Leaking parapet. Unprofessional roofer? What to do now?

24 Jan 2013
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United Kingdom
Water was coming into a front upper ceiling corner on our 3-storey terraced house in London. It is not possible to see the roof from ground level.

I called in a roofer and asked him to "fix the leak". He said fine and said he'd check out and clean the gutters as part of the service.

He sent (and I signed) a quote which says the following:

[code:1]Replace flashings to the left parapet and rear.
Render over the top of the parapet wall and down the sides to the flashings finish, to a smooth float finish.
Remove all associated debris generated by these works and leave the site clean and tidy.

£1,152 plus VAT[/code:1]

There were other items on the quote like scaffolding and fixing a piece of flat roof out the back, but I've left these unrelated items out for brevity.

The work took place. I climbed the scaffolding and inspected the roof yesterday (by myself). I have attached photos.

As you can see, the parapet is in a bad state with lots of foliage. It has only been rendered my side with little or not attempt to remove the foliage.

I question whether this will have "fixed the leak". I think on seeing the state of the parapet, the roofer should have given me a ring and asked if I wanted to speak to my neighbour to get the whole parapet fixed.

What options do I have here if the roofer is uncooperative?
What do you think of the job?

The neighbour has not seen any leakage on her side although the corner of the room in question is obscured by built-in furniture. She does not want to pay to fix anything until next year. We are friendly and on good terms.

I guess the worst case scenario is the roofer will try to make us pay another £1,152 plus VAT to fix the neighbour's side (a massive sum, but it seems to be impossible to get a roofer for a small job in London).

Best case scenario is the roofer cooperates and at least renders the whole of the top of the parapet for free.

Many thanks for your help.


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Can't see the cement staying there for too long, a few frosts and it will be off, IMO of course.

The gutters have not been cleaned very well.
Thanks Terry.

What would you have done? Repoint and coping stones on top?

What would you do now?
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First of all I would have suggested bricks removed and new brickwork and a suitable capping.

New lead as done.

and cleaned gutters properly.

But it would have been more expensive than the work you had done.

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