Solving This Roof’s “Mysterious” Water Damage

November 23, 2021
Case Study

Solving This Issaquah Home’s “Mysterious” Water Damage Issues

You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover. And You Can’t Judge The Condition Of Your Roof By Its Shingles.

Our SmartSeries showcases how we take a more intelligent approach to roof replacement than your average roofing company in Greater Seattle. We don’t just address the symptoms—we fix all underlying problems to maximize your roof’s lifespan and performance.

This is a case of beauty being only skin deep… and a prime example of how pretty roofing shingles can cover up MASSIVE underlying problems.

A family in Issaquah called us after their elderly father passed away. They wanted to sell his home, but the ceiling was leaking in multiple areas.

But here’s the thing: The shingles themselves were totally fine—they were in near-perfect condition. As they should be, since the previous roofer put them on only 12 years prior.

So, why was the ceiling leaking? That’s what this family called us to find out.

Here are some images of the different leaks and water damage the home was experiencing…

What, exactly, was the root cause of the problem? It wasn’t just one thing. So let’s start with the most egregious issue: the attic.

The Attic Of Your Nightmares

We’ve been around the block a time or ten. We know what the average Seattle Metro area roofer looks for… and what they don’t. And something they virtually NEVER address is attic ventilation.

This time was no different. When the previous roofer came 12 years ago, they installed pretty new architectural shingles… but that’s it. They DIDN’T inspect the attic’s ventilation situation. And that ended up being a big reason for all the roofing trouble.

Proper attic ventilation is something we preach constantly. So the first thing we did was—you guessed it—inspect the attic.

As soon as we poked our head in, we just about choked. The attic was stiflingly humid. And there was mold, mold, and more mold.

Here are a few photos of the nightmare mold situation in the attic…

There were two reasons for mold in the attic:

1) The insulation was blocking the ventilation.
2) There wasn’t enough intake ventilation.

Here are a few examples of the insulation blocking air from escaping the attic…

Like we always do, we took a bunch of pictures and showed them to the family. They were both disgusted and blown away.

They’d called several other contractors to do some work on the house. They said none of those contractors brought up the mold situation. Fortunately, they eventually called us.

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The attic wasn’t just moldy—it was the source of many of the ceiling leaks. Fixing the attic was essentially a three-step process:

1) We threw away all the mold wood and replaced it.
2) We moved the insulation and added baffling so air could actually escape the attic.
3) We added more intake ventilation to balance the airflow in the attic.

Here are a couple photos of the intake ventilation we installed…


Finally, the attic could breathe. That was one problem down. But we also had to address the improperly installed skylights—the other big reason for all the water damage.

The Skylights Were Like Bathtubs

The skylights a previous contractor installed were rated for a 3/12 slope. Basically, that means they needed to be installed on a slant.

The contractor, however, installed them flat. Here are a few photos…

Installing the skylights flat essentially turned them into bathtubs with stagnant water. Rainwater ponded on top, so the water eventually leaked through the skylights and inside the home.

Fixing this issue required two main steps:

1) Reframing the skylight curbs
2) Install custom flashing on the skylights

Here are some pictures of that process…

This process ensured water would no longer pool on and around the skylights. Leak problem solved!

Last But Not Least: Installing Beautiful New Shingles

The old roofing shingles were in good condition. But once you tear off roof shingles, you can’t reuse them. So we performed our SmartMatch™ Needs Analysis to determine the right new shingles for the customer.

Based on the customer’s needs and budget, we pinpointed the Owens Corning Duration® Series Shingle as the best choice. It has a 30-year warranty, triple-fiberglass reinforcement, water-shedding technology, and 130mph wind resistance. Plus, its “No Guess” nailing zone ensures the most consistent and high-quality installation.

Here is the end result…

Finally, this home had a new roof that not only looked beautiful but also functioned flawlessly.

Want Roof Replacement Done Right? Get RoofSmart

This project is an excellent example of how attractive roof shingles can be deceiving. The shingles can look A-OK… but what’s underneath can be a total disaster. We’d know—we get called to fix this kind of problem all the time.

So if you want roof replacement in the Greater Seattle area that’s more than “skin deep,” contact us today. We would be honored to speak with you.

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