pad and hopefully the wood floors are good. As of now I have no insurance or claim info but was told the subcon general liability insurance will cover this. That leads me to the question should I expect an adjuster to come out from their insurance and how does payment work (to contractor or homeowner) or do I need to start calling contactors for estimates? Thanks

What a mess. I bet a majority would have self resolved. I think it would be justified too lave a sub par review for them for that weird work extorting they do.

The owner of the roof company should have addressed it immediately.
Resolved it themselves.

Now everyone involved is in a very bad position.

3 Likes

A slight mess. Neither the contractor or sub want to file a claim towards their high dollar general liability policies.

Yes, i am determined never to be in a position to use my general liability policy!
Handle anything on my own dime.
I want to keep my policy and i dont it to increase either.

Its not simple getting a new policy
If you can even find one that doesnt cost a fortune.

I am confident i wont be audited, or rate increase if i keep my record clean.
That is real important to me.
Never a claim for me.
For me or anyone ive worked for.

I was the sub one time about 25 years ago.
Drying in a 7/12 when a tornado came by.
Ruined the ceiling in their main large cathedral living area.
The roofing contractor i was working for had a drywall/ painter there the next day.
And had it all complete before we could get the roof done.
Homeowner was happy and gave us 100 dollar tip and fixed our compressor for us.
Put wheels on it for me.

I figured that was the case with general liability.

Going to be expensive. We had to address the issue so far and the water mitigation is not going to be cheap. Add in some very minimal paint and drywall/trim work and maybe some carpet in a bedroom… looking like to be in the $10K range and hoping the wood floors get dried out (warpage) if not than not sure how much more that will be.

There is a point where not using your policy, out of principle, is simply not good business sense. If you deal through a broker for your policy, chat with them about the options and the potential a premium increase may be affected over the next few renewal cycles? Many policies do normalize after several claims free years. In business, cash flow is king as is your focus on earning more business. Everyone messes up during the normal course of business, that is to be expected and why you also have insurance.

I am not making an assumption about your current retained earnings but those earnings would be better deployed where they can earn more money rather than protect the insurance you purchased to protect you?? Unless you are 100% certain it will be catastrophic for you to make a claim against your policy, it is then truly just pride telling you to protect your policy from any blemish.

Is it always best to buy equipment with cash outright or do payments make better cashflow sense, or even tax sense? How about vehicles? Materials for projects?

Just an alternative perspective. Insurance is a tool you bought to protect your business, not a trophy meant to collect dust.

EDIT: SHOULD HAVE ADDRESSED THIS TOWARD THE CONTRACTOR PERSPECTIVE AS IT SEEMS YOU MIGHT BE THE HOME OWNER? SORRY.

2 Likes

Ivonman…good perspective from the business side. I know only a little about their business details (I know they never had an issue like this, couple minor problems that needed minimal paint correction…couple $100 out of pocket) and don’t know their reason on not wanting to file. You are correct I am the home owner. Regardless I think it would of been a little easier on my end to have an adjuster line item all the damages. Now I am stuck with my house being torn up for weeks while I juggle multiple contractors, estimates etc to address the repairs.

Yes, thanks for forgiving my error and to whom it was directed but you do bring up a really valid point.

As the homeowner who sounds like you are a decent person as well, you are indeed being inconvenienced on several levels;

  1. You want to help them but now you face the real risk of them cutting corners on a major repair. You are helping them save face and avoid the potential of an insurance claim.
  2. This sounds like a major repair and will there be a warranty for the repair as a project itself or will it be piecemealed? You have been placed in the position of the general “repair” contractor … do you want that?
  3. Will the original contractor leverage a deal from his trade connections forcing them to cut corners if he is recommending his network?
  4. Will the stress of this expense put the contractor out of business and “poof” goes any warranty you expected on the original project?

Call your insurance company and ask them what to do? They can claw back the cost just as easily from the contractor as from their insurance company if it is too burdensome for them to shoulder the expense. A couple of thousand is one thing to risk but $10,000 or more can be a small company killer if they lack the funds to cover the escalating costs.

roof_lover

Thanks for the insight regarding general liability insurance. I had a feeling it was costly and that no contractor wants to put in a claim due to fear of rate increases or cancellations, makes sense and understandable.

Update on my situation right now it is looking at upwards to $20K in damages. Contractor went MIA doing business as usual working on other jobs. Have not heard a peep in over 2 weeks (stopped trying to contact them since I was ghosted early on). As of now I am assuming they are not going to take responsibility and I am on my own, which is fine (have taken “alternative” action). Just wish they would have done what was right from day 1, now I am stuck with all the work of estimates, repair and having to move out of the house for a week.

It is terrible that the contractor ghosted you. All of this should have been handled by them. From calling the mitigation company if necessary to getting a contractor to do the repair work.

I will say that 20k in damage and a week out of the home for a roof leak seems excessive. To put it bluntly it sounds absurd. Most building materials will dry out and are water resistant in the first place. A one time leak may have resulted in some drywall, ceiling, or floor repair and some painting, but 20k is enough to remodel half a typical house.

As far as actual liability, most states require contractors to warrant their products for 1 year and the contractor may be responsible under common law. This is actually true for almost anything you purchase, there is an implied warranty for use unless it is a consumable item. Since you are spending a fortune on repairs you should spend a bit extra and make sure the leak will not re-occur.