II. Roofs, Gutters, Chimneys, and Vents.

+ 1. Chimneys: There are 6 chimneys on the front half of the building and two more on the back. All the crowns are worn and deteriorating and the flues are not lined. They are not in a condition commensurate with modern safety standards. If you wish to renovate and use a fireplace it will have to be lined as well as mod)fied in the fireboxes. Chimneys in this condition are also a common leaking point. If you are not going to upgrade the flues and fireplaces for use you should at least have the top brick courses repaired and the crowns repaired, and have caps put on them to keep water out. The water heater is using one of these flues. Make sure you don't cap the wrong one. It should have a metal liner installed to prevent the build up of corrosive condensation and the leaching of flue gasses into the house. This should be a priority.

Figure 4. Typical condition of the chimney tops.
They need covers to keep water out until they are renovated.
The water heater chimney needs a liner.

+ 2. Roof #1: The main roof of the front half is a relatively new thin metal standing seam tin. It is in reasonably sound condition but it does need to be kept painted. The paint is flaking and the roof is starting to rust. If you fail to paint it regularly it will rust through. The gutter for the front of this roof is built into the cornice. It is galvanized steel, painted red, and drains to downspouts on the corners. As viewed from the ground the upper left corner of the cornice is sagging and not all the water is running down the downspout. The walls are wet inside the building here. You will need a roofer on scaffolding or lift truck to investigate the corner and discover how the water is getting in the building. This is an expensive but necessary repair. The front downspouts also need to be put into drains and diverted away from the building.

Figure 5. This picture shows the peeling paint on the metal roofs.
It also shows the cornice gutter holding wster along the front (top right in the photo).
The cornice gutter is leaking water inside into the bedroom.

+ 3. Roof #2: The upper rear roof is the same as the main roof and nee same work. The i/z round steel gutter is adequate for now.

+ 4. Roof #3: This is another standing seam roof over the 2nd floor rear porch. The roof is adequate but it is soldered into a built in cornice gutter that is leaking badly and has been leaking badly for a long time based on the level of rot below. The entire cornice gutter needs to be removed and rebuilt. This is not directly causing all water damage inside but it is indirectly causing the damage. The water that is leaking through the cornice gutter is running down the porch posts and getting in the flashing at the point where the porch post tie into the roof below and where the two roofs below adjoin. The more water you control at the upper level the less likely you are to have leaks below.

Figure 6. This is tbe cornice gutter that is leaking and running water into the cormce and rooms below.
The cornice below is badly rotted and the beam is most likely damaged as well.

+ 5. Roof #4. Roof #4 is the soldered metal roof that forms the floor of the porch. It is an older heavier soldered metal still in sound condition but needs paint. As stated above, the intersections of this roof with the edges of the dining room roof and porch posts are leaking.

+ 6. Roof #S. Roof # 5 is a new modified bitumen membrane over the dining room and kitchen. As stated it is relatively new but unfortunately built with a puddle at the end that is 1-2" deep. The roof is leaking but it does not appear to be coming through the membrane. We suspect that it is coming in through the fascia boards on the end of the roof and traveling back into the ceilings. A renovation of the flashing and fascia design in the entire area is needed.

Figure 7. This is the relatively new mod)fied bitumen roof over the dining room and kitchen
that is leaking at the intersections with the porch floor and along the edges.

Figure 8. This gap at the outside intersection of the modified bitumen and the porch is leaking.

Figure 9. This picture shows the flashing around a porch post.
Water running own from the leaking cornice is getting in this flashing into the dining room ceiling.

7. Roof #6. Roof #6 is a new copper roof over the bay window on the east side. There is a substantial amount of water damage inside the bay ceiling and water but the moisture meter could not pick up anything more than residual moisture. It seems this leak is fixed but the roof does puddle. See the wall section (III.2.) for more discussion of the bay window.

Figure 10. This is the new bay window roof.
Note the cracks in the brick above the windows over the bay window.
They indicate a weakness in the beam over the bay window.

+ 8. Plumbing Vents: The bathroom plumbing vents leak where they come through the main rear roof. One of the vents is PVC and the collar around it is open. The second vent is cast iron and there have been problems for many years. Someone has fashioned an unconventional box over the vent that depends on caulking. There are many more conventional flashing options that work well, including membranes, or lead or soldered metal. You can have the cast iron cut off end install a straight vent above the roof level and put a standard steel collar on.

Figure 11. The unconventional box over the plumbing vent is leaking
as well as the boot around the plastic vent in the foreground of the picture.


End of Part II (The Roofs)

Click below for each of the other parts of the Inspectors' Report




II.....Roofs, Gutters, Chimneys, and Vents [You're already here]

III....Exterior Walls


V.....Electrical System



VIII..Bathrooms and Kitchen


X.....General Interior



To Return to click here