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Graves Brothers Home Improvement Company / Brand new roof leaked!

1 United States

I had my entire roof replaced on my home in 2006 by Graves Brothers Home Improvement Company (located at 725 N. Winton Rd. in Rochester). Before selecting the roofing company I asked a lot of friends what questions I should ask of prospective companies. “Get them to show you there insurance paperwork”, “ask about warranties”, “make sure they don’t hire sub-contractors to do the actual work” ... were some of the suggestions. It was explained to me that a roofing contractor that sub-contracts the work is likely to have less control over a quality job. If they do all the work themselves, they’re likely to do a better job. I asked Graves Brothers if they hired sub-contractors and was told they did not.

Within a month of the work being done I noticed flooding in the basement. I had a home inspector come look at the problem and he told me the problem was that water was likely overflowing from one of my gutters and dropping right beside the house.

I had a contractor come check out the gutters and they found they were clogged with bits of wood chips and roofing shingles. There are NO trees within 30 feet of my house. I personally went up the ladder and looked for myself - all of the junk clogging the gutters was material torn off of my roof. There were NO leaves ! The roofing company did not put anything in place to cover my gutters before tearing the roof off. I called several other roofers and asked if I hired them to replace my roof what would they do about protecting the gutters. They said it was standard practice to secure thin plywood to the base of the roof so that it extended over the gutters.

About 6 months later I began noticing something wet on my basement floor again, but this time in the center of the basement. I mistakenly assumed it was my cats urinating on the floor.

Shortly after this I hired another contractor to install a bathroom ceiling steam vent. The vent was installed where the overhead light was. When they were chopping through the bathroom ceiling/attic floor they called me over to show me something. The insulation in the attic floor was soaking wet. Not damp - WET. They took a look around the attic and said “uh oh ... you have a big leak in your roof.” They pointed out MANY areas of the attic floor that had chalky white streaks. They explained that is a tell tale sign of water damage. The white chalky streaks extended at least 6 feet in several directions from the chimney. They said they couldn’t believe there wasn’t any major sign of damage on the second floor.

I use one of the bedrooms for storage and rarely have to go in there. We went in there and “uh oh” again. Part of the ceiling and wall were collapsing because it was soaked with water. They said this is not likely to be the only damage. We went downstairs to the kitchen and they noticed spots in the ceiling. Sure enough, they poked at it and it was damp.

Water from the leak in my new roof had come all the way from the attic, through the inside walls of the house, and down into the kitchen and then the basement.

The roofing company came to re-inspect the roof. They out right admitted to me that required flashing, “pig ears” (a covering that goes around the chimney), and caulking had not been installed around the chimney.

They came out again and repaired it. If it has leaked since I haven’t been able to see it. They have agreed to repair the damaged ceilings and walls. I am unsure whether that truly is all of the damage that was done. I’m considering hiring a home inspector/engineer to inspect the house for other signs of damage. Graves Brothers has certainly not offered to look for any further damage.

Graves Brothers told me they do not sub-contract out their roofing jobs. They gave me a long list of their past customers. You’d think a roofing company with that much experience would know enough not to leave the gutters uncovered. They get up there and literally tear the roof apart, even I would understand that there is going to be a lot of material falling down over the edge of the roof - right into the gutters.

How much sense does it make that an experienced roofing company would forget to install protective material around the chimney to seal the water out ...

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