Any Roofers out there?

ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
Hey all, so I have a roof that leaks in the winter, ice damns. Damn those ice damns!

I recently tried to get it fixed, but of the 4 roofers I contacted 2 won't return my calls, 1 is not accepting new work as they are full up and 1 quoted me $2,200 to pull up the shingles, put down ice and water shield and replace the shingles. The area in question is 6'x15' and that's more then I am willing to spend.

There is no power outlet close by to install heating wire, and the roof is too high to properly reach with a roof rake. I have tried filling nylons with salt and tossing them up there but no good.

So I had a thought and I am wondering what could go wrong. What if I got some of that Flexseal stuff and sealed where the shingles overlap for the first several courses so the water cant back up underneath the shingles? I only need it to last a couple of years and that section of the roof cant be seen from anywhere, so I don't care if it looks bad. Is this going to cause more problems then it solves? What could go wrong?

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  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    I can't say if that would work or not, but jeebus, that is a steep price for that

    I could get my entire house reroofed for slightly more than that!

    WiseManTobesbowenShogun
  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    if your getting ice dams then have a look at the insulation in your attic, and also make sure that your soffit vents aren't blocked.

    For heating cables it's fine to just run an outdoor rated extension cord up your gutters to get power close enough.

    But also that quote seems way too high, i've had friends/family get entire roofs done for about that cost.

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    Xaquin
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    The thing with taking a job like that is that it doesn't matter if you have a tiny piece of property, it's still about the same amount of time and labor utilization. Set up, tear down, travel, etc. are resource sinks in addition to the actual labor doing the roofing. It's also not like you can stack 3 tiny jobs into the same amount of time you could stack one job three times as big.

    This is why when roofing townhouses, for instance, neighbors will try to put in a group buy.

    disclosure: my only experience with roofing itself is as a volunteer doing habitat for humanity shit, but I've done plenty of home repair stuff and working with contractors.

    What is this I don't even.
  • ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    I did do the insulation thing for the house, but that part is an extension with a cathedral ceiling and there is no room inside the ceiling to do more insulation. No gutters, but it does have soffit vents and a ridge vent. I think the issue is that that piece of the roof is at a low pitch, maybe should never have been shingled? Also, it gets less sunlight then the rest of the roof, so the snow sticks around longer.

    Darkwolfe makes a good point that there are a lot of costs associated with setup. He quoted me $8k to replace the entire roof, which I don't need to do for at least a few more years. so i just want to limp along till then.

    Does anyone think that applying the Flexseal would cause water to seep through the shingles and then not be able to drain out? Can water seep through shingles? They are not in bad condition.

  • BlazeFireBlazeFire Registered User regular
    I don't know if this is a likely outcome, but could using the flexseal cause a different problem? If the water has no where to go, it will continue to "fill up" and just end up higher possibly.

    physi_marc
  • ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    That is a valid point BlazeFire, I had not really considered that the water would continue to creep up if it wasn't draining into my house.

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Hey all, so I have a roof that leaks in the winter, ice damns. Damn those ice damns!

    I recently tried to get it fixed, but of the 4 roofers I contacted 2 won't return my calls, 1 is not accepting new work as they are full up and 1 quoted me $2,200 to pull up the shingles, put down ice and water shield and replace the shingles. The area in question is 6'x15' and that's more then I am willing to spend.

    There is no power outlet close by to install heating wire, and the roof is too high to properly reach with a roof rake. I have tried filling nylons with salt and tossing them up there but no good.

    So I had a thought and I am wondering what could go wrong. What if I got some of that Flexseal stuff and sealed where the shingles overlap for the first several courses so the water cant back up underneath the shingles? I only need it to last a couple of years and that section of the roof cant be seen from anywhere, so I don't care if it looks bad. Is this going to cause more problems then it solves? What could go wrong?
    Where are you located I might know some reasonable contractors you could use.

    Also if water is leaking through, you probably have some rotted wood, and maybe some mold that will need to be repaired and addressed.

    I would take a construction loan out and redo the roof, shingles repairs etc. I don't ever like pulling up and putting down the same shingles and applying a sealant, it's a stop gap solution that is expensive and won't last more than 2 or 3 years. Because if part of the roof is failing other parts are going to start failing. I've seen it happen a lot.


    And when you have roofers on your roof, make sure they clean out the drains as part of their bids. I can't tell you how many times they are up there and don't do it even though if you have the labor up there anyways it's only a 30 minute process. Make sure it is included. In Suburban East Coast areas it would be about $5,904 to re-shingle a 2000 square foot house according to my estimator, and about $1,068 for repairs under the singles.

    I do highly advise against patching or you will end up having to do it again, and next time will be worst.

    schussJulius
  • BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    What if I got some of that Flexseal stuff and sealed where the shingles overlap for the first several courses so the water cant back up underneath the shingles? I only need it to last a couple of years and that section of the roof cant be seen from anywhere, so I don't care if it looks bad. Is this going to cause more problems then it solves? What could go wrong?
    I don't think it'd hurt, but it might keep leaking. My brother-in-law tried that because of a leak (no ice, just Florida rain) and it didn't help. I don't know how the rain made it under the shingles, but the valley flashing (which kinda looked like paper from the ground...it definitely wasn't metal) was torn and the water was leaking at the bottom of the valley.

