Warranty Work on Metal Roof Leak Fix

GreenDog194September 4, 2013

Our contractor replaced our torchdown roof with a metal roof and tuckpointed the chimney and sealed it. During each heavy rain after he put the roof on, there have been leaks at the intersection of the chimney and the roof.

First time after the leak, he came out and the roofer said "not my roof" and the mason said "not my tuck pointing," and then they covered the chimney with tarp. Eventually, the contractor fixed something with the flashing and had the mason seal the chimney and re-do the tuckpointing.

Second leak, I have the roofer out again and again have a tarped chimney. This time the contractor explains that it will be $2000 to take the metal roof off in the section and put it back on, and if the roofer doesn't think he has a problem, I need to foot the bill.

The roofer has already told me that he did not caulk or seal the underlayment ice-water barrier to the chimney edge because "it's the roof and flashing that do all the work, so I don't have to do that."

I think that if I have a roof leak and it is under warranty, the contractor has to fix it and pay the cost of whatever it takes to investigate the source of the problem. It seems a real conflict of interest to have the roofer take the roof off, claim there wasn't a problem, put the roof back on, and stick me with the bill.

We live in Seattle, so rain is a fact of life. Is there some third party that comes in to make calls on situations like this? Are there written guidelines on how to install a metal roof that could help identify objectively what should have been done? What do you recommend? We are already in settlement negotiations with the contractor on other matters (oy vey).

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What does the contract state in reference to the warranty? What does the actual warranty state?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 10:29AM
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This either falls in punch list work because we have not had final close out payment (negotiating that) or warranty work. As to punch list work, payment is due after the work is corrected. As to warranty work, the contract specifies that the work shall be "free from material structural defects and shall return and repair any work for 1 year" and there are product warranties as well. The contractor must cure the defect "in a manner customary in the industry" or "pay the Owner the cost of the repair or replacement of the defect as estimated by the Contractor" We have to give 45 notice of the defect before filing any claim.

I'd say that a leaking roof is a material structural defect.

But that brings up a good point, if there is a leak in our plumbing, is that a "structural" defect?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 11:00AM
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It sounds as though the roof doesn't meet the minimum requirements for slope for a metal roof if you're replacing a torch down roof. That will continue to be an issue throughout the life of the roof unless ice and water shield was used 100% under the entire roof. Without enough slope, the water builds up during a rain and can get between the joins of a metal roof.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 11:19AM
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Yes, good point LWO. I was trying to think why it would be leaking and was struggling to think of why but that very well may be it!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 2:19PM
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Our roofer and contractor selected the roof material based on the pitch of our roof. The metal roof is compatible with a 1/2":12 roof pitch: http://www.nuraymetals.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Series-2000-Data-Sheet.pdf The roof pitch on our house is 1.25:12, so the material is appropriate for the application.

I paid for ice and water shield under the roof, but I don't know if it was used 100% under the roof, or if it was properly sealed to the chimney. [BTW I paid for lots of things that were not done, including 1/3 of my kitchen cabinets, but that is another story.]

How should the ice and water shield have been installed around the chimney? I can't find any reliable technical docs on that one with my clumsy google search skills.

Here is a link that might be useful: NuRay Metal Roof for Low Slope

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 5:43PM
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