OT: First real rains in years, time to check your ceilings and walls.

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Submitted by no_such_reality on January 22, 2017 - 10:38am

Oh joy, I love the rain I really do.

Sadly, I noticed that my six year old roof may have a water leak. The paint has peeled in the corner of the kitchen ceiling and the underlying plaster while not wet or dripping feels cooler than other parts.

My joyful task for the day is adventuring into the attic crawl spaces across almost the entire length of the one story house to access the kitchen attic area. Did I mention we have a low pitch roof so the area the potential leak is at is were there will be lucky to have a foot of clearance between the roof and ceiling joists?

It's possible that it just peeled for shifting since a lot of the paint is latex over old oil base, but I really doubt it.

On the bright side, my roofer is still in business...

Submitted by ucodegen on January 22, 2017 - 10:58am.

At least it is not sunny and 80 degrees outside, which would make the attic unbearable. The other nice thing is that these days you can get a decent really bright LED flashlight for not much money. They are much better than the old really hot 'trouble lights' that one you have to use in the past.

Submitted by Balboa on January 22, 2017 - 1:37pm.

We have had bowls and tarps on our kitchen floor for 5 weeks now. Roof guy says it's not a roofing problem, that it was an issue with the (pre-existing) passive solar pool heating system. So we had a different company reinstall the system a month ago. It rained that night and we had water on the floor in the morning. SO spent a good chunk of this morning on the roof with a garden hose while I waited inside for the dripping to start -- so we have gone so far as to *pay* for the water that is possibly ruining our roof.

We've lived here 7 months -- there's no way the previous owners did not have this problem. There's no way this roof didn't leak in that amazing July 2015 storm, considering it leaked on us for the first time in September in much less rain. The trick is, the ceiling is planked, not plastered or drywalled -- so it's very easy to just wipe the dirty water off the painted planks and no one is the wiser.

I miss renting.

Submitted by no_such_reality on January 22, 2017 - 3:36pm.

So my investigation was not optimal. I was overly optimistic. On the amount of space in that section of the attic. Not to mention the number of nails sticking through from the roofers.

The wet spot is in the corner next to the converted kitchen 70s style box fluorescent light. That means I have the width of a kitch cabinet between it and the wall in the attic and the raised section.

Complaining aside. I wasnt able to get really close and didn't see obvious water running of signs of. Saw what appeared to be prior water on some of the old insulation. Didn't see any wet staining on the wood but didn't get the best view due to being several feet away, craning my neck and peering thru LCD light in the dust

That said the water damage appeared centered around the waste drain vent pipe for the kitchen sink. No signs of water coming from the roof so I'm wondering if it's possible for the pipe to be leaking on the bends from back flow? It's a pipe to provide air/gas venting, if excessive rain/water is getting in how problematic is that?

I checked the pipe outside and the flashing looks good but noticed the pipe doesn't have any kind of cap and it's right next to the solar panels on the downslope side and below the edge of the panel. And by checked I mean looked at from the ladder several feet away and I'm not climbing unto the wet roof in the rain to thoroughly investigate. That'll be a job for Tuesday.

Could the water be running off the solar panel into the vent pipe and then leaking at the joints? It's one of those older looking cone shaped vents that then has a straight pipe up out of it. How is the black PVC vent pipe connected to the flashing and external pipe normally?

(edited for phone typos).

Submitted by no_such_reality on January 22, 2017 - 3:46pm.

After googling my early afternoon away, my most likely culprit is a leaking flange for the waste stack. When the weather clears, I'll need to carefully check the flange seals.

Submitted by flu on January 22, 2017 - 4:17pm.

Lol. I walked into my master bedroom and near the window my carpet is all wet. Like soaked.... Great, add one more thing to "fix"....

Submitted by Hobie on January 22, 2017 - 4:23pm.

Sounds like either a missing or leaking storm collar if water is travelling down the vent pipe. Doubt the actual vent is leaking.

The do make a sealant that you can apply in the rain. Wear gloves as it is goopy

Submitted by AN on January 22, 2017 - 4:24pm.

flu wrote:
Lol. I walked into my master bedroom and near the window my carpet is all wet. Like soaked.... Great, add one more thing to "fix"....

