Roof Leak

I contracted a company to repair my roof with insurance proceeds.

A month after the roof was completed, during the first snow storm, i had a leak come in around the flashing of the chimney and it leaked into my garage.

The roofer came out same day it started to leak and caulked the flashing as a temporary fix and said he would come back out to take a look and fix it permanently once the snow storm has stopped.

I requested that he come over for a meeting and I have expressed to him that I will not pay the remaining balance and that I will not allow him to get on the roof and fix it.

I have opted to hire a 3rd party company to evaluate the roof and tell me what repairs need to be done and inspect the entire roof for any other problems.

Do I have aright to:

A) Deny him the opportunity to repair the roof AFTER he caulked it

B) Hire the 3rd party company to do whatever is necessary to repair the roof, including but not limited to any drywall and insulation replacement.

C) Use the remaining balance to pay for the repairs to 3rd party and anything above and beyond, bill the original roofing company to pay it.

I am no way going to let the original company touch my property.

Thank You

You’re not going to like the answers you’ll get here.

First of all, I don’t believe any of us are attorneys, which is who you should be discussing this with.

Second, I believe the contractor has the right to repair the deficiency. You can hire an inspector at your own expense; later you may can recoup your expense on the 3rd party, but that will likely be in either court or arbitration.

Third, if you are going to hold the contractor’s money, make sure it is not an excessive amount. For example, withholding a $2000 payment for $75 worth of work is not reasonable, and that kind of action may come back on you.

My advice? Work with the contractor if you can to resolve your issues. Giving ultimatums and withholding money generally fans the fire, if you will. Now, there does come a time when you have to go against the contractor, but make sure it isn’t just a knee-jerk reaction.

JMTC

Sounds like you have a legal question, not a roofing question. I would therefore contact an attorney. Laws governing these types of things are often local or state and vary dependent upon location.

Do you have other complaints about this contractor? From my own limited understanding of the law, for our own area, you may not hold back payment without allowing the original contractor the opportunity to fix the problem. But again, I wouldn’t ask an attorney a roofing question nor would I ask a roofer a legal question unless all you want are opinions.

Thank You for the reply.

I absolutely will not have them come back out to my home. They tried coming today and I threatened to call the police and press for trespassing.

I still owe them $4,800 and am going to use the funds to pay the 3rd party company, SELA.

I did sign a contract stating what work and the amount the work is done for.

I had them do my siding, and they sided it only to find out the city wanted a house wrap inspection, so they had to remove a wall of siding for the inspection. They said that normally the city approves a section, but for some reason on my home they wanted the whole wall, weird dont you say?

Then they were missing 2 squares of the siding, which was a special order, so it took 2 weeks for it to come in and they left the scaffold on my yard.

Everything just adds up and now with this roof leak i had it with them. I am deathly afraid and allergic to mold and if i have a test done and mold shows, I am having everything replaced…at the original companies expense.

Are you sure they have a right to fix the problem? I am in Minnesota.

My attorney has advised me that it was good i did not sign the limited warranty paperwork and to direct all communication to him.

I am not paying those guys a dime anymore.

Thanks

I think you are being a bit premature about concerns over mold. Since you have an attorney, I’m not sure why you are pursuing this here.

Frankly, holding back $4,800 for a leak to your chimney sounds a bit extreme. Let me rephrase that, a lot extreme. Unless there is more to the story, doesn’t sound all that bad. Yes, they made a mistake with the siding but it doesn’t sound malicious or totally incompetent.

Do you work? Let me ask you, suppose you got paid monthly. Suppose your boss came to you at the end of the month and said “I’m sorry to let you know but you made a mnistake last month so we are holding back 2 weeks of your pay.” I guess if you never, ever made a mistake, nothing to worry about. That is essentially what you’re doing here. Even worse, I assume this contractor paid for materials themselves. I’m guessing at your own job, all materials are paid for the by the company.

Ok Thank You for the response.

Actually, let me come out with this now.

I am the contractor, I was speaking as if I was the home owner how they spoke to me.

She has refused to let us do the repair, saying the first attempt in the snow storm was the chance, and all we did was caulk it.

