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Community and Q&A

Roof Leaks During New Construction

Jason916 | Posted in General Questions on

Good morning. We are having a new home built with Lennar and they have put on the roof black felt paper and tiles have been sitting on roof for 2 months uninstalled. During this time the drywall, insulation, electric, etc was installed. Building is wrapped and stucco is about to begin next week.

We’ve had 4 good rain storms and since the first one, 3 leaks have developed and water has been found inside home. I’ve documented this and got in touch with the construction manager as I am worried about mold growth. After each storm and my inspection, nothing was done to dry out the areas. During the last storm I sent a follow up email to ask what is going on.

The reply I receieved was leaks happen and it won’t be fully water tight until tiles go on. They opened up a wall to inspect for mold and luckily none was found. After hours, I went in with my moisture meter and drywall was crumbly and sitting around 23% MC. I emailed these photos and he said they will replace drywall and make it right.

I come back the following day and they only patched the drywall they removed and that’s it. I am thinking they will fully remove the area after rain stops but who knows.

Overall the quality of construction by Lennar has been very very poor but that’s for another post.

My concern is since they haven’t done anything to help dry the areas fast, do I have a legitimate concern about mold growth? I have a young son who has bad asthma so it is a concern for me.

Thank you.

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  1. Jason916 | | #1

    When the home was still open inside (drywall was not up) and black roof felt paper was on, we got our first storm and subsequent leak and I emailed them immediately so they could address it now before drywall/insulation installed occurred. I'm very frustrated that nothing was ever done.

    Add to the fact that there is a supply shortage of radiant barrier roof sheathing boards so they had to install fiberglass insulation batting under the roof deck in the attic. I am 1000% sure wherever the roof leak is happening that batting is drenched in water.

    My only option seems to be to replace the batting in attic ceiling when we move in as well as open up the walls where leaking occurred to check for mold. I am fairly certain Lennar won't do a thing about it during construction right now.

    It honestly makes me want to back out of the deal and look else where, possibly build a home on a lot we buy. This is in California and the cost of this Lennar home is quite high which rubs me the wrong way that I would possibly need to do mold remediation upon move in when they could have addressed this from the beginning?

    Any thoughts/advice would be great.

  2. Expert Member


    Only a complete idiot does any interior work before the roof is on, or at the very least a well detailed roof underlay. The risk is not only mold growth, but damage to everything that has been installed - your electrical, insulation and drywall. I'd be talking to an experienced construction lawyer and consider walking away.

  3. Expert Member
    PETER G ENGLE PE | | #3

    Also, the underlayment on a tile roof IS the water barrier. Tile roofs leak all over, so the underlayment has to be watertight. If you have leaks now, you will have leaks once the tiles go on. Stories like this are what gives production builders a well-earned bad reputation.

    1. Jason916 | | #4

      This is exactly what I was thinking....the roof underlayment is the last line of defense if water gets under those tiles!

      I believe Lennar hired some of the worst subcontractors in this area to complete the work if I am being honest.

  4. walta100 | | #5

    I understand you are upset seems like they are taking some risk by pushing ahead instead of waiting for the roofers. It is not ideal but you maybe avoiding months of delays. Replacing drywall is not a big real especially if it has not been mudded yet.

    Can we assume like most places you have had some strong winds that may well have damaged parts of the underlayment that will be replaced?

    Before you make a big deal out of this consider the fact you likely do not own this house yet. Yes, you sign the papers and agree to pay x number of dollars for a house at some unspecified date so it is not yours before that date legally. Generally, the fine print says you are not allowed on the job site without permission and an escort so they can have you arrested for trespassing if they chouse. Consider that in the time since you signed the papers the price of everything has been going up including this house when they sell the same house to the next buyer it will likely be at a higher price. Generally, when they write the contract, they have a clause that lets them cancel for any reason they want including that they can resell it for more money to someone else.

    All I am saying is tread lightly and let them fix whatever got damaged before you start complaining and only then if the repairs seem inadequate.


    1. Jason916 | | #8

      Totally get everything your saying. My beef here is the leaks and promises yet nothing has been fixed and the rain keeps coming. Why start interior work when they've known for over a month now of the 3 leaking areas but don't address it.

      Seems silly to me to install insulation + hang drywall knowing full well it's damaged now from the rain leaks.

      But you're right...we secured our home during the 1st phase release and now the same model is $100k higher. I could possibly continue with the sale then turn around and flip it and pay the capital gains tax.

      I'm sort of at a crossroads here. I know the quality of the home is piss poor at a price of 1m+ doesn't sit right with me. I told my wife let's buy a lot and build but there isn't much in terms of quality lots for sale in the area. We could rent for now but we do love the area this Lennar home is being built in.

  5. Expert Member


    " Generally, the fine print says you are not allowed on the job site without permission and an escort so they can have you arrested for trespassing if they chouse."

    This is less than helpful nonsense.

    1. Jason916 | | #7

      So far they have been very cordial to all the photos and videos I've sent of the multiple issues during the build. But the thought of getting in trouble for going onto the property crossed my mind.

      Though I can guarantee I am not the only one going into their lot, as I've ran into 90% of my neighbors while seeing them sneaking into their in-construction homes.

  6. plumb_bob | | #9

    Doesn't sound good to me. I would bring the contract to a lawyer and get their opinion, will cost a few $ but may save some serious heartache down the road. Or, maybe the company can be convinced to come good and remove all GWB for a proper inspection. Sorry to hear you are going through this.

    1. Jason916 | | #10

      Thanks Bob. The construction superintendent did reply to my email stating they will remove+replace the GWB in the water damaged areas but to my surprise they only patched up the holes they cut out and then taped/mudded all the drywall up.

      Perhaps they wait until the roofers finish up and then rip it all out again but my gut feeling is they are pushing forward with the build. I saw the drywall guys prepping for wall texture this morning so who knows.

      Problem is from my observation this past year, the roofers never truly finish the roof until about 15 days out of completion of the home when they come in and finish tiling the roof.

  7. Jason916 | | #11

    We are in a bit of a jam here as we sold our primary home early April and was set on this Lennar home as we love the lay out + location + backyard space. Add we have 3 young kids ages 4-8.

    Worst case scenario we can live with in laws or rent a town home temporarily until we figure it out but inventory is really low here and my back up plan of buying some land to build on isn't looking great as there are no good lots for sale right now.

    I am leaning on moving in (July) then just ripping out the drywall areas to properly inspect for any damage. Will Lennar do this? I highly doubt it so I may just do it myself.

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