Water damage leaking roof

Question: did any of you renovate a house with a leaky roof (resulting in damage on ceiling And floor). If yes, was the damage more extensive than you thought or could see?

Yes… I have been in that situation… in UK and also here in France.

It is worth making intensive investigations (get in experts and ask for quotes) before taking on such a project…

Can you share your experience? Was the damage more extensive than expexted?

Yes, it was more extensive than we thought or could see.

Yes, it cost a lot of money to put right.

Before you ask:

Yes, we got several quotes
Yes, it was worth having the work done professionally, since we then had the Guarantees
Yes, we chose a local company which had an excellent reputation for workmanship and reliability…
No, we did not choose the cheapest quote

:relaxed: :relaxed:


We had a problem with the roof of the house we bought - mainly due to the fact that the house had been empty and neglected for 3 years ( couple divorcing who just left the house ) and the Virginia Creeper that covered the front had lifted the tiles in one place. We knew about it and got a couple of devis for a full roof repair and used that to negotiate the price down. Upstairs -fortunately as it happens - someone had covered the floor boards with chipboard before laying carpet. The chipboard acted as a sponge and had soaked up water and rotted but protected the floor boards beneath. Downstairs the only sign was a couple of brown water marks down the walls. We got a good chunk off the selling price and got the roof done first thing.

We bought our house in the full knowledge that the roof was the weak point. We planned to replace it during first 10 years and ended up having to do it in year 3 as wanted to redecorate and not have damp marks on ceilings. We had hoped to retain a lot of the beams…turned out most were rotten so used contingency and then some.

The work was actually done in year 4-5 as we wanted to use the people with the best reputation in the area, and had to wait over a year for them to be available.

It was the most expensive thing we did! I recall it was around 140€ per sq metre.

An important point is to try and establish the time period over which the leak has been there. The longer it has leaked, then the greater the collateral damage is likely to be. Be especially sharp eyed in relation to any fungus or mold growth, and use a good strong flashlight to look into dark corners and spaces.
The other important thing is that once the leak is repaired, the building must be allowed to dry out thoroughly before much decorative work can be done inside. If a thick stone wall has become thoroughly soaked with water then it could well be several months before interior decoration is possible. Whatever you do, do not go down the road of using a dehumidifier as you will just create the appearance of dryness whilst in reality the wall is still wet inside. Take the time to let it dry naturally, and be prepared for it to take up to a year with good ventilation, and for it to be necessary to remove obviously rotten wood and loose or bulging plaster in order to aid the drying process.
A good rule of thumb is to evaluate how long you think it will take to fix all the problems, and how much it will cost, and then double those numbers, as invariably the full extent of the damage does not become apparent until after one has started to tear things apart.


I strongly recommend that you read the following article which explains how to both recognise and treat both dry and wet rot in timber and walls that can be caused by a roof leak.