Robert Lamoureux: Tips on how to repair a leaky roof

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 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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Question No. 1:

Greetings Robert! Remember me! One of your many old faithful readers/fans! Thought I would get one more question in for you in 2019 to help me troubleshoot an old nagging problem! 

You may recall I emailed you earlier this year about water coming down the inside behind the drywall and pooling into my second-floor bedroom. I had a reputable roofer troubleshoot the problem and he did a partial roof replacement in June in three sections above the leak because the paper was old and worn (house in Valencia Summit built in 1989) and was long overdue. I now have the heavy-duty underlayment on my roof that seems solid — he pulled off my tile, replaced flashing on the roof, inspected for rot, put down new underlayment, put the tile back, got the necessary permits and inspections, etc. Did everything right. 

After the rains earlier this month, I can still feel dampness if I push my fingers behind the baseboard and drywall in the corner of the bedroom. It was a decent rain we had early this month and I know we are in for more this season. I am convinced it is coming from the flashing that is located against the siding. The roofer repositioned the flashing for me to create an outlet for the water, but I think it is trickling down behind the siding where the facia board meets the siding. I have taken some photos so you can see what I am talking about. 

I can’t re-create the problem with a water test, but it is difficult for a rookie like me to know what to do. I noticed some rot on the facia board, especially where it meets the siding that you can see in the photo. What do you think Robert? I am wondering if I need to get someone out who really knows construction and is patient enough to pinpoint this problem for me and fix it! Perhaps the flashing in that area needs to be replaced or repositioned or the facia board and siding has rotted, and water is seeping in somehow. 

I have no idea if I am supposed to work with a roofer, a carpenter or a contractor! Grateful for any advice or referrals you can give me! Thanks, so much Robert, and Merry Christmas to you and Mikey! 

Cathy R.

Answer No. 1

Cathy, yes, I remember your question from some months back, thank you for writing in again.

Robert Lamoureux shows fascia and trim boards deteriorated by rot.
Courtesy photo

The area in the photo that I Photoshopped is very suspect. The rot in the fascia and trim boards should not be deteriorated as the pictures show. I’d ask the roofer to revisit that area. There should be a custom flashing detail made to minimize the sheathing of the water in this area. Hope this helps. If not, reach out to me again. 

Best, Robert

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