Emergency roof repair - leaking valley

9 Sep 2009
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United Kingdom
So I am at the end of my tether with this.

We had a leak in a bad storm which resulted in water coming through the plaster in the bedroom.

I went into the loft and the leak was in the worst of places to get to. The ceilings up stairs are high, and ceiling is pitched as it gets towards the outside of the room. Up in the loft, the roof matches it, so at the edge of the loft you have a 4" gap between the valley board and the ceiling below it as it runs down at a 45 degree angle. The result is, you can barely reach down into where the leak is, it's not big enough to put a bucket or any container at all to catch the water, so the best I could do is stuff some old towels in the gap. At the same time I noticed we had water all over the side wall near the chimney.

I called around, no one had any time for a quote let alone a repair. I found a chap who could do something that week, got him round and he lead flashed the chimney and told me he repaired the valley. Roll on a week to the next storm and the chimney was fixed, but the valley was still leaking. I got up and had a look at the valley, they'd just painted it with some of that acrypol rubbish. I called him several times, after two weeks he came back out, said he'd fixed the problem and patched the lead. Well roll on another week and the storms came, yup, water back in the room.

I called another roofing company, they came out, said they had a problem with my flat roof? Erm, no it's a pitched roof and I told someone it was the valley, they couldn't help me.

There's a hole in the back of the valley board where the leak is, so I squished some Butyl rubber on it as I saw there were a few 1! tears in the lead to try and stop it while we found someone else, but no, it's peeing in again today with the rain. I can't fashion anything together to catch the water because of the position of it, I even tried putting some tubing on a small funnel but A, it still won't fit in the gap and B, the water drips won't run up hill into the container.

So I am stuffed, we just called our house insurance company but their claims line is closed at 5pm and said we have to wait until tomorrow!

I've got no other ideas on how to stem the leak other than shoving old towels up there which are quickly getting wet, then spreading the wet onto the plaster ceiling of the bedroom and wrecking it.

Does anyone have any ideas at all on what I can put on it as a temporary repair whilst it is wet to stop the water damage until I can try and get someone else out to repair it?

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If you are "at the end of your tether" why not post some pics of the stack, the valley and inside the loft? Pics viewing straight up the valley would help.

The more people you have traipsing about your roof the more chance of slate or tile cracks. Did any of them use roof ladders?

Best modern roofing practice is for the roofer to provide before and after vids.
If you post which area you are in, someome on here may be able to help? Sounds like the lead Valley needs replacing tbh...
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Sounds like your best bet to minimise the damage is poke a hole in the ceiling underneath the leak and then use a bucket in the room to catch the water (yes it'll be annoying but at least the rest of the ceiling and the timber won't get saturated).

The long term fix is going to be to relead the valley (or fibreglass it) but the rainy season isn't the best of times. If the lead has failed on the slope rather than the flat then stuffing some felt support trays (outside) under the tiles/slates/whatever might improve things especially if you seal around it/them with some goo, or even a chunk of DPM tucked under the tiles both sides of the valley and bridging it, anything to reduce the volume of water coming in will help. Does surprise me that acrypol hasn't fixed it- unless the hole you can see is not where the rain is coming in

PS Good odds your insurers will knock any claim back under reasonable wear and tear/lack of regular maintenance unless there's been a significant storm in your area recently

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