Thursday, April 12, 2012

Water Above My Head

A little while ago, a storm hit.  It was POURING rain... and my house has no shingles and no tarp (which is very odd because the roofer specifically told me this morning that he was going out to buy a new tarp).  Water was dripping from the light fixture in my kitchen ceiling.  This is bad.

There's a puddle of water in my garage.  I'm guessing the only reason there are no puddles in my house is that the insulation in the attic soaked up the rain.  

There's water damage to the plywood over the garage... and probably to the plywood over the rest of the house.

Why did the roofer not put a tarp over my house?  All of this could have been avoided.  I am livid.

As soon as the roofer arrived this morning, I told him what had happened.  To his credit, he responded with, "Don't worry, I'm here to take care of you." and immediately went to look at the problem.  It turns out that only a small area of the garage had been left bare (just enough to cause a scary puddle to form... like the little pool of blood in a horror movie that indicates you're about to discover something really terrifying).  The rest of the roof was fairly well protected with tar paper.  The water in the kitchen had come in around a vent pipe.

Luckily, the storm had been brief and the plywood over the garage dried rapidly, leaving no permanent damage.  Inspection of the attic revealed dry, fluffy insulation throughout.  WHEW! 

I am relieved but still grouchy about the situation.  Why leave one section of the garage bare?  And why not tarp the roof?  (And while we're at it, why leave boxes of stuff on the roof that could (and did) get blown off by the wind (but fortunately didn't land on anything important).)  The roofer admitted he should have tarped the roof and apologized for scaring me.  ("As a homeowner, I can understand why you'd be concerned about water coming in."  Damn right I'm concerned!  Water dripping from a light fixture = bad.)  He also made a point of telling me that if there were any damage, he'd make it right.  In my experience, contractors don't admit when they've made a mistake, and they certainly don't say they'll make it right.  A contractor with a hint of integrity is a rare thing.  I guess this guy isn't so bad, and I refrained from punching, kicking or otherwise taking out my frustration on him.

Ugh!  I really did not need this drama.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go put black dye on all the new grey hair I've sprouted. :P


  1. Oh Good Grief! How incompetent not to have even sheeted the job with a cheap roll of plastic before leaving for the day?! Cutting that corner has bitten the roofer in the ass this time.
    I shouldn't think you need any advice on what to do now as you've already started collecting evidence for anyone who may need to see it in the future... Tell your insurer, etc.

    Something similar has just happened here actually. My builder has just stripped the roof off an outbuilding and left it unprotected and of course we've had heavy rain. Fortunately there was nothing much inside to take harm - my log supply has got a bit wet though. Meh, at least he did a decent job of protecting the electrics from the wet.

    I've experienced the full horror of a burst pipe in the attic so I know what can happen with regard to water damage. I can only guess at how how you feel toward the roofer!
    Keep us posted,
    Big sympathy,

  2. OH NO!!!!! Well, maybe you'll get more than a new roof out of this? Gotta look on the bright side. Ugh.... Owning a house is fun but so many parts of it suck too. Sending good mojo your way. :D

  3. O.M.G. That is inexcusable!!! Document everything (of course, I'm sure you already have). Whatever you do, don't let them get away with not making this right.

  4. You have my sympathy both for this and the how busy you are at work.

    I hope your roofer doesn't try to get out of paying for the damage; his negligence is completely inexcusable. I hope that the weather clears up and everything dries out quickly!

  5. You, my dear, are living proof of two adages it seems. I'll refrain from stating them so as to not rub salt into the wound. Have an extra stiff drink.

  6. That is just pure laziness! I can't believe someone would leave a job in that kind of state! Sending good vibes your way.

  7. The least is, that he should fix everything with no extra charge. Oh must be so stressful for you. :(

    I remember, when we were alone at home as kids with my sister, and such a huge storm hit the town, that the neighbour's chimney crashed to our house's roof, and a lightning hit the same neighbour's tree. :(

    I hope it turns out all good in the end!

  8. Thank you all for the kind words. I really don't understand why he left without putting a tarp over the roof - especially when there were dark clouds in the sky. But in my experience, contractors tend to be rather careless.

    I am somewhat comforted by the apparently dry condition of the attic insulation... and more comforted by the fact that I retain 50% of the money until the job is finished to my satisfaction.

  9. Oh my God! I h ope you have pictures of everything, including the outside :( My parent's roof recently started leaking, and to fix it is too expensive, so we have to put a bucket under it :(. I'm glad your insulation is dry! It's a good sign!

  10. Wow well I'm glad it wasn't a more serious problem with the water damage, I'd be upset too, he should have completed his job!