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Old 04-04-2016, 11:55 AM
 
37 posts, read 33,191 times
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When it rains, sometimes some water drips through along a chimney, right at the corner where the chimney joins with the ceiling. It's just two small spots where some water drips--not even a measured cup of drip total after even several hours of rain.

I called three different contractors to take a look.

One says it's "the flashing." $300

Another says it's, IIRC, basically water leaking through old mortar. $700

Another says the whole chimney and the HVAC pipe running through it are just total crap and the whole thing needs to come down. $1500 or more

I have no idea what to think here. The latter two both say the "flashing" guy is wrong. But they'd say that if they're trying to get my business. I just have no idea how to figure out what to thing about this, and I certainly don't know enough to be able to figure out exactly what's happening myself.

How do you guys get through situations like this?
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:04 PM
 
8,768 posts, read 10,351,106 times
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What was the reason each gave for arriving at their conclusion?
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:07 PM
 
37 posts, read 33,191 times
Reputation: 18
None in any of the three cases. They just said "here's what it is," and named a price.
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:11 PM
 
436 posts, read 464,550 times
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That is why "word of mouth" and personal references to you from someone's opinion you respect, is so important.
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:16 PM
 
37 posts, read 33,191 times
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Hmmmm... there's a guy down the corner who used to own most of these houses and who seems really cool. He and his wife are very "good neighbor" types. Maybe I'll ask his opinion.
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Back and Beyond
2,605 posts, read 2,398,821 times
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I used to own a roofing business. Are you able bodied enough to get up there and check it out? If the rest of the roof is good, I'd try to silicone around the flashing first and see what happens. They also have products to seal the mortar with. Worth a shot.
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 6,923,609 times
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In this case, I think I would hire a house inspector/chimney sweep to check the problem with the chimney and give me an honest answer. Since two guys have said it's more than just flashing, I would think that would likely be true, although a problem with the flashing might lead to either of the other problems.
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
2,581 posts, read 1,383,601 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6.7traveler View Post
I used to own a roofing business. Are you able bodied enough to get up there and check it out? If the rest of the roof is good, I'd try to silicone around the flashing first and see what happens. They also have products to seal the mortar with. Worth a shot.

Even if you can't get up there to check it out, it makes sense to try the cheapest option first, since it could well be just the flashing. I'd definitely get a fourth opinion before I tore the chimney down.


In fact, given what you have so far, if it were me, I'd consider a fourth "tie-breaking" free estimate anyway. And if you get a totally different opinion and price quote maybe you can sell the story to your local paper.
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Old 04-04-2016, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Kansas City North
3,628 posts, read 6,764,696 times
Reputation: 4640
I'm with the fix the flashing first crowd.

Reminds me of my BIL when he was having foundation problems. Fixes ran from putting more dirt around the foundation and angling it away from the house to $15,000 +/- bobcat work, digging outside all the way down to the bottom of the foundation wall.
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Old 04-04-2016, 02:04 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
11,372 posts, read 7,412,439 times
Reputation: 16970
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speusippus View Post
When it rains, sometimes some water drips through along a chimney, right at the corner where the chimney joins with the ceiling. It's just two small spots where some water drips--not even a measured cup of drip total after even several hours of rain.

I called three different contractors to take a look.

One says it's "the flashing." $300

Another says it's, IIRC, basically water leaking through old mortar. $700

Another says the whole chimney and the HVAC pipe running through it are just total crap and the whole thing needs to come down. $1500 or more

I have no idea what to think here. The latter two both say the "flashing" guy is wrong. But they'd say that if they're trying to get my business. I just have no idea how to figure out what to thing about this, and I certainly don't know enough to be able to figure out exactly what's happening myself.

How do you guys get through situations like this?
How would I handle it!?

I would call repairman #1 and ask him to fix the flashing. $300.
When he shows up, verify that he is there to fix the flashing, but ask him to look around while he's up there and see if he can find another problem. Offer him a cup of coffee, and ask him about his family and business.

If the roof leaks again, I would call this guy with whom I carefully crafted rapport and see if he would like to take another look. If you have done a good job of establishing yourself he'll come back.
If he refuses, then on to candidate #2.
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