Roof/ Chimney still leaking after it was reshingled

So sorry that this is long, but it is a horrific story and I need your help terribly!

Licensed contractor was out here in April 2005 to reshingle my roof. After he was done he insisted that he would be out to “put that flashing around my chimney” Well, in September 2005, I finally noticed water damage in my kitchen where the chimney meets the wall. I didn’t know that flashing was important because I thought “heck, he would have been out by now to replace it” I went into the attic and you could see daylight around my chimney. He came out the next day after 5 months and replaced the flashing. Mind you, he had already shingled up to the base of the chimney. There was nothing else on the bricks. No flashing counter or otherwise. He proceeded to install the flashing over my shingles and screw it into place through my bricks. This of course didn’t work. He came over again and tarred it with “really long lasting tar” so he said. Tarred the heck out of it. It still leaked and it still does to this day! Now I do have an old chimney with cracks in the mortar and a piece of a missing brick, but can that much water come through? I did a water hose test and you guessed it, it poured in down my chimney into my attic. This all has been videotaped. Two other rooms had leaks on the ceiling as well. One room all the suspended tiles fell in. He fixed this and wouldn’t you know it, there are new stains. Did he flash this chimney properly? He has told me a number of things. I cannot trust him anymore. From the chimney liner, the mortar, the old bricks. Help me please and a BIG thank you for your help!

Photos would help. But to answer your one question, yes, missing brick and open mortar joints can indeed leak.

Quite understandable that these things may leak, but during the waterhose test? It wouldn’t just pour in that quickly from around my chimney would it? No photos but its the black step or “L” flashing I think with blue anchor screws on the sides and tar all over the place. Maybe that would paint a mental picture. Thank you everyone for your responses!

Could someone please answer my questions. Could it be the roofer did the flashing wrong? Come on help me. I just want my roof to stop leaking! Please respond.

Show some pictures. It sounds like he has done a poor job but with out seeing the chimney it is hard to comment.and remember I can make almost anything leak if I bring a hose on a roof. It also sounds like you know he did a poor job so why not pay a better roofer to repair it and cut your losses.

Thank you for the replies. I will take some photos if I can get to the chimney in this weather. I didn’t mean to be rude. I am just stressed out.

Did your hose test run water only on the roof, or did you spray up all on the chimney also?

Here is a good idea of how a chimney flashing should be put together:

You can have variations of this, but the idea is the same…cone flashing on the front, step flashings on the sides, Cricket or pan in the back, then counter-flashing over all sides.

Nope, that doesn’t look like mine. He put the flashing on top of the shingles and it all seems to be foru seperate pieces of the black flashing. He tarred it at the corners and the screw hole through my mortar. I did spray only on the flashing part with the test. I would like to say that four roofing contractors have been out here and said the flashing on the peaks and chimney were done improperly but my trust for most roofers has gone downhill. It makes me wonder if they are just saying this to get business. It takes only one bad apple to ruin my trust. Thank you for the pictures. There is no slpe thing, no cricket thing. etc… I guess I am just confused because I heard it all.

If he put the flashing on top of the shingles, then I think it is safe to say you got a hack-job. Call a real roofer, and have them fix what sounds to be an abortion on your roof.

its def. done wrong. don’t deal with him anymore. find a roofing company that has been around at least five years. have him over (or one of the ones you have already had look at it).ask them to strip the shingles and flashing from around the chimney, build a cricket, and reshingle it with the proper flashing & counterflashing. you also may need to have your chimney repointed by the sounds of it. don’t expect the bill to be like $100 you will have to pay a decent price to get decent work. and it sounds like it may be worth your time to spend the money now so you don’t get surprised with spending more in the future when it continues to fail, or you go with the “low bid” and get the same kind of quality.

hello greg2222,
first off , were is your house located? city state?

next , if the chimney was not leakin before then its not a brick or mortar
sounds like the roofers head is as hard as a brick, but thats it.
heres whats probably happenin.
you could see daylight, dum dum goes up and fills daylight holes
with tar, and tar either falls in the attic ( look around chimney) or it cracks
rite back open cause theres alot of movement at chimney/roof area.

so you do need to have metal installed around your chimney and then the
shingles sealed to that metal. that is called flashin the chimney.
dont know why they use the word flash.

ok hopefully your located nere one of the experts here and get out easy.
if not your goin to have to find a good roofer to flash your chimney.


You certainly need a new roofer.

Your basic chimney flashing should look something like this:
click the picture for more / finished photos
or … lashing+1/

I am from the Unionville area Michigan. Thanks for your responses. It’s been a horrible experience. I have a court date of 02/01. I will have to sue him to get my money back to hire someone to do it properly. I just wanted to get some expert opinions to maybe help me with terminology, how flashing is suppose to be done, tips, and of course I am worried about the condition of my chimney effecting the outcome. It’s not horrible, but it’s bad enough. It still doesn’t excuse him of putting the flashing on 5 months after completion of the job nor excuse him from the other room still leaking where there is a peak joint. Any help for court would be appreciated. I don’t want to look stupid. Everything has been videotaped from where there was no flashing around the chimney to the present reoccuring leak. Hope that helps me in the long run. I could use more opinions/diagrams, comments, anything to help me out in this matter. Once again, thank you so much! HELP!

Thanks for the diagram Dennis! I will be sure to print that out because as i said he flashed on top of the shingles. You could see outside around the chimney from April through Sept. He “fixed” it and you could still see outside after he finally put the flashing on. I guess that’s when he tarred the heck out of it. There was nothing metal that was put under the shingles. Please keep the opinions/diagrams, comments coming. I don’t know how much to thank each of you. I will keep you posted on the progress if you would like. Just please try to help me anyway possible. This contractor has been reported to the state also. That is still pending but according to the state I still can file a small claim suit. Thanks!

Not to rub salt into your wound, but I fear you did not get a roofer at all. Sounds more like the “contruction company” scam.

Find a ROOFING contractor and forget teh handyman types.

Was he the low bidder? If so, by how much?

Actually, Aaron he IS the company. A sole proprietor. Also, he was $3,000 cheaper than another company. He also lives five miles from me. I thought I could trust a “neighbor” but I guess not. His help quit on him about a month into the two projects I had him do. He basically did the roof here himself and i bet anything he rushed to fit in his other jobs. He has a builders license (which anyone can get easily I hear) He had no bad marks on his license, he had great references (I could only get ahold of one though). I checked on the internet on the states website. I hated to report this family man to the state and hate taking him to court, but what can you do? I waited until the 17th month to report him to the state. Michigan gives you 18 months to do so. I thought I was being nice. He had at least six to ten times to fix the problem. He only made them worse. He did want to come out to “box” in the chimney for free. I had to buy the materials. I think he wanted to cover up his crappy work. Besides it would have still leaked eventually. Live and learn.




I just did an inspection on some losy workmanship. Found some other problems not related to workmanship.

Gave the person a report on what needed to be done. Found things that noone else did. Price was to high to fix their roof. So they are going with someone else who could not find the problems with their roof.

Let them get burned agian. Maybe the 3 time around I will be cheap enough for them.

I think it is pretty funny that people will go with the “contractors” that cannot even deduce the problems…and then theyre supposed to fix the problems after we find them…but they can’t even tell what the problems are…I dont even like to leave too detailed an estimate anymore.

that about sums it up