6 Oct 2010
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United Kingdom

Not sure if anyone on here can help but we need a roofer to do several repairs to our 1912 mid terrace with a valley. It had a new roof put in roughly 16 years ago with a Velux window.

The main problems are:

  • a long horizontal damp patch along the landing ceiling that separates the landing from the rear large bathroom (that may once have been a third bedroom). Had dripping water coming from the light fitting, in the middle of the landing 3 months ago, after the first rain after next door's roof had been redone. Then recently, in the corner of the landing meeting the bathroom (after their roofers had come back to repoint a bonding gutter they had put in between our two roofs.).
  • we also have damp patch horizontally along the upper external wall of the bathroom where the guttering is. We have seen that the old wooden fascia is rotten and is leaking water behind it. All the lining paper is wrinkly in the bathroom too.
I've had 4 roofers out to quote now and also one from 3 months ago from my insurance. I was initially just looking for 3 quotes to make sure they all agree on what the issue was and also to gauge the going rate, as well as find someone I felt I could trust (as far as that can be done).

The first roofer stated the lead valley had hairline cracks in it. - we had had that cromapoled only 3 years ago and the pointing down the sides redone for £320, so I wasn't too pleased that it needed doing again already.

He also utterly condemned the roofer's work from next door, saying they should never have put in a bonding gutter between two terraced roofs and that the roofer's hadn't tied the felting across to our roof and it was flapping down, waiting to leak in the future.

He said they should have taken 1 metre of tiles off on both sides to overlap the felting and tile across both roofs.

He said he couldn't take out the bonding gutter now it was done though but could correct the felting for £500.

The second roofer was an 'old timer' sort who went up in my loft on my request and said the felting and roof overall was fine and he suspected the problem to be the lead valley cracks and pointing and that it really needed replacing but he could cromapol it again if we wished. He agreed that the fascia needed replacing too. He mentioned lead being more expensive than fibreglass and quoted for fibreglass in the end.

The third roofers mainly talked about a garden they'd just done and confirmed the second roofer's analysis but didn't see a problem with the bonding gutter at the front. Instead they said the front gutter was dipping and needing sorting out.

The fourth roofer with loads of 5 star reviews from Yell, said we had loose ridge tiles and picked one up in his hand and said we might as well replace the full 5 metre strip for £660 (which was an additional issue we never expected and no one else mentioned).

He also wants £960 to replace the valley with fibreglass and £460 to do the rear fascia and gutter, so about Two grand!!!

He also said there had been several poor repairs on tiles, with cement holding broken tiles together and that the ridge tiles had likely come away as the previous roofers had watered down the pointing mix, instead of doing 3 parts sand to one part cement and that it was a common thing. I don't get why anyone would skimp like that on cheap materials and suspect that's another scare tactic.

So my other half wants me to get on and hire someone but I don't know who's opinion to trust as the only thing they agree on is the valley and fascia needing work.

I'd really like a new lead valley too over fibreglass, which they're only giving a 10 yr guarantee on but don't know how much more that would be and what is the deal with old lead recycling? Do roofers make money on that? Is that why they'd like to replace it? Can't lead be properly repaired?


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Generally with pitched roofs, the problem is directly above the damp in the rooms below, or damp can be seen in the loft and this will show the location of the problem.

Also, the roof relies on roofing felt to keep the water out. You could take one or all the tiles off, and no rain should be getting in. So it is the defective felt that should be rectified, not just a tile or ridge re fixed here and there - although these might be issues in need of repair, they are not the cause of your damp problem.

So what part of the roof is above those damp patches?
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No roof covering, when laid to the manufacturers instructions, should rely on any secondary measure to stop water ingress.
No roof covering, when laid to the manufacturers instructions, should rely on any secondary measure to stop water ingress.

So what you are saying is that when the OP's roofer rebeds that ridge tile, the leak is resolved, and he does not need to repair the felt as the OP can rely on tiles and not the secondary measure felt?

Surely the leak into the property is via the felt which is defective and that is what needs to be repaired. If the felt is sound then any water getting in past the tiles, merely runs on the surface of the felt into the gutter.

Repairs to the tiles are secondary.
Re-bedding the ridge is akin to putting lipstick on a pig.

It's clear why the roof leaks. Claiming it's due to the felt is BS. I know you know that:sneaky:
Re-bedding the ridge is akin to putting lipstick on a pig.

It's clear why the roof leaks. Claiming it's due to the felt is BS. I know you know that:sneaky:

Oh. Why is is leaking then? I'm lacking clarity.

And why is rebedding a tile "putting lipstick on a pig" when it's the "[primary] measure to stop water ingress" if laid to the manufacturers instructions?
Well as fascinating as your arguing between yourselves is ;), the actual damp is directly below the valley, not the ridge tiles.

It is also damp along were the rotten fascia board is that has had cement pointed in along the top edge that faces the rain at some point. The first roofer said it should have had waterproof taping along the top, not cement.

The ridge tiles were an additional issue the fourth roofer found, and although he said it was a couple of them, he said you might as well take the whole row off (5m) and clean off and rebed them all, with his infamous 3/1 sand and cement mix that he says is often watered down by unscrupulous roofer's. He said merely repointing them in will not last. He wants £620 for that part anyway.

Today I checked what the first roofer would charge for this and he is saying £320 for the same.

The first roofer is also quoting £90 for new fascias at the back of the mid terrace side run.
£110 to repoint the gable end where the tiles have not been hung over properly, exposing the cement pointing causing crumbling.
£90 for realigning the front gutter as it is dripping
£620 for a new lead valley.

So £1230 all in vs £2015 for the fourth roofer.

What do you guys think?
I don't do forum pricing as it's more likely to be wrong than right.

The valley has mortar washed out and dropped tiles (4 & 9 down from the ridge the worst). Nowt wrong with a fiberglass valley.
Repairing the lead, forget it. Recycling? it's scrap.

The several tiles at the eaves look to have dropped. That will be due to your rotten fascia.

The bonding gutter:whistle: No roofer did that work. There was no need for it.

Edit: That is a dry bonding gutter and has not been used correctly.
the actual damp is directly below the valley, not the ridge tiles

So is the roofing felt.

I used the ridge tile as an example based on your mention of it.

Your quotes seem to be for silly patch repairs which are easy to do, and good earners.

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