Roofing Leak 2 Days After Install


hey guys, first post here. i have a few big concerns with my roofing/siding/window caping/gutter project. Im in Chicago and chose a roofing contractor who has an A+ BBB rating and good reviews on google. He subs out everything except the roofing.

Im gonna keep this post as short as possible to not bore you with details. I will post some pics and if somebody can tell me if its the correct way do it, that would be awesome.

This first pic is where my 1 story brick extension meets the back of my original brick 2 story home. This pic was taken after they had to take of the straight pieces of aluminum caping (which was not completely caulked at the top which is where the leak was coming from) to figure out what was going on.

You can see the brown caulking still on the brick. The very top which is under the window sill is where the caping wasnt caulked completely

My concern is that it seem that caulking is the only line of defense from water getting down that brick and into the house. The roofing contractor said there is no other way to do that.

To me it seems that the ice and water shield is not sticking to the brick that well and there should be something else that can be done behind that aluminum caping.!Looking forward to your input guys. My wife and I are not happy at all, it doesn’t help that the contract is very very cocky and rude also.


apparently i can only post 1 pic at a time lol


this is after they put it back on. They are horrendous at caulking too.

just seems so crazy that caulking is the only thing keeping water from getting behind the ice and water shield and leaking down the brick into the home.

I have the interior wall beneath there ripped out and thats the only reason we know about the leak lol. lucky for us we haven’t payed him the final amount yet.


That wall flashing is done completely wrong. The counter flashing, the brown piece of aluminum that covers the step flashing and ice and water shield, should not just be flat and caulked. They way they did it will work for the short term but not for the life of your roof.

The best practice is to cut a 1"- 1.5 " reglet into the masonry, and bend the counter flashing as “L” with a back bend and then insert it into the reglet or slot that is cut in the masonry wall. Lead sinches can be used to hold the counter flashing tightly in place, and a bead of sealant to seal it.


The “Caping” you are talking about is called counter flashing and it should be installed the way MPA described.

There is an inferior way to surface mount a counterflashing called a gum lip flashing, it has exposed fasteners and relies on caulk to seal the top.

Masonry chimneys are frequently done wrong and done with the wrong material.

I have found that EPDM primer works well to make Ice & water shield stick to masonry.


wow, thanks a lot guys, if it was your home what would you do?

i have made the initial down payment but still owe them a very large sum upon completion of the gutters as that is the last part of the job to be done.

at this point, i have talked to some lawyers also.

seems my best course is to see if they will re do it. if they don’t want to then to pay somebody else that will and then subtract that amount from what i owe these guys?

also, should the chimney be done that way also. they did it the same way as the pics i posted here.


They didnt do anything wrong.
Yes, cutting into masonry is another way of doing it. But it is not the only way.
They didn’t do anything wrong.
No matter what method they use to counter-flash,
Sealant/caulk is what keeps the water out.
Oh and your caulking looks good!
The right color and type!
The installation of sealant/caulking for roofing looks a lot different than say caulking around a window or siding.
I massage my roofing sealant/caulking in a circular motion to get all air bubbles out and push it into any crevasses.
It dosent look cosmetically correct to you
But it is mechanically correct
And is the way it should be.


thanks for your response. I’m very worried about the way they did it though. without the ice and water shield adhering to the brick 100 percent i just find it hard to believe the way they did it is the BEST way.

we originally had a leak in that part of the roof which was the whole reason we decided to redo everything. we are planning on being in this house for the next 22 years until i retire so we were looking for the best solution.

i found an article about counter flashing on masonry walls. the reglet counter flashing is in there.

now with that being said. if it was your house, would you accept the method they already installed? keep in mind that it leaked 2 days after install. i only caught it because my wall is exposed in the house too.

i now there is different ways, but i was expecting the BEST way and I’m thinking the reglet counter flashing is the best way.

doesn’t help matters that the contractor is extremely hostile and rude also. and to tell me that his way is the only way obviously is wrong. its the quickest way but not the only way.


