Home Improvement--General/Water Stains

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Question
Attic Water Stains
Attic Water Stains  
I need an expert!
As of now, I close on this house in 2 days. Due Diligence period ended 2 days ago.
Here is what our inspector wrote in his report:

Stains were noted along the bottom of the roof sheathing in areas through the attic. Water penetration into the
attic can lead to problems if left unattended. Water stains in a dry attic may or may not indicate active leaks.
Stains will remain after leaks have been repaired, making it almost impossible to determine whether or not a leak is
active. Often leak activity will only be able to be determined by multiple inspections, over time, under varying
atmospheric conditions. Because of this ask the seller to disclose the history of any and all stains and if repairs
have been made to correct them and continue to monitor the attic conditions. If the seller is no aware of the stains
and or if repairs have not been made to correct possible water penetration, have a qualified licensed contractor
further make an invasive inspection to determine if any active leaks are present throughout the attic area.
There are water stains and or damage noted in the attic at but not limited to the chimney. Water penetration in the
building can result in damage and or an undesirable environmental conditions if not repaired or corrected. Have a
licensed roofing contractor further evaluate the entire roof for any additional leaks and identify to source of the
leaks noted to determine the extent of the damage and make and additional repairs as needed.

The owner of the house replied that she was completely unaware of any leaks or water stains.
I believe now that I am passed Due Diligence period, it is now my problem. Am I in a bad situation? Does the problem look major or minor? How much will it cost us to get this problem inspected and fixed?

Thanks so much in advance for your help, I'm really stressed about this.

Answer
Hilary,

Here is my suggestion.   I would find a couple of local roofing suppliers and ask if they have someone that can do an inspection and what would it cost; if they don't have anyone to do an inspection ask them for the names and numbers of a couple of good roofers they would recommend.  

Your inspector was right in his observations and comments.  It is common to find water stains in none cosmetic areas of residential construction that resulted from rains during construction.  There are often more stains in areas that have been covered up with finish material such as siding, brick or stucco on the exterior and sheetrock, paint or other cosmetic finishes on the interior.

Since the inspector didn't mention mold I would doubt that the stains are from a current active leak.  However, if the roof is properly vented wet wood can dry out pretty fast.

As far as costs of repair, it could be $0.00 if the stains are not from an active leak to the cost of a complete new roof and even some sheathing or other carpentry repairs required.  Good luck.

Len Kroll
Wood House Log Homes LLC

Home Improvement--General

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Len Kroll

Expertise

I can provide advice on the proper design, construction, maintenance, restoration, preservation, cleaning and waterproofing of log homes. Questions concerning proper cleaning, sealing, staining and waterproofing are within my area of expertise. My expertise includes new construction and existing log structures. Chinking application or restoration, log replacement and repair are also in my area of expertise.

Experience

40 years experience in the log home and construction industries, 10 years in specialty contracting, 30 years in the log home field. We have designed, produced, supplied and built over 3,000 log homes and restored/repaired over 600 log homes. See more information at our web site: www.woodhouseloghomes.com.

Publications
Authored a monthly column expressing the Vice President and General Manager's "Observations and Insights" distributed to 300 employees and management.

Education/Credentials
BS degree in accounting, University of Illinois, 1963. Master of Business Administration degree, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Numerous relevant seminars including an intense two week business administration seminar, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, 1978. National Home Builders Association Graduate Builders education program.

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society Student, Illinois State Academic Scholarship, Dean's List.

Past/Present Clients
References on request

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