You may need an inspector for that roof leak

Alan J. Heavens / The Philadelphia Inquirer /

Q: I have a roof leak in the front bedroom corner of my house. The house has a flat roof and all seams and skylights were resealed, says my roofer. However, the roof still shows signs of leakage, albeit not all the time. (The bedroom ceiling is open so we can see where the leak is.) Last Saturday, the wood was completely dry; Sunday showed signs of wetness, as well as Monday.

Have you any ideas as to what can be done or can you recommend someone? The roofer stated that he would try running the water hose on the roof, however, we had enough rain, so he can’t seem to get a good day for it.

— Desperately seeking dryness

A: You may think what you see is the source of the leak, but because water always flows to its lowest point, it may be originating someplace else.

If you cannot get up to the roof to check things out yourself, and this problem persists, you have a couple of options.

One is to hire another roofer to check the first one’s work.

The danger is, of course, that the second roofer might pan the first one’s work and suggest a complete redo, resulting in more money and the possibility that the leak still won’t be fixed.

The second is what former colleague Dawn Fallik did when the source of a leak in a third-floor front wall of her rowhouse eluded everyone, and the cost of repairs and diagnostics reached $5,000 — but to no avail.

A mason suggested an inspector who uses infrared and moisture sensors to pinpoint sources of such leaks — in Fallik’s case, a bad pointing job.

The homeowner uses the information to hire a contractor to make repairs.

Smelly dishwasher sources

This suggestion from reader Joe Lucie: “Everybody knows how the dishwasher works, but no one reads the manual when there is a problem,” he says.

“I have never had problems with any smells; maybe it’s because we rinse off the dishes before putting them in the washer.

“Stress to your readers how important it is to keep the manual and read it.”

Contrary opinions are welcome.

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