DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   Roofing and Siding (
-   -   I need a permanent fix to an ongoing roof leak (

Abijan 08-10-2011 06:20 AM

I need a permanent fix to an ongoing roof leak
I bought a condo townhouse back in February and had a contractor in in April to repair and respray a bad patch job in the bedroom ceiling. I had a couple of pot lights installed at the same time. The electrician showed me what looked like a clear plastic box resembling a bucket in the space between the ceiling and the flat roof. I didn't think much of it until a few days later I noticed a brown stain around one of the pot lights. There is no insulation in this space. When I pulled the pot light out I noticed again the clear plastic box. It had water in it. I think the water overflowed onto my ceiling. I can't tell without opening up the ceiling further if the box drains from another point outside. Turns out a wall and the vent inside it had been removed in the bedroom by the previous owner. I guess the condo corp at the time didn't know about the reno or didn't want to pay to seal up the hole left in the roof by the vent. Someone must have thought it easier and cheaper to put this box under the hole and then seal the hole from the roof outside. When I reported the leak in April to the condo corp, they had a roofer repair the seal over the roof. They did not take out the drain box. So by now I'm sure you can guess that I had a second leak in the same spot in August. This time the water leaked onto my brand new king size bed. The condo corp is sending the same roofer out to check the seal he put on. I am putting my foot down this time and saying hold on, we have to fix this permanently. Trouble is I don't know what a permanent fix is in this case. Should that drain box come out? I suspect so. Why wouldn't the condo corp want to do that the first time? I think I need more than a roofer to fix this. I see lots of ads on this site for contractors that can fix water damage. Should I be recommending one of these to the condo corp? Who should pay for what portions of this fix if the condo corp owns the outside and I supposedly am responsible for the inside? Any help or advice will be much appreciated!

TxBuilder 08-10-2011 12:12 PM

Why wouldn't the condo people want to do it? Because it's their money.

I would think you could remove that portion of the roof (shingles) to see the plywood underneath. Once to this point, I would assume the professional roofer they have on staff could fix where the vent used to be. IE- seal it with another piece of plywood cut to fit. Then re-shingle this area.

I am no roofing expert though. That idea just makes sense to me.

You're more than welcomed to contact a few contractors on this site. It's encouraged! Get a couple quotes on how to fix this permanently and take them to your office. By "own the outside", do they mean the building's outsides or the lawn and maintenance? Big difference.

If they really own the outside of the building, it is their problem to deal with. I would assume your mattress is too. And any painting or repairs that need to be made inside.

I hope you have all the paperwork from when they fixed it the first time. I suspect they are not going to willingly write you a check for all the damage. You can expect to see them in court.

oldognewtrick 08-10-2011 03:38 PM

I would suggest pointing out the service that has been abandoned to the MGT company and explain that you want this fixed and you will be sending a bill for the repair to your ceiling.

Flat roofs shouldn't have shingles, pics of the area will help a lot. And you can show the pics to your MGT company. Take pics inside and out. Document everything in writing.

kevinbrown10 08-12-2011 05:12 AM

Yes, I do agree with Txbuilder as it might help in my view.

kevinbrown10 08-12-2011 05:19 AM

Yes, I do agree with Txsbuilder as it might help

Abijan 08-12-2011 12:47 PM

Yes it is a flat roof with no shingles. The roofer was here yesterday and said the u shaped cap he put over the old hole in the roof for the vent prevented water from entering the ceiling area this time. He showed me that the plastic bucket under the stack pipe was empty this time. I might have thought that the water evaporated or there is a hole in the bucket (which by the way is half of a Lego box) and all the water drained out of it. He insisted however that with the new u shaped cap he put over the hole, that it is impossible for water to enter it from above. He could find no other source for the leak on the roof. We went inside and pulled the pot light out of the ceiling. We couldn't see much however as the hole from the pot light is only about 5 inches in diameter and it's dark up there. The condo corp is going to send a general contractor now to cut out a bigger of the ceiling dry wall to see if we can evidence of where the leak is occurring from below. I'm worried about what's next if we don't see anything. The roofer said the water could be entering from anywhere but didn't have any new things to suggest to find the source. I'm afraid I'm going to be left in a stalemate with the onus of proof on me, like a sitting duck waiting for the leak to occur again. This time though there will be a big chunk of my ceiling missing that no bucket is big enough for! Add to that I live alone and I am out of town most weeks for work. I really don't know where to go from here.

nealtw 08-12-2011 04:52 PM

Not a good situation I guess you just cover the furniture and find someone to moniter it if it rains while you are away. Good luck.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:37 PM.