Roof Leaks Damaging Interior (2023)

01-18-2011,11:20 AM #1

Roof Leaks Damaging Interior (1)

Junior Member

Roof Leaks Damaging Interior (2) Roof Leaks Damaging Interior

My question involves a condominium located in the State of: Colorado

Per covenants, the HOA is responsible for all exterior maintenance and repairs, including roofs. The unit owner is responsible for all interior repairs.

The question is: If a roof leak causes interior damage, would the HOA be responsible for repairing the damage because it was caused from an exterior problem? Or, would the unit owner be responsible because that person is responsible for repairing interior damage?

In the past, the HOA has taken care of interior damage from roof leaks, but decided it is too costly and they will no longer take care of interior damage.

Roof Leaks Damaging Interior (4) Re: Roof Leaks Damaging Interior

From the little you've told us, the condo association would be responsible for exterior maintenance - i.e., fixing the roof - and the owner would be responsible for interior damage. We cannot investigate further and thus can only answer based upon the information you provide; you can review the bylaws, owner's agreement, etc., to see what they say.

01-20-2011,02:12 PM #3

Roof Leaks Damaging Interior (5)

Junior Member

(Video) Roof Leak damage to interior room and exterior

Roof Leaks Damaging Interior (6) Re: Roof Leaks Damaging Interior

Thank you for the response.

The condo units in question consist of 124 attached homes, 2 homes per unit. There are about 5-% ranch style and 50% two-story units. The oldest is 7 years old, newest is 4 years. Roof leaks began showing up within the first year of ownership and the builder covered those. In 2010 there were 20 units reporting leaks and interior damage. The builder denies any responsibility because he claims it's not a structural problem. The roofer went bankrupt immediately after the last unit was built. The insurance is $5,000 deductible, and they claim that is per unit, not total claims and are refusing to pay.

After having the roofs inspected, the inspector's report says that flashing and sealing was not done on these units. After a big wind/rainstorm, the claims for leaks with interior damage started multiplying rapidly. Our HOA covenants, rules, bylaws, etc. do not specifically address interior damage caused by exterior problems. They vaguely state that the HOA is responsible for exterior, homeowner for interior.

The cause of all of this was shoddy workmanship by the roofer who was subcontracted by the builder, a large national firm. The HOA has paid for interior repairs in the past, but budget constraints are coming into the picture, so a decision has been made to stop paying for interiors, and continue to go after the builder for reimbursement.

01-27-2011,06:45 PM #4

Roof Leaks Damaging Interior (7)

Banned

Roof Leaks Damaging Interior (8) Re: Roof Leaks Damaging Interior

Roof Leaks Damaging Interior (9) Quoting julilu

Thank you for the response.

After having the roofs inspected, the inspector's report says that flashing and sealing was not done on these units. After a big wind/rainstorm, the claims for leaks with interior damage started multiplying rapidly. Our HOA covenants, rules, bylaws, etc. do not specifically address interior damage caused by exterior problems. They vaguely state that the HOA is responsible for exterior, homeowner for interior.

The cause of all of this was shoddy workmanship by the roofer who was subcontracted by the builder, a large national firm. The HOA has paid for interior repairs in the past, but budget constraints are coming into the picture, so a decision has been made to stop paying for interiors, and continue to go after the builder for reimbursement.

I had a similar issue in the past with a HOA in Florida. I can't tell you what the law is in your state, but I can tell you what happened in my case.

Our HOA documents state that the HOA must maintain the roofs and the owners maintain the interiors. In my case, we too had a shoddy roofer. The HOA had selected this roofer based on their low-ball bid.

The roofer did not put in any flashings. Lots of units began to have leaks and the HOA would pay to install flashings to fix the leaks but tell the owner they had to pay for the interior water damage. The damage to my unit was $3k, which is the amount of my deductible on my home owner's insurance policy.

I spoke to an attorney in my state about this. He would not take the case on a contigency fee basis since it was so small and told me that his hourly fees to take the case would be likely over $3k so it didn't make any sense for me to hire him on an hourly basis.

He told me what I had was a negligence claim against the HOA since they selected the roofer and became aware of the shoddy roof job but did nothing to correct it until after the interior of my unit was damaged. He said the HOA's document said "maintain the roofs" and he explained that this term would likely be interpreted to mean maintain the roofs so that they did what roofs are supposed to do - prevent water from getting into your house.

