As a roofing contractor in Miami I look at tile roof repair all the time and they almost all have one thing in common – there is never much to look at. There will be some tell-tale stains on the ceiling but when you go on the roof there is little to see but tile. Unless the ceiling or roof has literally caved in there isn’t much to base an estimate on besides your experience. The real problem lies underneath, usually a metal flashings issue due to inferior workmanship, and can’t be seen without removing several tiles. Of course you can’t remove tiles during the estimate, you don’t have the job, yet!! One thing is for sure – it is always worse than it looks.
This was especially true of this tile roof repair we did in Miami Springs recently. As usual, I looked at the problem from the inside. The customer pointed to a golf ball sized hole in the ceiling just inside the front door. Looking at the roof there was nothing remarkable. This should be pretty straightforward – no big deal, right? WRONG!!
When we removed some tile we found brand new underlayment underneath, a sign of a recent repair. The leak was not in this new material. We cut it open and all the1” X 6” T&G wood decking was rotted. How it hadn’t caved in is beyond me.
We “chased” the rotten wood until a large area had been exposed and determined the leak was originating further upslope and running down the underside of a truss. The existing repair was probably done by the previous owner to sell the house and they not only didn’t replace the rotten wood, they didn’t fix all the leaks. We were set up!!
Well, we fixed it all up at no additional cost, can’t win ‘em all and I stick with my estimates. But from now on, when I see a leaking tile roof and can’t determine the amount of rotten wood, there will be a contingency for woodwork by linear foot in the additional terms of the proposal.
Fool me once, shame on the roof. Fool me twice . . .