She complained that the caulk was a breeding ground for mold in this weather, but we used a caulk that was suitable for the temperature.

She says she is deathly allergic to mold and had the issue before with a basement leak and will not stand for this.

She will not communicate with us and has directed everything to her attorney.

I have documented all conversations with dates and what was discussed.

I apologize for not coming out as the contractor because I did not want to be looked down upon from my fellow roofers.

I called our attorney and have not had a chance to speak with him yet about this matter.

I was thinking of letting her do what she wants and when time comes, take her to court and sue her with a lien on the house.

My worry is that she will want the 3rd party to replace the whole roof and drywall etc. She is that type of person.

Again Thanks, this was our only problem this year.

This was last Saturday. It is not 9 days past and I am worried since nothing was done, there will be some mold.

She claims she can “feel it in the air” when she walks into the garage

First, do you think we’d feel better towards you with deception than if you identified yourself?

You say she is “that type of person”. What type is that? Was it a different type than the type that signed the contract?

Sorry about the deception, I honestly thought it would be better. I humbly apologize.

The one who signed the contract was the husband. She was out of the scene the whole time until this happened and now she took over.

Throughout the whole process, once we got the roof bought by insurance and they got their first check, they tried to play hard ball with us, saying “oh well we know this is alot of money and we want more work done to the house. We want the front of the house sided, etc.”

I told them that if we did do the front of the house, which was cedar, not aluminum,fine. But then they tried to change the color of the house, and the soffits and fascia were not paid for, so we were not going to do that, then they changed their mind and said fine just do it to what the insurance paid for.

I have advised her that we would fix the problem, no issue there, and if she wanted a 3rd party roofer to fix the leak, then we would deduct it from the remaining balance. There should no way be more than $1k of work, including the drywall if needed.

They are money hungry people, I knew it from the beginning because they didn’t want to pay their deductible or for any OSB if that was needed.

Thanks Authentic Dad…appreciate your presence.

You know…it is odd how opinions change once the truth comes out.

My origonal responce toward the customer wood be that she did paid part of her balance and hire a third party to come out to inspect the leak area. Let the contractor come in to complete the repair (she has to by law to allow the contractor honor thier warranty) and negotiate a discount on the final billing (cost of the insp)

I am a firm believer of 3rd party insp (Not by home inspector though) and if the only option is hiring another roofing company to insp…then so be it.

Looks like that is what you offered to her.

QUESTION: Did you make your bid to re-counter the chimney. Most chimney leaks that I come across after we put a brand new roof on is this. The customer negates the counter flashing replacement at the time the contract is signed…just curious.

Lesson learned. It is little short of amazing how much people can change from the start, when they have little hope and no money, to when the insurance check is in their hands. I preach and preach to our guys about this phenomenon and the need to set some blunt and realistic expectations to negate it as much as possible. This works often but is certainly not 100%. We are extremely clear about the Homeowner paying their deductible. When they decline, we do as well. Amazingly, some still want us to participate in their Adjuster meeting and provide a fully prepared Xactimate estimate. We wish them the best and just move on.

There are also the few that go from Jekyll to Hyde once the check comes in. We generally are able to refresh their memory and move forward. On the rare occasions when it is clear they will be nothing but a major PITA, I just tell our guys to walk away and move on. Hard to do but not nearly as difficult as what you’re going through right now.

I would recommend getting your attorney involved and having them write a letter. If the attorney recommends it, you may wish to file a lien and a claim in small claims court. Follow your attorney’s recommendation, get over the emotion involved and most importantly, just move forward. Don’t let this incident keep you from other good work that is out there. 95% of the people you deal with are good people. I don’t let the 5% that are assholes jade my perception of the human race.

[quote=“Tryin2Learn”]Sorry about the deception, I honestly thought it would be better. I humbly apologize.

The one who signed the contract was the husband. She was out of the scene the whole time until this happened and now she took over.

Throughout the whole process, once we got the roof bought by insurance and they got their first check, they tried to play hard ball with us, saying “oh well we know this is alot of money and we want more work done to the house. We want the front of the house sided, etc.”