He said what the HOA should have done once they were aware of the shoddy roof job was to have the roofs inspected and fixed before they caused more water damage to the units. Instead, the HOA did nothing until a unit was damaged by water. He said that was negligent on the HOA's part and they were responsible for my damages. He told me to write a letter to the HOA explaining they were negligent in failing to adequately maintain the roofs to prevent water damage to the interior of my unit and that they would have to reimburse me for my costs to repair the unit.

(Video) Flex Seal Works! Leaking Roof!

So that is what I did. The HOA referred the matter to their attorney and he said for them to reimburse me for the damage to the interior of my unit. So that is what they did.

Your situation is a bit different from mine both because you are in Colorado not Florida and because the HOA in your case did not select the roofer, the builder did. However, your situation is similar to mine in that the HOA has knowledge that the roofs are defective but will do nothing to fix them until after the unit suffers interior water damage. You also have the added facts that in the past the HOA has paid for the interior water damage due to the shoddy roofs. That sounds to me like an admission of liability by the HOA - by paying to fix the interior water damage they were acknowledging that it was the HOA's responsibility due to their failure to properly fix the known issues with the roof.

You could try to find an attorney like I did and see if they can help you to understand if you have a negligence claim against your HOA. You may be able to get into see one for a free consultation. I was able to and he was very helpful.

If not, try to research negligence claims against HOAs in Colorado for failing to maintain the parts of the structure that the HOA has responsibility for. Then maybe you can draft a letter like I did. It worked for me.

Roof Leaks Damaging Interior (11) Quoting julilu

Roof leaks began showing up within the first year of ownership and the builder covered those.

After having the roofs inspected, the inspector's report says that flashing and sealing was not done on these units.

The cause of all of this was shoddy workmanship by the roofer who was subcontracted by the builder, a large national firm.

If I were you, I would urge the HOA to contact an attorney to see if they can sue the builder. The fact that the builder at first agreed to pay for the damage sounds like some sort of an admission of liability on the builder's part. Your HOA would need to consult an attorney about that, of course. The builder may have had them sign something acknowledging that they were not admitting liability in order to get them to pay for the damage. But even if they did, that doesn't mean they aren't liable for negligently selecting the roofer.

Keep in mind that if the HOA doesn't go after the builder and you can get the HOA to pay for interior damage, the money to pay for this all ultimately comes from the unit owners. You may find yourself in the position of having to pay an assessment for all of the repairs. I would try very hard to get the HOA to consult with an attorney to see if the builder has any liability for negligently selecting the roofing subcontractor.

The other thing I would do is talk to as many of your neighbors about this as you can and consider running for the Board of your HOA.

(Video) How To Repair a Water Damaged Ceiling After a Leak - Water Damaged Plasterboard / Drywall

FAQs

What kind of damage can a roof leak cause? ›

Roof leaks can cause water damage both inside and outside your home, with short-term effects like stains and ruined drywall, as well as longer-lasting effects like mold, insect infestations, and even structural damage to your home. The faster you spot a leak in your roof, the better.

What to do if water leaks through the ceiling? ›

WHAT TO DO IF WATER IS LEAKING THROUGH YOUR CEILING
  1. Get something to contain the water. Grab one or more waterproof containers to catch dripping water. ...
  2. Move or cover your furniture. ...
  3. Soak up water on the floor. ...
  4. Make a small hole for drainage. ...
  5. Call a plumber or roofer.
5 Nov 2020

Can a roof leak be fixed from the inside? ›

Can a Roof Leak Be Fixed From the Inside? You might have heard the myth that leaking roofs can't be fixed from inside the house. But, actually, as long as the leak is small, it is very much possible to patch it up yourself from the attic.

What happens if you don't fix a ceiling leak? ›

Leaks that get ignored, no matter how small and insignificant they may be, will weaken the roof system and will cause you to need that full roof replacement much sooner than you would have otherwise.

Will ceiling dry out after leak? ›

The necessary period to dry out the ceiling will vary based on just how wet the ceiling got. It can take a minimum of two weeks, but sometimes up to four weeks. Ensure you address the leak's cause to ensure you are solving the problem rather than going in an endless circle.

Can a roof leak cause structural damage? ›

A leak in your roof can work its way down from the top of your home to the very foundation itself, where it can lead to rot, decay, and serious structural damage.

Do I need to replace ceiling drywall after leak? ›

If your ceiling has been affected by a recent leak, you must replace the drywall as soon as possible to protect the structural integrity of your ceiling. However, many people, especially new homeowners, think that old discoloration on the ceiling isn't an issue anymore.

