We Don't Need No Stinkin' Flashing!


Apparently the roof was leaking.  So two things were done to "solve" the problem.  A new layer of shingles was laid over the first (not always the best solution).  And instead of placing flashing where it was needed, a few tubes of caulking were expended to stop any leaking! 


This is what I saw from behind this house.  Before I went inside I knew what we would be dealing with.  This is a big red flag!

It is obvious that the roof sheathing is rotting.  And from repairs on the siding it was obvious that the leaking wasn't stopped!

My moisture meter was the first tool I got out of the bag.  We went to the basement first.  Under and all around the wall under this chimney box was moisture detected at over 30%.  My meter only goes to 30%, and the needle jumped there, indicating that the moisture content is far higher.  The actual content could be 75% for all we know.  But 30% is sufficient to tell that the moisture intrusion is active.

The middle level was the same way, with comparable moisture all around and over the fireplace.

The house was generally moist, for this and other reasons.  And there was mold evidence in the exposed wood in the unfinished furnace room in the basement.

My recommendation:  When you see unprofessional work, expect it to influence other areas of the house.  A house is made up of different, integrated systems which either work together properly and in harmony, or not.

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jay | Sun, 12/29/2013 - 16:22

Wow! Yes, some caulking needs to be used!

The photo above is the opposite - all caulking and no flashing! Wrong too!

Anonymous (not verified) | Mon, 11/04/2013 - 16:58

The guy who installed my new roof said you shouldn't need to caulk flashing. (For a variety of reasons, I should not have hired this guy. He should not be allowed to be in business.) At the first heavy, windy rain, the roof leaked. I'm sure the water ran between the flashing and the shingles until it got past the flashing and entered the house (through nails holes?). This flashing is between the lower roof and a vertical wall coming down from the upper roof in a split-level house. Shouldn't I just caulk along this intersection of wall and roof?

The upper and lower roofs are at right angles. The wall coming down between them comes straight down the lower roof and then has a 90º angle so there is a section of the wall that is parallel to the peak of the lower roof. This means there is an exposed upper edge of shingles against the flashing at this "intersection" of wall and roof. With no caulking, isn't it logical to assume that at some point, the wind will blow water up to the top of the shingles and then the water will run down underneath the singles?


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Jay performs inspections Monday through Saturday, throughout Northern Virginia, from his office in Bristow to Leesburg and Centreville, to Great Falls and Vienna and everywhere in between!