Looking at the photos again,
The roofer was sloppy the first time.
He didnt attach the gum lip flashing well,
And didnt caulk it well.
The second photo shows he Did use the cut reglet flashing and did use the appropriate caulking.


so the first and second photo that you see (where the counter flashing is removed) should be explained better…

the clear caulking is actually from last year when i had a roofer come out and caulk that step flashing that was originally there because we noticed a leak.

these roofing guys that i hired now for the complete tear off just didnt remove that old stuff very well.

the brown aluminum counter flashing you see in the last photo does not go into the brick or mortar joints at all. its just bent and touching the brick.

from the article i posted it seems that would be surface mounted counter flashing which says is the least expensive but most likely to fail lol. which it has failed 2 days after install lol.


A cut reglet in the masonry was already there from the past.
Under this window It looks like the metal is inside the cut on this pic.
Yes, i did see where they did it as you say on your other thread.


the metal is not inside the cut in the picture you see from my original posts. just a bad pic maybe.

i found pics of the original flashing before they did the tear off


When the roofers first did the gum flashing,
They didnt finish securing it and never sealed it.
Someone forgot to finish it.
That is why it leaked right away.
The roofer only put a couple fasteners to
Hold it in place and forgot to
Finish it.


Yeah, if this were me I would redo that so that you are happy as a customer service thing, but there is nothing particularly wrong with the way it was redone in your second picture.

Also the way the dormer corners are done in your other thread is actually better than the way most people detail that nowadays – I would probably not redo that no matter how much you complained. If you don’t like it you can take some tinsnips and cut off the protruding part, then put some caulking in the corner where the step flashing meets the wall flashing. That is what the hack siding installers often do – it looks cleaner but will have a lifespan even shorter than the counterflashing technique that you are worried about.

You should be aware that not all contractors are as customer service focussed as I am, and if the contractor is already behaving in a hostile way he probably sees you as a difficult customer.

If you are holding a significant deposit over this you should be prepared for the possibility that the contractor may sue you, and I would say he has a pretty good case. Perhaps you can negotiate a reasonable discount on the final bill, then hire somebody to redo this how you would prefer?

From the look of your pictures, I would say that your installers are doing their best. They are probably not as knowledgable as one would like, but it is very hard to get good help these days. I have seen much, much worse…


ok, so i have had 2 contractors come and take a looks and say that it was done the quick and easy/cheaper way.

they both said to use the reglet flashing method with copper.

seeing as were going to be in the house for another 22 years I don’t want to deal with a leak from an inferior method.

also, because i was never given the option from the original contractor. i think that he should work with me on the balance due because i absolutely don’t trust him to fix it even if he offers.


Oh, well, you should have got your whole roof in copper!!
Because the shingles you opted for are way, way inferior to copper.
You should ask for all your money back!
Becasue he didnt give you that option…


im not sure why your being sarcastic but there is no need for it.

i have had multiple contractors tell me so far the way he did it was the quick and easier way which will not hold up as long.

if you disagree thats fine but theres no need to be sarcastic. this is my home we are talking about here and i plan on living in it for the next 20 years.

if there was a better option that will last longer that is what i would of wanted. and from the article that i posted, it clearly states the way he did it was inferior.

you are acting like there is no difference in the two methods. one is clearly better than the other.

im not into the cheaper, easier fixes. clearly his method leaked a day after install.

he is lucky that my interior wall was was exposed otherwise by the time we noticed a leak there would of been a lot more damage he would of been liable for.


There is no need for copper flashings on a shingle roof. Aluminum or steel will outlast the shingles, they can both be installed into a regret.


We Only use copper for step and counter flashing, locked into a reglet, on all masonry walls. We use these details as a selling point up front, specify then in the contract, and charge per linear foot for them.

If your contract says “install new metal counter flashing” your roofer fulfilled what he said he was going to do.


actually the contract says nothing about flashing believe it or not. i don’t know how i even missed that being in there. I’m assuming its just part of the roof job because it had to all be removed in order to do a complete tear off.

what really really bothers me is that had my interior wall not been exposed, we wouldn’t even know about a leak until further down the road.

obviously the method he used was wrong and they missed an important area to caulk.

im not trying to screw this contractor at all but considering his attitude and hostility towards my wife and I for even questioning why we have a leak, i think its only fair that he does something for me in regards to getting that fixed from another contractor.

i dont trust the guy and there are multiple things that have seemed to have been done quickly and cheaply.