    He opted to replace the roof (regular shingles, 11 years old). It ended up costing him $5,700 for a 2300 square foot home using metal (Acrylume) instead of shingles.

    Rollers are red, chargers are blue....omae wa mou shindeiru
  • ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    Hey Zepherin, thank you for the information! I am in southern NH. It is certainly possible that the roof is rotted underneath the shingles and there are other issues. However it is definitely an icedamn issue, it doesn't leak all the time, just when we have a lot of snow and cold back to back. This section of the roof is part of an addition that the last owner put on, so the roof is actually newer then the rest. The rest of the roof is doing fine, with no leaks or issues.

    I am barely keeping my head above water right now with 2 kids in daycare, so I would prefer to wait another year or two until 1 of the kids is out of daycare before I take on more debt. This issue has been going on for like 5 years, so another year can't make it much worse.

    My backup plan is to just by a nice tall ladder and get a better angle to rake off the roof!

    zepherin
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    A few things, that will probably answer questions from a few people in this thread:

    1) Shingles themselves can't leak, but I have certainly seen the nails and nail holes leak during a strong storm. It's rare, but it happens. In my case, it was on roofs that were already old and were about to be replaced. Expanding and contracting over the years causes slight gaps between the wood and the nail. It's also related to whether the owner at the time paid to have proper tar paper/sheeting put down before installing the shingles.

    2) I think we're all in agreement that you've got some damaged/rotted/whatever wood under those shingles, at this point. Depending on the age of the extension, you could try calling the company that originally built the extension, or drive around and talk to neighbors who have had work done recently and see if anyone recommends a handyman or GC for something like a repair. As others have said, a roofing contractor is going to charge you at least enough to cover his setup costs. You may be able to strike a deal with someone who does odd jobs.

    3) It may be worthwhile for you to get a tall ladder and cut some access holes into the cathedral ceiling, to get an idea of the insulation in there (if any), and the extent of any water damage. If you're looking to limp along for a year or two, you could also seal the dam area from the inside (though, again, it's going to cause the water to sit on top of that sealant and soak into the wood vice getting it to move away from the area.

    4) If you're getting the run around from roofing contractors, you could talk to some electricians about installing an outside receptacle nearby so you can run a cord for heating elements, like @Foomy suggests.

  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    I was aways under the impression that ice dams were due to bad airflow/insulation in the attic along with bad gutter drain which will lead to the leaking rather than the other way around

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  • ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    i really appreciate all the help from everyone! The handy man may be a good idea, I think that the price issue with a roofer fixing a small area is going to be an ongoing problem due to the setup costs as many of you have mentioned. Or perhaps the electrician idea could be a good short term fix.

    My guess is that the roof does not have ice and water shield. We have noticed a lot of small things that were done cheaply in the extension since we moved in, and talking to neighbors we have found that the old owners had many issues with the builder which were never disclosed to us, and is far too late now 7 years in. So if they skipped that step I would not be surprised, also if the insulation is not up to snuff. The extension is probably around 9 or 10 years old, so the roof should not be doing this.

    Thanks again for the advice!

  • SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Fuck Warren Ellis Registered User regular
    Getting a roofer this time of year is tough.
    Regarding having no outlet for heating wiring - can you get an outlet installed? I'm willing to bet that even if you needed an outlet front and back it would be cheaper than putting on a new roof.

    zepherin
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Hey Zepherin, thank you for the information! I am in southern NH. It is certainly possible that the roof is rotted underneath the shingles and there are other issues. However it is definitely an icedamn issue, it doesn't leak all the time, just when we have a lot of snow and cold back to back. This section of the roof is part of an addition that the last owner put on, so the roof is actually newer then the rest. The rest of the roof is doing fine, with no leaks or issues.

    I am barely keeping my head above water right now with 2 kids in daycare, so I would prefer to wait another year or two until 1 of the kids is out of daycare before I take on more debt. This issue has been going on for like 5 years, so another year can't make it much worse.

    My backup plan is to just by a nice tall ladder and get a better angle to rake off the roof!
    So the cheap solution is to tarp the roof. If it's just the new part tarp it.

    Mugsley
  • ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    I looked at the reviews for the Tarp product, would this last through the winter?

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    I looked at the reviews for the Tarp product, would this last through the winter?
    The official word on putting a tarp on a roof is that it will last 90 days.

    I have seen some of the 20mm Vinyl last for ~year, but I wouldn't necessarily trust it, try to avoid poly it tears easier than vinyl.

  • ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    Interesting, ok thank you for your perspective! I appreciate it!

  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    Ice dams form when the roof above the main part of your house is warmer than the eaves. The eaves stay cold because they are exposed on both sides and freeze, while the snow on top flows down. Since ice forms there, the water on top backs up underneath the shingles. Here's a good page to read more about it, in general:

    http://www.askthebuilder.com/ice-and-water-shield/

    A roofer could certainly put this around the lower edges without redoing the whole roof. I had my entire roof redone about 2.5 years ago and had shielding put up about 2m from the edge of the eave, due to the amount of snow and the size of the eaves, and I'm in NJ in a colonial. You being in NJ probably means you're in a similar situation.

    Hopefully from seeing the page above, it'll clarify why just putting sealant in there won't really help. Even with sealant, the ice is still going to form and push back up into the shingles. If there is ANY gap in the sealant, water will find a way in. At some point, your roof would be entirely sealant!

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