Is water damage to ceiling covered by insurance? ›

If your roof or ceiling leaks due to a covered peril, the associated damage should be covered under your homeowners insurance policy. Most home insurance policies have an open perils claims basis, which means unless coverage is specifically excluded, then it is included.

Can mold grow after leak is fixed? ›

Unfortunately, mold can still grow after a leak or flood damage has been fixed. Often this happens because the problem wasn't fixed properly the first time. Occasionally, moisture is left behind or becomes hidden under floorboards or inside wall cavities.

How long can you leave a leaking roof? ›

There's no definite answer to how long you can leave a leaking roof before it causes damage. Many variables come in to play here, so it's always best to play it safe and get your roof leak fixed as soon as possible.

Why does my roof leak in heavy rain? ›

Roof leaks that happen during heavy rains may indicate the end of the shingles' life. Metal corrosion. Cracks in metal and corrosion around fasteners can create enough space for water to leak. Over time, expansion and contraction can loosen the seams in a metal roof.

Can you claim for a new roof on house insurance? ›

Most homeowners insurance policies cover roof replacement if the damage is the result of an act of nature or sudden accidental event. Most homeowners insurance policies won't pay to replace or repair a roof that's gradually deteriorating due to wear-and-tear or neglect.

Can a roof leak cause electrical problems? ›

Can a leaky roof cause electrical problems? Yes, it can. Depending on the location of a leak, water could be making its way to your electrical wiring and junction boxes.

Is a small roof leak bad? ›

If you have a leaky roof, you'd better fix it immediately, even if it doesn't bother you much or you're getting a new roof next year. Even over a short time, small leaks can lead to big problems, such as mold, rotted framing and sheathing, destroyed insulation and damaged ceilings.

How serious is a ceiling leak? ›

Ceiling leaks can already be a cause of stress and danger. They can cause ceiling and attic damage, the growth of dangerous molds and mildews, structural instability, and inefficient energy use that may result in higher utility bills. These risks can be amplified when ceiling leaks occur near light fixtures.

Is drywall ruined if it gets wet? ›

While drywall is pretty sturdy, when it's exposed to water for too long it can get damaged. It may lose its structural integrity, becoming soft and weak. Depending on what category of water drywall is exposed to, and how wet it got, you may be able to save it. Speed is critical to avoiding mold damage, though.

Do you have to replace drywall if it gets wet? ›

Replacing water-damaged drywall is important when it's being affected by a recent leak, but new homeowners might not think it's an issue when seeing old discoloration in the walls. No matter how old the stain is, the drywall should be replaced.

Can leaking roof cause cracks in walls? ›

Even concrete walls and foundations can begin to crack and soften with constant moisture being introduced to them through a leak in the roof. This also causes danger to the overall structural integrity of the roof.

Do ceiling leaks cause mold? ›

Can a leaking roof cause mold? The EPA says yes. Their experts explain mold grows within trapped areas where moisture cannot escape. If your roof leaks, air cannot reach the moisture to dry the area.

How long does it take for mold to grow on wet drywall? ›

Mildew (mold in early stage) and molds grow on wood products, ceiling tiles, cardboard, wallpaper, carpets, drywall, fabric, plants, foods, insulation, decaying leaves and other organic materials. Mold growths, or colonies, can start to grow on a damp surface within 24 to 48 hours.

Can drywall be dried out? ›

In some situations, you will be able to let the drywall dry out on its own, but you may wonder how long it will take. Generally speaking, wet drywall will take three days to dry out completely, but the actual answer varies from case to case and depends on numerous factors.

How much does it cost to repair water damaged drywall? ›

Repairing water damages in drywall ceilings and walls costs $200 to $500 for minor damage or $500 to $2,500 for major damage with roof leak repair. Fixing water damage typically requires other repairs before replacing the drywall: The cost to fix a leak is $150 to $850 on average, depending on the leak's location.

Should I call my insurance company if my roof is leaking? ›

Guaranteed Repairs

The best benefit of calling a roofing company to assess damage is accuracy. Insurance adjusters often miss deep water damage. A roofing expert will be able to find damage to your roof, rafters, and attic. The repairs will include everything, not just surface damage.

How much does it cost to repair water damaged ceiling? ›

Expect water damage ceiling repairs to cost between $45 and $55 per square foot, including everything needed for the job. Remember to add the cause of the water damage on top of this cost, such as: Plumbing repair costs: $175–$3,000. Roof replacement: $3.50–$5 per square foot.

Can you claim on house insurance for water leak? ›

Does home insurance cover plumbing leaks? Most standard building and contents home insurance policies cover water leaks - often referred to as 'escape of water' in policy booklets.

