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I live in Canyon Country in a home with a detached garage on the property.

About two years ago I had this garage re-roofed by a reputable contractor. During the installation he recommended that I put one of those whirlybird vents on top of the roof. I told him that it would be good and bought one which he installed.

During these last rains, right where the vent is installed it is leaking into the garage. When I called him about this, he told me that because I provided the vent that he isn’t responsible for the leaking.

Is that true, can he do this? Is this fair? What if he broke it during the installation?

-Juanita H.


You have become the sort of pickle in the middle of this.

Had the roofer provided the equipment he would be fully responsible, but because you provided the product, it’s a bit of a different story.

With the photo being taken from the ground I don’t have much to offer with my opinion of how the installation looks. There is the possibility that it was a good product and he did bend it…but how are we to know?

There’s no way to guarantee where the problem lies, including a manufacturer defect, until an inspection is done.

I usually don’t go to the contractor’s defense, however, in this case I will because he could be absolutely right. It could be a manufacturer defect and he installed it correctly.

This would be the same as you going to a restaurant and providing your own steak, then complaining that the steak is tough. It is your purchase of the product and he had no control over it.

With that said, unfortunately, it seems as though you’ll have to pay once again; to have a roofer out to repair whatever this problem is.

I recommend for this and all other work, that if you are hiring a contractor then let them provide the entire job including product, that way they own it. It’s unfortunate that someone loses in a situation like this, but there is truly no way of knowing where the problem lies until this has had someone to troubleshoot. Good luck.


I live in Canyon Country and recently had a minor leak. I waited until the rains stopped and then opened up the drywall where the leak is showing. I have water-tested this area repeatedly and I can’t recreate this leak.

I have waited through the last several rains and the leak seems to magically disappeared, and I’m bewildered.

What do I do in a case like this? I don’t see signs of leaking anywhere else, and I looked within the cavity that I opened, with a flashlight, to see if there was any moisture or evidence of water in the area, and nothing.

– Ivan S.


I had the exact same issue on a dining room window in my own home, about fifteen years ago. I went through the same steps that you’re talking about and here it is fifteen years later, and the area has never leaked again.

I call them anomalies, and they don’t happen often but, when they do it sure causes us to scratch our heads.

I’d wait it out through a few more rains, and then after making sure it is completely dry in the area, then close your walls back up. Short of tearing that side of your house open, and I don’t find any reason to do so with what you’re telling me, you should just keep an eye out for this area every time it rains, but don’t lose sleep over it. If with water testing it hasn’t leaked, you’re likely going to be fine just as I have been. Good luck

Hi Robert,

I very much enjoy your articles in The Signal. We live in Saugus and have a problem that is probably pretty common. Termites have been found in the posts and beams in our patio cover. It’s probably been over 20 years since we’ve replaced any of the wood components. We would like to replace the current patio cover with one with a solid cover – right now the cover has lattice on top. We are considering 3 different materials for the structure – wood, as we have now, vinyl, and Alumawood. With wood we have concerns of re-infestation by termites. I would probably prefer vinyl, but am somewhat concerned with sun and heat damage over time. The Alumawood looks interesting, but I have not actually seen the product in person. Which of these would you recommend? Thanks for your help.

– Larry G.


Without any question, the aluminum type product. The vinyl will discolor and warp, and the wood will always need maintenance. The aluminum product will last for many years with no maintenance or discoloration. Many years ago I had an aluminum cover and always remember hearing the rains from the inside of the house and enjoyed the noises from it. Good luck, thank you for writing in. If you provide an address, our office can send you an IMS/ Signal coffee mug.

Robert Lamoureux has 38 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].

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