I told them that if we did do the front of the house, which was cedar, not aluminum,fine. But then they tried to change the color of the house, and the soffits and fascia were not paid for, so we were not going to do that, then they changed their mind and said fine just do it to what the insurance paid for.

I have advised her that we would fix the problem, no issue there, and if she wanted a 3rd party roofer to fix the leak, then we would deduct it from the remaining balance. There should no way be more than $1k of work, including the drywall if needed.

They are money hungry people, I knew it from the beginning because they didn’t want to pay their deductible or for any OSB if that was needed.

Thanks Authentic Dad…appreciate your presence.[/quote]

When you deal with insurance jobs, you have to be careful because the homeowners for some reason believe those insurance checks are theirs!

This is all very interesting.

The HO, should pay you. Before I knew you were the roofer I was thinking the same thing.

Here is a question-are you sure it is even leaking? Did you notice any specific problems when you caulked it? Did you do the flashing yourself or an employee or subcontractor? It seems like these folks may be crooked enough to just lie about the leak based on what I’ve heard.

I would hire an attorney immediately and slap a lien on the house.

Oh and by the way, it would have been nice to take the scaffolding away til the siding came in. :smiley:

[quote=“Cerberus”]
When you deal with insurance jobs, you have to be careful because the homeowners for some reason believe those insurance checks are theirs![/quote]

Actually, I’d say it differently. Those of us doing insurance work have to remember that until the Homeowner, and in some cases the mortgage company, endorse the check, they aren’t ours. It is imperative to set expectations correctly and stay on top of things. The longer the time the Homeowner has the check in hand, the greater the opportunity they will start looking for ways to screw the contractor. The economy we are in is so bad, I’ve seen Homeowners lose their jobs after they signed the contingency but before they got the insurance check. Tough situation that.

Wow, some peoples children. If all she wants to do is deal with her lawyer, then play the same way. I’m thinking you have the first opportunity to repair the leak, the fact she won’t let you on the property to fix the problem is a sign right there that she doesn’t want to pay for a roof.
Get your lawyer and lien papers in order, she’ll pay.

She’s probably thinking some new flooring would be nice, or maybe a new fur coat.

Has she proved there is a leak? Someone NOT letting me check it would be raising my suspisions, I would lawyer up and draw up the lien papers, I know around here if that 3rd party goes on roof to fix thats the end of my warranty on roof.

Thank You everyone for the replies.

On Saturday, the 13th, I received a phone call stating that the roof was leaking. It was snowing pretty heavy the night before which continued into that Saturday.

I immediately went over to the house to confirm where the leak was with the husband. I visually saw it leak in by the sheathing and brick of the chimney.

The job was done by a sub for us, who has done 40% of all of our work this year, and has 10 years experience.

I called him over, and that day, while still snowing, he went up on the roof and caulked it as a temporary fix until the snow stopped so we could get it fixed.

Since then, she has refused to let us back on the property to fix it, stating that the day we went to caulk it was our chance.

She is going to just screw herself by hiring the 3rd party and not paying us.

I will lawyer up, and actually received a VM today statsing to direct all communication to her attorney.

:roll:

PS, my sub and I are on the same page, and he sent me this via email to be forwarded over to her

my lawyer said I should send you this e-mail. Please forward it to the homeowners in Bloomington.

This should be considered notice that I am aware of the roof leak at the Bloomington house. This is to inform you that after I arrived to repair the leak, I was asked to leave and informed that I wasn’t allowed on the property and that if I returned, the police could be called. As of this point, I am capable, willing, and able to quickly remedy the leak, but am not given opportunity to do so by the homeowners. My offer to warranty my work stands, as long as I am given the opportunity to do so. Any work done to the roof immediately voids my original warranty in its entirety. I do not consider myself liable for and further water intrusion, as I have tried to gain access to the property to repair the leak and was denied.

Whatever communications you send to the Homeowner should also be done by certified mail. I would be sending her an invoice stating the balance due by certified mail as well. That will be necessary step to have documented once you begin the collection process.

Would I still be expecting to collect final payment even if the roof is leaking?

I know I should be asking a lawyer, but still waiting on the call back.

Thanks