• November 15, 2003

Not Under My Roof

And Why Flashing is a Good Thing

Restoration Diary,

Our house the first week of home ownership, Sept 2002. The roof appears to be the only thing that doesn’t need repaired.

We learned that the reason water pours down our walls every time it rains is because the flashing on our roof was installed on top of the roof shingles instead underneath them, and in some areas flashing wasn’t installed at all. Flashing is a metal that is installed where the dormer meets the roof and over other joints; as well as around the chimney, roof vents, and valleys in your roof. Flashing prevents water from seeping in and gushing down your plaster walls. Very, very important!

The new roof that was recently installed before we bought our house, the one that was supposed to last up to 25 years, had to be completely torn off. The installation was shoddy, and that is being polite. The previous home owners must have been aware of the problem. It doesn’t rain all that often in Southern California but it does rain occasionally. There is no way to miss a waterfall gushing down your walls!

We had purchased a 1 year home warranty policy to cover things like roof, plumbing problems or appliances breaking. The insurance company refused to honor the policy because they stated the roof was improperly installed in the first place. Our policy is essentially worthless, just like our roof. An interesting article on home warranty policies.

House, Oct 2003. An improvement but we still have so much left to do!

A brand new roof with flashing has been installed. We had to replace the cedar shingles on the dormers because they were rotten from water damage. Over the past year we have torn out the old cement steps and installed wood ones. The brick columns on the porch have been rebuilt. I removed the asbestos shingles from the porch and found the original wood railing still intact.


We had the roofing removed from over the pergola. It is so nice and open now! It will be beautiful covered in vines or climbing roses.

Comments { 3 }
  1. Jess

    Hello fellow graphic designer! I’m a bit south of you in Chesterfield square (closer to the home depot) in a 1910 bungalow. My roof, well… looks a little saggy. I know this is an old post, but do you have any references for roofers? (Any clue how much something like this costs now?) And hopefully someone that can remove my oh so awesome aluminum siding. God only knows what’s underneath. Love to hear more from you about either of these projects. I put my email in above.

    Your blog inspired me to buy this house a few years ago. Haven’t checked back in awhile and really happy to see you’re posting again!

    • Heather

      Hi! I no longer have the contact info of the guy who did our roof…sorry. But, I do have someone who can remove your siding and repair your original wood siding. It is always a little scary to find out what is waiting underneath! We worked with a contractor named Juan Reyes 626.793.7091 to repair our wood siding after the asbestos was removed.

      Good luck with your project!

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