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Who's Responsible?

 
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:09 PM   #1
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Who's Responsible?


I remodeled a kitchen a couple years ago. I had my HVAC guy re-route the furnace venting, but was able to retain the top section of vent so no roofing had to be done. A day or two after installation there was a slow leak, most likely due to ice damming. I told them to take care of it. They did some caulking up there and it solved the problem until today, home owner noticed a little drywall crack and water staining.

Note, it only leaks during winter months as we have had massive rain falls during spring months and there were no problems. Most likely they jarred the piping enough to where movement caused some damage.

Of course I'm going to make the customer happy and take care of damage and what's causing the damage. Most likely will involve a roofer, them replacing the top section of piping (for peace of mind), replace water damage insulation and drywall, re-popcorn and paint. Damage is minimal, maybe 3x3 ceiling section but this all adds up, could be 2000+. Who's liable? Should I get his insurance to pay for all this? I do have insurance but of course i want to avoid using mine.
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:44 PM   #2
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Re: Who's Responsible?


It depends on whether or not you want to fix it yourself next time.

Also you should know that caulk is not a permanent solution to a roof leak. You should have put in a new boot and storm collar.

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Old 12-10-2017, 02:17 PM   #3
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Re: Who's Responsible?


Based on your post, who's liable is rhetorical right?
- It was your HVAC guy (meaning, I assume, he contracted with you and not the HO)...

- The repair was directed by you, as well as the HVAC's solution accepted by you...

As to the solution, depends on the problem... if it wasn't from work that originated with your company/subs, you normally wouldn't be liable, but sucks as it does, the issue presented itself, doesn't sound like the problem was diagnosed/fixed correctly, hence a coupe of years later, it remains a problem, and you adopted it being the last the touch it...

That said, depending on the actual problem will really determine if the customer has any exposure for any of the repair...

However it works out, kudos for being pro-active...
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Old 12-10-2017, 03:58 PM   #4
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Re: Who's Responsible?


Imo it should of been handled upfront properly, and is your responsibility. I wouldn't involve insurance for 2k. It sucks but stuff happens and I expect to have to come out of pocket for some stuff like this.

Something you may consider on remodels is to not allow your MEP trades to water proof their penetrations, get your roofer or do it yourself. Just include in the bid
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Old 12-10-2017, 05:15 PM   #5
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Re: Who's Responsible?


Part of being a contractor is accepting the fact that everything is your fault....
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:03 PM   #6
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Re: Who's Responsible?


Including the final invoice.
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Old 12-11-2017, 01:10 AM   #7
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Re: Who's Responsible?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay hole View Post
Part of being a contractor is accepting the fact that everything is your fault....
I definitely understand that it falls on me, but i'm just trying to get my HVAC company to also pitch it to help solve this problem. it's going to get done either way, don't get me wrong
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Old 12-12-2017, 09:23 AM   #8
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Re: Who's Responsible?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jacselee View Post
I definitely understand that it falls on me, but i'm just trying to get my HVAC company to also pitch it to help solve this problem. it's going to get done either way, don't get me wrong
It ends up like this, you did that job within a half mile of my house and the roof leaks there as well, SO, you will need to come fix that as well. HA !!
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Old 12-12-2017, 09:52 AM   #9
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Re: Who's Responsible?


I would let your hvac sub know that his penetration has leaked again and that you would like him to pay your roofer to re-do it. After he refuses and comes up with all kinds of bs how it isn't his problem (because most people have no integrity), you can fix it all yourself.
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Old 12-12-2017, 08:57 PM   #10
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Re: Who's Responsible?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jacselee View Post

Note, it only leaks during winter months as we have had massive rain falls during spring months and there were no problems. Most likely they jarred the piping enough to where movement caused some damage.
Only leaks in the winter when there is snow on the roof?
or
Only leaks during heating season?

Could be an ice dam
or
When the pipe is warm it could be condensation forming and dripping down
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:10 AM   #11
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Re: Who's Responsible?


Tim brings up a good point, try to determine the actual source of the problem before pointing fingers, if you can get into the attic or scope the pipe. If there's condensation you may have to insulate the pipe.

The mechanical HVAC installer should not be responsible for roof tie ins. That is the job of the roofer, if you need the HVAC installer to provide a pitch pocket for the roofer that's one thing but the waterproofing surrounding it is an entirely different basket of apples. In my opinion you're on the hook for it.

If you can manage to go after insurance for it, consider the deductible cost and the fact your rate may go up as a result. May not be worth the time and effort.
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:48 PM   #12
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Re: Who's Responsible?


rerouted vent to exisiting roof opening? a loose pipe will let moisture out and freeze in attic. which will then melt and fall onto drywall.

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