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Pat
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 10:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I wrote some time ago about leaking hips and whether to repair the hips, copper over them, or replace the slate hips and then copper. After talking with some slaters here in Boston, I'm convinced that it's probably best, in the long run, to remove the slates and then copper the hips. The cost is extraordinary--one contractor would do each hip for $1,650 with a 10 year warrantee (30' hips); the first contractor we had would charge $1,800 and would give a 30-year warrantee. Other roofers aren't sure that the hips are leaking (I think they are), and still one more thinks that we just have "condesation," which I doubt. So we haven't done anything due to the fact that we cannot get any consensus and don't feel like anyone really knows what the problem is. (They're all willing to work on it til it's solved -- but that sounds really costly).
But now I think that I have found a more pressing problem: the dormers. The house is a 90 year old hip-roofed building with 4 symmetrically built dormers. That is, each side of the house has an equally-sized dormer. Thus, there are 4 hips on the main roof, 8 valleys (2 per dormer), one main peak, 4 dormer peaks, and a chimney. In other words, there are a lot of angles, and a lot of places for copper to fail after years of service. I am admittedly just a novice at all this slate roof stuff, but I can understand how coppering works with all these different parts of the roof and how they will stop the leaks if properly installed. Our problem is that water -- copious water that soaks some areas of attic plaster during wind-driven rainstorms -- is coming not from valleys but rather from, I believe, the seam where the dormer meets the roof. The problem is that this house, including the dormers, were stuccoed over some years back. In other words, you can't just remove slates and put a copper apron on because you have to get under the stucco, and presumably under the original clapboards below. My question is, is there some way to copper these areas without seriously compromising the look of the dormer? The ugliest option, and the one I see most often, is to slate the dormer. I think this looks awful, and given that black munson slates like ours cost $25 per, is not cheap. One roofer said that we actually have to hire stucco contractors, have them remove stucco so they can copper under it, and then restucco. That sounds crazy to me. I mean, you're creating the exact same problem that already exists for the new owner to deal with 20 or so years down the road. My hope would be that a flashing option would exist, perhaps something in which the copper can be fashioned to match the pitch of the roof, rather than stepped up upon one another like a staircase, and then set into the stucco in some matter -- maybe in the same way chimneys are done. I feel like I need to get a handle on this issue before I spend $1,800 on some comparatively minor leaks in the hips. Does anyone out there have thoughts on these stuccoed dormers?

Many thanks.
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Anonymous
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 01:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes you can cut a line about 3 inches high from your roof the length of your dormers side wall with a diamond tip grinding wheel, use a chalk line or lumber pencil and straight edge to mark your line, then use a grinder with a diamond tip blade, cut a 1" deep joint along your line,then reinstall your slate and step flashings like you would any typical wall detail, then fabricate a metal counter flashing to go into the joint and to cover your step flashings, After I fit the metal counter flashing ,I like to fill the joint with caulking then install the counter flashing and secure as needed then apply a finish bead of caulking,make sure the joint is clean before caulking(dust from grinding will keep caulking from adhering properly)I use a gas powered blower to clean out joints that have been freshly cut.If need be you could also put a clear coat of waterproofing silicone on the remaining stucco of dormer to help eliminate water seepage. Good luck.
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Pat
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006 - 06:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is about what I figured would have to happen. Of course, I'm not doing this. If I get anywhere near the roof, I get freaked out. I'm not sure I'll find someone willling to do this and, but your process sounds perfectly understandable.

I'll post an update if/when I find someone to do this.
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Walter Musson
Posted on Friday, January 27, 2006 - 04:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Pat,
Why do you believe the source of the leakage to be the dormer "cheek" flashings,and npt the valleys on the dormers?
Usually the cheeks don't leak as profusely as the valleys since the roof overhang shelters them some.
Sounds like you should have someone who is qualified analyze the entire roof and let them write specs for potential bidders.Then you are getting bids on the same work from everyone and you can judge each proposal fairly.
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Pat
Posted on Friday, January 27, 2006 - 10:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Walter,

Mainly because the previous owner claimed that the water stains were from a leak that had been solved by recoppering the valleys. Of course, when I inspect now, I see that there was no coppering done, but instead tarring. Also, the only time I have seen a leak in this area is during a wind-driven rainstorm. In that case, the eaves provided little protection.

Pat
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Walter Musson
Posted on Friday, January 27, 2006 - 03:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Pat,
The areas that usually leak first in homes like yours would be the valleys,followed by the dormer cheek-roof intersection,and lastly the hips.
The chimneys are also a source of leakage depending on where on the roof they are located.
I just finished redoing 7 valleys on a hip roofed house similar to yours-as well as flash into the slate both brick chimneys.The dormer cheek flashing on this house is in need of replacement" down the road" but we prioratized the worst leakage first.
If you e-mail me thru my name above I'll send you some Shutterfly albums that illustrate some of these situations.
If you intend to keep the house for awhile it might be time to set up a roof maintenance schedule on which to solicit bids.
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admin
Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2006 - 12:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If the valleys were tarred, they need replaced. Walter is right - the valleys go bad before the step flashings on the dormer sides. It could be that both need replaced, but your best bet is to do the valleys first. Tarring the valleys doesn't always stop the leakage, especially if the holes in the valley are underneath the edge of the slates.

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