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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2

    Unhappy roof leaked on new house

    I need help NOW! We are building a new home. We have just finished putting the primer coat on all the interior walls while the rock layer is busy working outside.
    Now we've had an ice storm! The house has two roof lines, where the lower roof butts up agains the exterior wall we had major leakage. The shingles are on and a flashing was installed between the roof and exterior wall, we had the builder tar along the flasing along the wall because we were worried about rain coming before the rock layer was able to get to the second level and lay the rock. My question is, why did it leak but most importantly do I need to tear out the sheetrock and replace the insulation, and will getting the rock laid on this upper level stop the leaking in the future?
    I'm worried about mold problems as well as long term damage to the infrastructure of the house. When I called my builder to tell him it leaked he said, "I was afraid of that".

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: roof leaked on new house

    Where exactly did the water intrusion evidence itself?

    In the exterior wall where the other roof joins up......or in an exterior "eave" wall(s)?

    What is currently on the house as regards sheathing? Any housewrap, 30# or similar over that? If so and the leak evidenced in the exterior wall having the step flashings......is the wrap, 30# or similar......over the step-flashings or tucked behind them?

    When "tarring" the flashings, were the horizontal seams in the wall sheathing also caulked? If not and there is currently no house-wrap of any manner.... then water could easily enter those seams and have access to the interior of wall.

    You say that you finished priming all the walls inside. Are the ceilings also sheetrocked/plastered...or ??? Is there an attic space? Vaulted ceilings?

    Am trying to determine whether the water entered behind those flashings you mentioned or if an ice layer on the roof melted and the water from that entered underneath the shingles ; same deal as what happens when ice dams are created. Which brings us to the next question - Is there at least one course of ice & water shield along the eave edge of the roof?

    Whether or not you need to (or should) remove the drywall depends upon how much water entered and what routes it has to dry out without tearing things apart. If it is heating season now (cold outside) and you remove the drywall and/or insulation, you will be allowing the warm moist air of the interior to come in contact with the cold exterior sheathing of the exterior walls and condensation will then form. What is the best route to take now.....depends on a lot factors and circumstances. You might end up simply replacing intrusion water with condensation water. IOW, it might be best to wait until warmer weather to tackle this.

    If this is a new home with a freshly placed concrete foundation, that concrete (and other building materials , including your latex primers) will be releasing copious amounts of water vapor into the air inside the house. This would only add to the available water vapor that can/could condense against the interior side of the cold sheathing should you open up the walls at this time. Again, what is best....depends.

    I take it that temps are freezing or worse outside. How is the mason protecting his work from freezing? I'd hate to see you end up with crumbling mortar.

    Any chance of a few pics of the suspected leak area and the roof in general?
    Last edited by goldhiller; 01-31-2009 at 12:53 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: roof leaked on new house

    Ditto to what's been said here.

    To add .... Tar shouldn't need to be used if proper flashing and underlayment is done.
    Without seeing what's what .... I would say a layer of ice & water membrane should be in place where the roofing meets the wall and should be running up the wall a fair bit before the flashing was installed.

    If there is a fair bit of moisture damage on the inside ... I would think to remove the insulation to let things dry out .... depending on how bad possibly the drywall in this area.

    On one hand it's a good thing this revealed itself now rather than after the home was finished and the builder moved on.

    Just 2 cents worth.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: roof leaked on new house

    Thank you so much for all the replies.
    We had a family meeting and decided to tear out some of the sheet rock to better asess the damage. It appears that the tar around the upper edge of the flashing did not hold in some areas for some reason. Water leaked between the walls and came out at the bottom where the sheet rock doesn't meet the floor. We removed the sheet rock everywhere the insulation was wet and removed the wet insulation. We are going to leave it open until the studs and footer board (?) dry. We don't have electricty to the house yet, and are expecting a warm week in the upper 60's so we are hoping that with the windows open during the day things will dry out quickly. If not then we will bring in a propane heater. We decided after reading the replies that we will removed some of the shingles and the flashing, put down a membrane and replace the flashing and shingles.
    Once we got into it, there wasn't as much damage as we had feared, we are only having to redo 2 walls and both walls will eventually be hidden behind cabinets so we aren't going to bother with having the texture put back on the sheet rock, just tape, bed and paint.
    The plywood sheathing isn't matching up quite on the exterior wall and lower roof line and we aren't sure what we are going to do about that.
    The rock layer only comes when the weather is warm and quits early enough that the mortar sets up before the temperature drops. This is Oklahoma so we never know what to expect, but this ice storm was a freak occurance for our area.
    Once again, thanks for the advice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: roof leaked on new house

    Don't know for sure what type of propane heater you're thinking about bringing in to help dry things out, but.........if you mean some manner of unvented propane heater such as a torpedo style heater.....be advised that there is alot of water vapor produced when burning propane. *Might* be a somewhat counter-productive attempt, but will kinda depend upon the existing relative humidity and temps.

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