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Question DetailsAsked on 9/29/2014

Roof Leak Due to Neighbors Replaced Roof

I have a townhouse. The roof on the townhouse originally all ran continuously so there was no leak. The original roofs were 3 Tab Shingles. The neighbor replaced their roof with architectural shingles and just ended them at the property line and then placed a cap over their shingles and the shingles on my side. This all happened before I owned the property. The cap they places was sort of like a ridge cap but instead of running across the top of the roof it is running down the house on the roof between the 2 townhouses. You can see better in the photo. I looked online and do not even see where a permit was pulled and I have never seen a roof with a cap like this before. The ones I have seen always run continuously. Is this even allowed be code. What is the best way to proceed.

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Many townhouse and condo contracts provide for combined building-wide contracts for roofing and exterior painting and siding and such to avoid this problem. I could not see any image at the photo reference because my firewall says the photo png file has an imbedded virus - but the right way to do it would be replace the entire roof at one time. If you have to do only one part of the buildingfor whatever reason (welcome to the nightmares of condos and townhouses, and one of the reasons you would never catchme buying into this sort of arrangement), interfacing with your underlayment and shingles should have included keeping your underlayment on their side for the specified end overlap distance (2-3 feet or so typically) under the new underlayment, then the shingles should have been properly interwoven with yours - totally on their side if your previous unit's owner did not approve of them working on his roof, otherwise all new shingles on the neighbor's side and then interwoven with yours for the 2-3 feet necessary for proper interweave on your side.
A dead stop at the line with any sort of up-downslope covering cap would be dead wrong and an invitation to leaks - if you have to do this piecemeal work without proper interleaving then a party stub wall should have been built there and properly flashed on both sides, but that is much more likely to to leak than properly lapped shingles. Getting them to pay for it to be done right at this time might be a tough sell, but the ridge should be removed and new underlayment or ice and water shield put down under where it was, overlapped with proper overlap amount to the existing underlayment on both sides of the line, then new shingles interwoven on both sides to provide proper drainage - which will leave a highly visible zig-zap pattern at the end of the new shingles at the line where they terminate - another reason townhouse/condo roofs are usually done as part of an entire building job. If you can prove ti should have had a building permit and the building department doesnot have a record of it, might give leverage to your argument, or for true neighbor warfare having city inspector come and cite them for work without a permit and faulty work would carry weight but make them enemies for certain.

As for code issues, I don't see anything in the IBC that prohibits what they did, but that does not make it right. Usually, and certainly for new construction, you almost always have to have a fireproof party wall sticking up 3 feet or so above the roof at the line of each unit, so each roof is shingled up to and flashed at the party wall. Looks like this typically - the wall stickingup above the roof, with its building block base behind the first bush -

One other way to handle this, though would require some framing work and assumes there is not a rafter right there, would be to frame and sheath in a valley recessed below the roof surface and running from top to bottom of roof, then properly flashed in under the adjacent shingles - would be hokey and certainly not the best way to handle it, but would work.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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