What are signs of mold exposure? ›

The most common symptoms of mold exposure include:
  • Coughing.
  • Postnasal drip.
  • Sneezing.
  • Dry, scaly skin.
  • Itchy eyes, nose, or throat.
  • Nasal congestion.
26 May 2021

How long does a leak take to cause mold? ›

It usually takes around 18 to 21 days for the mold spores to colonize and become apparent. Under favorable conditions, mold can begin to grow as quickly as a few hours. That's why it's so important to act quickly in the event of a water leak or flood.

Can a one time water leak cause mold? ›

Can a one-time water leak cause mold? Short answer: yes. People often believe that only extensive water damage leads to mold growth. However, this is not true.

Can a roof collapse from a leak? ›

Though it might seem strange to punch a hole in your ceiling to stop a leak, the new hole will allow the water to drain smoothly and relieve pressure on the rest of your ceiling. If water accumulates and pools, the entire ceiling could collapse.

Can a leak cause roof to collapse? ›

Be aware that if the leak is significant, there is a chance that a section of the ceiling could collapse and this will cause significant damage. Often a ceiling has added layers, and with the weight of water, this can easily be 100kg or more from the water-saturated plasterboard ceiling.

What is the most common cause of roof leaks? ›

Some of the most common roof leak causes include an aging roof, broken or missing shingles, clogged gutters, and chimney damage. If these problems are neglected, it can be disastrous for the structure of your home.

Can rain come in through roof vents? ›

And on occasion a hard driving rain with whipping wind will cause roof vents to leak water. If your roof vent leaks during heavy rain, the rain may be blowing up under the hood and into the vent. It this is the case, you need to create a breathable shield to slow the driving rain drops while still allowing air flow.

Why is water dripping from the ceiling? ›

Water leaks from the ceiling are usually caused by either plumbing problems or a leaky roof. Most ceiling water damage is from slow leaks that cause yellowish-brown water spots. While water spots on the ceiling might not seem very urgent, a large leak can cause water to pour through your ceiling in just minutes.

Does roof Maxx stop leaks? ›

Short Answer: No, because 99% of roof leaks occur at the flashings, the most leak-prone areas of the roof, such as around chimneys and skylights or along a wall. We do offer an optional Roof Tune-up Package for roofs that need a little TLC.

How often should roof Be Replaced? ›

In general, this is the recommended replacement schedule based on the material used: Composition Shingles: 12-20 years. Asphalt Shingles: 15-30 years. Wood Shingles: 20-25 years.

What do insurance adjusters look for on roofs? ›

An insurance adjuster's job is to determine if roof damage exists, what caused the damage, and if the damage is covered under your insurance policy. Adjusters also assess the value of the damage against the current value of your roof.

Should I tell insurance about new roof? ›

It's important to see every aspect of your roof's construction as an investment because your roof is one of the most important shields between your family and the perils that could cause damage. No matter how big or small your roof repair changes are, make sure to update your insurance company as quickly as possible.

What kind of damage can a roof leak cause? ›

Roof leaks can cause water damage both inside and outside your home, with short-term effects like stains and ruined drywall, as well as longer-lasting effects like mold, insect infestations, and even structural damage to your home. The faster you spot a leak in your roof, the better.

How do you know if your roof is about to collapse? ›

Warning Signs Your Roof May Collapse

Sections of the interior ceiling or exterior shingles that have started to sag. Windows or doors that are harder to open or that pop open on their own. Repeated or severe leaks. Sprinkler heads that have dropped under the ceiling tiles.

What do you do if your ceiling has water damage? ›

Any moisture trapped in your ceiling can cause mold infestation and structural damage. If the damage is extensive, it's best to hire a professional to air out the ceiling. A professional water damage restoration expert can also clean the house. Deep cleaning is vital after a leak from contaminated and smelly water.

Is a roof leak an emergency repair? ›

One of the most common roofing emergencies is a leaking roof. Even a small leak in your roof can cause considerable damage and does not get better by itself. Roofing emergencies can be highly dangerous and can leave long term structural damage to your home, which is why it's important to call in a professional.

Is water leaking from ceiling an emergency? ›

No matter how tiny or huge a roof leak might seem, it is an emergency. A seemingly small leak can gradually escalate into a huge problem, and a larger leak can quickly result in costly water damage to your home.

Can a roof leak be fixed from the inside? ›

Can a Roof Leak Be Fixed From the Inside? You might have heard the myth that leaking roofs can't be fixed from inside the house. But, actually, as long as the leak is small, it is very much possible to patch it up yourself from the attic.

