Under One Roof

Having only lived in our house six years, and knowing that the roof was replaced just before we moved in, I was not anticipating having to deal with any sort of roofing issue for at least 15 years. It came as a total surprise to me when water began pouring into our guest bedroom and closet. Upon more detailed inspection, we discovered that there was an enormous leak around a chimney, and there was rotten wood on rafters and roof decking….not to mention mold growing on the back side of the sheetrock. While up on the roof, it was discovered the roof had not been installed properly, and there had been many repairs made to that very spot. Something the home inspector did not catch. The previous homeowner’s solution to fix the leak: a bucket in the attic hidden behind the chimney.

I learned lots while going through this process, and want to share what I discovered. It is great to know a good contractor. Eddie Sanford was at our house the night we discovered the leak, and had roofing experts at the house the following day. He stayed with us throughout the process, and today, as the new roof was being installed, he was here personally replacing the damaged wood. A good contractor is crucial to any project, no matter the size. They will make your life easier.

Eddie had an environmental specialist come in to inspect for mold. An infra red camera told exactly the spots where it was, so it could be removed with as little damage as possible. We also were able to detect some air leaks in the roof that were corrected. Again, all the reason to trust a good contractor.

Our roof was tricky to select the color. We have a unique Mansard style roof that has slate on the vertical portions, and shingles on the slightly sloped very top part. The slate was still in perfect condition, so no work had to be done there. It was tricky to select a roof color that blended with the slate. Our final choice was much lighter than what I thought it would be when I compared it to the slate. When we considered the reflection of light coming off the slate, the slate “appears” lighter in color than it actually is. Our choice of a lighter roof blends perfect in the daylight. My recommendation, always look at large sections of roofing material on your house, where it is going to be. Your local roofing supplier has multiple samples, so borrow several of the one you like and look at a large patch. Also, it is important to remember to look at it from a distance away. Street distance is typically best. The roof becomes much less noticeable as you get closer to the house.

Make sure to communicate with the contractor and roofer what type of flashing you want to use. Even on our custom home which had copper flashing originally, we were only quoted a tin flashing. Copper was an add on that had to be specified. Had I not asked, I would not have known.

Check the roofing to make sure the vendor delivered the correct thing. As I was leaving the house yesterday, and the roofing was being delivered, I thought, “that is going to be the wrong color.” Sure enough, when I looked at the name on what was brought, it was different from what was ordered. The mistake was made at the vendor, and was quickly rectified. This reinforces the idea of check and double check. Nothing would have been worse than to have had the wrong color installed and have to have it re-done.

Hopefully this will last us for another 20 or 30 years, so I am glad we got it right.