Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]

Where does the liability lie?

  • 10-01-2023 2:35pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2


    Hi All,

    I was hoping someone might have a clear idea on the following problem. We have recently has a flat roofed extension built onto the back of our house and after completion there were several leaks in the ceiling. After investigation the builder insists the problem is a historical one with the existing pitched roof that in the past would have leaked but run down the internal cavity into the ground (and apparently caused absolutely no sign of damp internally?) When the lower section of that wall was removed and a steel put in to support the upper floor then the water is now blocked, runs along the steel into various areas of the roof space and through the ceiling. As with any leak it's difficult to pinpoint the exact point of ingress but where does a builders liability lie? Whilst I accept that if the leak is on the pitched roof he did not cause the problem, but surely he has some sort of responsibility / duty of care? Wouldn't he be required to run some sort of due diligence on the existing structure initially to ensure it wasn't going to cause problems with the finished build? He can't walk away and call the project successful when there's literally a puddle inside whenever it rains can he?



Answers

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,284 ✭✭✭10-10-20


    I know you said that it happens when it rains, but is it a leak or could it be runoff from warm/moist air condensing on the inner side of the outer leaf...?

    It's going to need investigation anyway to determine who owns the problem. A third-party may need to be engaged to investigate and settle. Is there an appetite for that?



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,368 ✭✭✭Ginger83


    Did you have an architect or surveyor overseeing the work?



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,727 ✭✭✭Rows Grower


    Doesn't read like a historical problem to me but I'm not a roofer. Let him know you are going to get it fixed asap and if it's not he who does it you'll employ someone else capable and you will be keeping a record of all reports and expenses in case you are due compensation.

    "Very soon we are going to Mars. You wouldn't have been going to Mars if my opponent won, that I can tell you. You wouldn't even be thinking about it."

    Donald Trump, March 13th 2018.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2 Posca


    It's definitely a leak, the volume of water coming in at times is ridiculous... there's no question of condensation. There's no real appetite for a third party investigation but that might be where we end up. Regardless of which though, that's not really my question...the grey area is if the pitched roof (original part of building) which slopes down to the flat roof (new extension) is where the water has been getting in, despite the fact that the builder hasn't touched that area, shouldn't he hold the responsibility for the leak in the new extension even if the original ingress point of the water is in the old roof?



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,375 ✭✭✭chooseusername


    Yes.

    His work has caused the leaks.

    Ask to see evidence of the cavity tray he should have fitted.



  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 575 ✭✭✭TheWonderLlama


    What does the contract say in relation to the construction, does it say it will be watertight?

    If you have a contract, of course.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,469 ✭✭✭Xander10


    Why build a flat roof? Always going to be problematic at some stage.



  • Registered Users Posts: 38,821 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    If the leak was in the existing roof, and running down the cavity. Then it’s an existing condition outside of the scope of works. The builder wasn’t engaged to carry out maintenance. Even if he spotted it, and fixed it. That would be a variation that he would be entitled to charge for.

    It’s a similar situation to going in for a tyre change, but also having faulty brake pads.

    The question is whether or not that is the source of the leak. If it was coming down the cavity, I would expect the water to be mainly under the wall over head.

    You could wait until a dry day, get up there with a hose, and wet the flat roof only. If the leak reappears, you know it’s the flat roof. If it doesn’t, then you know it’s not.



  • Registered Users Posts: 757 ✭✭✭C. Eastwood


    If there were no leaks before the flat roof works commence, and if there are leaks there now when the works are completed, then it is axiomatic that the leaks are caused by the works carried out on the Flat Roof.



  • Registered Users Posts: 45,682 ✭✭✭✭muffler


    ''Whilst I accept that if the leak is on the pitched roof he did not cause the problem, but surely he has some sort of responsibility / duty of care? Wouldn't he be required to run some sort of due diligence on the existing structure initially to ensure it wasn't going to cause problems with the finished build?''

    ''the grey area is if the pitched roof (original part of building) which slopes down to the flat roof (new extension) is where the water has been getting in, despite the fact that the builder hasn't touched that area, shouldn't he hold the responsibility for the leak in the new extension even if the original ingress point of the water is in the old roof?''


    Those 2 comments/questions lead me to believe that you were fully aware of the leak which you didnt take the time or bother to fix but now you are looking for some way to blame the builder. Is that a fair summary?



  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 3,375 ✭✭✭chooseusername


    There was no sign of any leak before the extension was built, so how would the op be "fully aware"?

    "the builder insists the problem is a historical one with the existing pitched roof that in the past would have leaked but run down the internal cavity into the ground (and apparently caused absolutely no sign of damp internally?"



  • Registered Users Posts: 38,821 ✭✭✭✭Mellor


    That is 100% incorrect. You couldn’t possible know that without all the details.

    Just because water wasn’t getting into the house doesn’t mean the existing waterproofing was intact.



  • Subscribers Posts: 40,552 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat


    nope.

    This isnt the 1970s. There are plenty of flat roof products out now which are "for life" type have have a 50 year min life span.

    do you think all these commercial and industrial flat roofed buildings in the country are out fixing leaks every few years?



Advertisement