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Roofing/roof leak, basement damage


Mr. Zacharia,
 I'm not entirely sure if you're the one to ask, but I need advice and any insight you can offer me would be more than I know now.  Several weeks ago my (torch down, flat) roof leaked pretty badly during an evening of severe thunderstorms. The water ran into the master bedroom (immediately below the source of the leak) through several points, including the ceiling fan and windowsill.  It saturated the carpet, and proceeded to soak through the floor, and (i believe) run down the walls behind the drywall and into the basement, where the water saturated the drop ceiling and the carpet.  

 The claims adjuster came out approximately 10 days after the incident, and agreed that all the damage to the bedroom ceiling, carpet and walls came from the roof leak.  However, he said that the water that soaked my basement was "surface water" that came in through the side door that leads into my basement from outside.  Water has never came in that way, as there is a drain at the bottom of the steps to the door.  Long story short, I need to somehow prove that the water that came in through the roof is the same water that soaked my basement.  What would I need to do as far as presenting evidence to convince the insurance company of what actually happened?

You'd probably have to open the walls to show continuous water damage in a line all the way to the basement. If the damage is not continuous then it came from another source. You said you believe it's the roof because it has never come in that way before but everything in life that breaks worked the day before it broke. I assume this is the first leak in the roof so if the same logic holds true then it couldn't have come through the roof because it never leaked that way before either.



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Brad Zacharia


All aspects of residential Roofing. This includes shingles and flat (low slope) roofs. I have knowledge in the installation as well as the design of roofs from an engineering standpoint.


I have been doing roofing for 40 years. This was my father's business and I took it over in 1980.

I have written responses to artcles that I felt needed a response to and those responses have been published in roofing trade magazines.

BSEE Drexel University

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