Unintentional Damage by the Well-intentioned

Recently I had a situation with a Client that was truly heartbreaking to work through.

The Client had lost her husband within the past year and is currently fighting health challenges of her own.

Since her husband had passed, a mysterious leak had developed within her home.

The leak did not happen all the time, but seemed to line up with rainstorms of a certain nature.

Not too long ago, we had a significant storm that was brewing.

As you can imagine, the Client was extremely nervous due to the direction the storm appeared to be coming from.

Right before the storm hit, the family’s longtime handyman unexpectantly showed up on the doorstep with a tarp that he wanted to put on the roof, over a skylight in the area that he was convinced the leak was coming from.

No water appeared to come through in the storm.

The degree of relief the Client felt at that point was beyond measurable and she was extraordinarily grateful at this kind soul for stopping by out of the goodness of his heart and tacking the tarp down prior to the storm.

Several days later, I came over for a meeting that had previously been scheduled for some time in advance to review the leak predicament.

After looking over things and hearing what had happened, my heart fell ill.

Shouldn’t my heart have felt “full” instead of “ill”?

Well, you see in this situation, not quite so.

Upon investigating things, it was clear to me that the leak had absolutely zero to do with the skylight.

Instead, the leak was stemming from where one of the three sewer venting pipes in the vicinity were penetrating through the roof.

We have a flashing correction system that we install for these types of leaks and all three of the sewer venting pipes could have used it.

Although there seem to be few that know how to detect this, once someone knows what to look for, these are relatively simple leaks to diagnose.

Now I was faced with the task of relaying this to the Client as well as the unsettling fact that while the handyman was extraordinarily well-intentioned with what he did at the last second before the storm, there is now a good amount of additional damage to correct as a result of all the areas where the tarp was nailed into the roof.

Not a good scene.

After running through all of this with the Client, she seemed receptive to what I had said, but also said that she thought she might look to seek another opinion.

I thanked her for allowing me to come out, sent her a blog I had written a while back about this specific type of leak, and encouraged her to get as much feedback from people as made her comfortable…but I also asked her to please not to give whomever comes out the “answers to the test”.

I have no idea if this particular Client will end up hiring us in the end to fix these issues.

While we would welcome the work, if she does not end up hiring us, my only hope is that she hires someone who is very well-versed with these types of leaks.

This is definitely a challenging circumstance for all involved, however the lesson learned by the unintentional damage incurred by an extremely well-intentioned individual should not be lost on any of us.

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