Dripping Dormer

17 Apr 2009
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United Kingdom
Hi there

We've had some dripping coming through a downlight in the dormer roof and also sometimes the water drips down at the bottom at the window edge. Here are some photos.

About 6" above the circular light is a dark band on the roof (marked in red).

Well, we have a lot of penetrating damp coming through the parapet above this dormer which is still not fixed.

Could this be a leak in the lead above the dormer ?

Or could it be due to the penetrating damp in the parapet getting progressively worse ?

The rain has to get going a bit before the dripping begins.

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Here's a link to the parapet thread for reference.


Still not been able to fix the parapet.

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Has any work at all been done on your flat?

Are your water damage/roofing posts all referring to the same flat?

Water in elec devices can be the cause of fire.
Yes, on the other side I had 2 roofers do work on it. Hope it's fixed, not sure though as it's taking a long time to dry.

On this side, not as yet. I have one quote for re=rendering the parapet £1500 with no flashing work (he's a plasterer). And another quote for £3500 which seemed excessive. Also neighbours are involved so is slow.

This dripping is new this month.
I dont intend to read all the back posts but i do think that you have slightly confused and muddied the waters a little by not being clear about the total footprint (a scan would have helped) of leaks in "both sides" of the flat.

What work ( "on the other side") have the latest two roofers quoted for, and accomplished for their money? Do you have written quotes or final pics?
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Thanks, well the "other side" is a totally separate issue concerning a valley, now 'fixed' - it was on the other side of the property. Best not to mix it with this thread.
Here, last time I put some energy into this I saw 8 builders resulting in one quote for re-rendering the parapet for £1500 (but couldn't do flashings was only a plasterer), and a quote for £3500 which wasn't acceptable to the neighbours.

Action plan is to investigate tomorrow and this try to polyfila the crack ontop the parapet next to the window edge, and paint over with aquaseal. Don't want this to get worse.

And to call up another 8 or so builders and see if anyone wants to the job. I just looked up Federation of Master Builders roofer recommendations in the area so have a list of numbers.

If anyone knows if the crack in the parapet or its general poor condition could lead to dripping in the ceiling of the dormer - that would be 'good' to hear. Or if this dripping would indicate some new damage in the leadwork above the dormer - which would be a new further problem.

Any recommendations for builders in Brighton would be appreciated,

Or any general comments as to the approach I am taking

Hi can someone advise the possible sources of this leak.

After rain starts after about 30 mins I get a solid drip drip drip coming from the the interior roof of the doormer at the window edge, it drips down the inside of the window. Doesn't have to be driving rain either.

Occasionally if the rain is very heavy it drips from the downlight.

I don't understand where this water is coming from. We had some damp coming through the parapet to the wall, but that is sorted now (Acrypoled the parapet).

Is it possible that the water comes from the tiles 2 meters further up from the window? Some of them do not sit flat, and one just under the apex has a small chip. But I put my finger under those tiles today (rained yesterday) and I could not feel any wet. Could the water come all the way down from there, wouldn't it mark the ceiling?

Thanks for any advice.

How much overlap do the lead sheets have? It's a fairly shallow pitch, so plenty of overlap is needed.
John :)
I don't know how much overlap, I tried to peel one back but it was very stiff and i didn't want to snap it. But they look good quality don't they? That's what I've been told.

From the marking on the ceiling, does it look like the water could be flowing down from the flashings above or the tiles at the top of the slope? What kind of pattern would that show, would it show it streaks all the way down?

It would be good if I there was something simple I could do to stop and possible leaks, even if temporarily as a forensic effort. Just to find out where the leaks are. Not sure if I could wedge a plastic dam under the bottom row of tiles.

But, basically finding where the problem is is 90% of the problem.
It looks quite a fair roof as far as I can see......however, see the middle lead roll, and the tile above it that's pushed back a bit? Is there a good tuck in of lead under there?
John :)
All I can say is that it seemed pretty good I felt around underneath and it seemed about 3".

Although the tiles above the rolls are not flat and so their ovelaps are little dodgy. Perhaps they should have been angle ground into shape - is that how its done?

Are the marks on the ceiling any use in determining origin ?

Well in terms of knowing for sure, what should I do ?

My plan is to do some patching filling around the LHS of the exterior of the window frame, removing the gutter and under there. 1 more coat of Acrypol on the parapet, have some left. And then getting a garden hose and spraying sequentially, leaving the tiles till last. At this point I cannot see any way the water is getting in at the front, but who knows what I will see when I take the gutter off.

Don't know much about tiling or angle grinders but I suppose if the leak seems from there I could cut them to fit, although they were not easy to dislodge. I suppose I could cut them in situ.

Also I do not know what to make of it taking about 30mins after the rain for the water to start dripping and then to be a steady drip. Does that mean it is pooling ? Or does that mean it is travelling ?
Welllll the leak is clearly up hill from the ceiling lamp. Can you see any traces if you pop the lamp out, and take a peek there?
John :)
Makes sense.

Well it only came through the light during the heavy rains in Spring. Hasn't been through there since.

Unless the water pools at the lower edge and only in heavy rain moves up to the light ... but possibly it couldn't get up that slope.

Sounds like I had best cut those tiles sitting on the rolls.
Well, it certainly won't do any harm!
I guess those tiles are held on the laths by their nibs? Gentle levering upwards usually releases them with a bit of a struggle, and ripped knuckles!
John :)

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