Can a roof leak cause structural damage? ›

A leak in your roof can work its way down from the top of your home to the very foundation itself, where it can lead to rot, decay, and serious structural damage.

Is a roof leak considered structural damage? ›

Most homeowners think a leaky roof is just a structural problem, but it can pose many more safety and even health risks. Constant water intrusion will eventually work down from the attic area to the very foundation of the house, causing plenty of costly damage on the way.

Can a roof leak cause electrical problems? ›

Can a leaky roof cause electrical problems? Yes, it can. Depending on the location of a leak, water could be making its way to your electrical wiring and junction boxes.

Does insurance cover water damage from leaking roof? ›

In a word, yes! A standard homeowners insurance policy will cover water damage and roof leaks unless they're the result of gross negligence on your part. Even if the roof leak is caused by a windstorm or a tree crashing through the shingles, you're covered.

What does roof water damage look like? ›

Watermarks or Brown “Rusty” Stains– Oftentimes one of the most common signs of ceiling or roof water damage is watermarks or brown “rusty” stains on the walls, ceilings and/or attic. It can be a sign of a previous or current leak, so you should always have them checked out if they appear within your home.

How serious is a ceiling leak? ›

Ceiling leaks can already be a cause of stress and danger. They can cause ceiling and attic damage, the growth of dangerous molds and mildews, structural instability, and inefficient energy use that may result in higher utility bills. These risks can be amplified when ceiling leaks occur near light fixtures.

How long can you leave a leaking roof? ›

There's no definite answer to how long you can leave a leaking roof before it causes damage. Many variables come in to play here, so it's always best to play it safe and get your roof leak fixed as soon as possible.

Can you get mold from a leaky roof? ›

Leaky Roofs Lead to Moldy Houses

The EPA says yes. Their experts explain mold grows within trapped areas where moisture cannot escape. If your roof leaks, air cannot reach the moisture to dry the area. Moldy bacteria forms in the damp areas.

How do you know if your roof is about to collapse? ›

Warning Signs Your Roof May Collapse

Sections of the interior ceiling or exterior shingles that have started to sag. Windows or doors that are harder to open or that pop open on their own. Repeated or severe leaks. Sprinkler heads that have dropped under the ceiling tiles.

Should I call my insurance company if my roof is leaking? ›

Guaranteed Repairs

The best benefit of calling a roofing company to assess damage is accuracy. Insurance adjusters often miss deep water damage. A roofing expert will be able to find damage to your roof, rafters, and attic. The repairs will include everything, not just surface damage.

Why does my roof leak in heavy rain? ›

Roof leaks that happen during heavy rains may indicate the end of the shingles' life. Metal corrosion. Cracks in metal and corrosion around fasteners can create enough space for water to leak. Over time, expansion and contraction can loosen the seams in a metal roof.

Does homeowners insurance cover mold from roof leak? ›

Perils that are not covered include roof damage from general wear and tear or lack of maintenance. Mold, pests or birds, wet rot, errors made by a contractor or construction worker as well as improper code materials are examples of perils that aren't covered by homeowners insurance.

When should I worry about a water damaged ceiling? ›

You may think ceiling water damage and mold is easy to detect right away but the truth is the signs are very subtle. Some early signs to look for are peeling or bubbling of wallpaper, visible stains, mold, texture changes, higher utility bills, and unusual odors.

Can leaking roof cause cracks in walls? ›

Even concrete walls and foundations can begin to crack and soften with constant moisture being introduced to them through a leak in the roof. This also causes danger to the overall structural integrity of the roof.

Do I need to replace ceiling drywall after leak? ›

If your ceiling has been affected by a recent leak, you must replace the drywall as soon as possible to protect the structural integrity of your ceiling. However, many people, especially new homeowners, think that old discoloration on the ceiling isn't an issue anymore.

Is it safe to sleep in a room with water damage? ›

If you are sleeping in a room flooded with water you could be breathing in mold and other toxins that could harm your health. Those who suffer from asthma or allergies will suffer more when exposed to dampness and mold.

How much does it cost to fix a leak in the ceiling? ›

Ceiling repair costs $50 to $100 per square foot. Plaster and drywall ceiling repairs cost $200 to $500 to fix holes or cracks. Ceiling replacement costs $400 to $1,000 to repair sagging or extensive damage. Ceiling water damage repair costs $500 to $2,500 to fix the leak and replace drywall.

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