METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - Metairie homeowner Willie Peavey, who's 90-years-old, has been concerned for months about an ongoing leak in his bathroom. The ceiling near the shower is cracked.
"It was really pouring the first time my young son went in there," Peavey said.
Every time there's a hard rain, he says water fills up a bucket. It's frustrating because his roof - when the leak started - was only a year-and-a-half old. Better Care Home Improvements installed it in June of 2015 after a hail storm.
"They did all kinds of houses, at least four or five houses in this neighborhood," Peavey explained.
He paid his $1,100 deductible, and his insurance paid a little more than $12,000.
He says he made several calls to the roofing company about the leak.
"They sent a man up two or three weeks ago, and he got up on the roof and then he got off and he got up there and said he used some caulking, said the roof was no more leaking," Peavey said.
But the leak wasn't fixed after all ,so Peavey turned to the FOX 8 Defenders for help. We asked licensed general contractor and HBA Past President Scott Morse to take a look and give us a second opinion.
"The shingles are good. The vent is good. The actual install, the spacing is good, the nailing looks good. There's a problem. Obviously there's a problem, but I think it's relative to flashing, not to shingles, and all they did was shingles," Morse said.
"When I contract to put a roof on my house, I expect them to take care of whatever it is. I don't care what it is - whether it's flashing, roofing," Peavey said.
But flashing was never checked off on Peavey's contract, therefore it wasn't required by his roofing contractor. Flashing is often used to protect a home from moisture damage. It can be used where the roof meets the side walls of a dormer, for example, or a chimney or a vent pipe. In Mr. Peavey's case, Morse suspected the problem existed behind the vinyl siding from an addition years ago that meets his main roof.
After our call to Better Care Home Improvements, Peavey's roofing contractor owner, Curt Cobb, also met us to assess the roof his workers installed. He focused on that same vinyl siding area, too. Cobb pulled back some of the siding, which revealed debris.
"What this is doing now, the debris is getting caught on this channel here, and it's just washing and washing over time. It starts to build up, and what this is doing, this J channel is designed for the water to flow down, and so it's stopping up here and what it's doing now is spilling over this side," Cobb explained.
Cobb cleared out leaves, dirt and other debris that had been blocking the flow of water down the roof, and when he peeled away the vinyl siding, we easily spotted water stains. Cobb pointed to a couple of areas where the plywood underneath was even damp.
"The insurance company says you can do the roof the correct way without having to remove all of this stuff. We used to ask them to allow us to detach and reset this stuff, but they say it's an unnecessary cost, but honestly it never hurts to while you're replacing a roof, to pull this stuff back and maybe redo this flashing. That's just something that we're not paid to do," Cobb said.
Even so, he offered not only to redo the flashing, but place what he calls an ice and water shield underneath it, at no cost.
"It's something that we could pay extra attention to and maybe we could've seen the debris in there and say maybe we should address this at this time and we didn't, and at this point it's not a problem," he said.
Within just a few days, Better Care Home Improvements had repaired Willie Peavey's roof.
To prevent a situation like this, contractors suggest regular maintenance, cleaning out any debris that could collect over time and block the flow of water.
The FOX 8 Defenders staffed with volunteers from the National Council of Jewish Women also field consumer complaints at 1-877-670-6397 or you can fill out an online complaint form.