My kid's bedroom experienced the same thing. I thought I had it fixed the last time to rain this much. But don't have any opportunity to test my fix. Turns out I fixed 1/2 of the problem. Time to try and fix the other 1/2 and wait for the next crazy rain.

Submitted by flu on January 22, 2017 - 4:30pm.

Hobie and AN, yeah thanks for the ideas... I think when it starts raining later today, I'm going to observe where the water is coming from....

I was concerned it was the roof, but the ceiling is dry with no stain. Then I was concerned I have a water line break, but I seriously doubt a water line runs there, and it was a water line, the carpet would remain soaked. I temporarily pulled up the carpet and am just running space heater near it to let it dry.

Oh, and I have money betting that after tonight's wind.. My fence will finally fall down. I've been putting that off too...lol...

Submitted by flu on January 22, 2017 - 4:32pm.

I don't mind the rain actually. It's kinda of fun to do donuts in my company's parking lot. The trick to getting security off your back is to let him drive your car and do some doughnuts himself, lol.

And I'm glad we didn't get rained on this morning during the Carmel Valley 5K.

Submitted by Hobie on January 22, 2017 - 4:45pm.

Actually flu, I was responding to NSR. No idea about your leak :)

Submitted by flu on January 22, 2017 - 5:03pm.

Hobie wrote:
Actually flu, I was responding to NSR. No idea about your leak :)

Well then, thanks for not helping me on this one.... :) Just kidding........

Submitted by no_such_reality on January 22, 2017 - 5:47pm.

Hobie wrote:
Actually flu, I was responding to NSR. No idea about your leak :)

Yea Hobie, what is it? The flex seal stuff? I need a bandaid to stop it long enough until the weather clears.

It's getting much worse, the ceiling is dripping and I went back again with the rain now and found the real leak. One of the nails in the flashing right next to the pipe is the conduit. Water running right down it and dripping on the ceiling. Way back under the corner.

I figure I need to seal over the head of the nail outside as the bandaid.

Henry's rubberized roof repair. Found it

Submitted by moneymaker on January 22, 2017 - 6:33pm.

flu, maybe the window was left open, sometimes the simplest solution is the right one. My Jetta has a sun roof that is known to open all by itself, only after a recall to fix said issue no less.

Submitted by no_such_reality on January 22, 2017 - 7:00pm.

Okay, maybe I'm a touch cray-cray. Already went to Home Depot, pick up a gallon of Henry's Wet Patch Rubberized Roof Repair/

Came home, rain had lightened but not stopped, wind was lighter than earlier and did a mad dash up to the roof where I lathered and feathered my patch over the nail and the edges of the flange as the edges seemed loose and water squirted out when I pressed.

I'll check the attic tomorrow, I'm done with the attic today. Figure I had stop the leak as when I saw it during the heavier rain it was like a trickle/drip from a faucet and with rain heavy project through tonight and tomorrow, I figured I'd have enough water to collapse the ceiling.

Submitted by flu on January 22, 2017 - 7:32pm.

moneymaker wrote:
flu, maybe the window was left open, sometimes the simplest solution is the right one. My Jetta has a sun roof that is known to open all by itself, only after a recall to fix said issue no less.

No it was closed, unfortunately... I double checked. Will find out tonight.
I think I have a seal leak somewhere.

Submitted by svelte on January 22, 2017 - 9:42pm.

I've heard of a few others with roof leaks this month too.

I suspect that, in addition to the abundant rain, part of the problem this year is the strong winds we've had. Water is hitting our homes at odd angles, finding previously unknown routes through our barriers.

Submitted by Hobie on January 23, 2017 - 5:20am.

no_such_reality wrote:

Could the water be running off the solar panel into the vent pipe and then leaking at the joints? It's one of those older looking cone shaped vents that then has a straight pipe up out of it. How is the black PVC vent pipe connected to the flashing and external pipe normally?

The Henry stuff is just what you need for repairs while its raining.

This is to clarify if you are confidant that the leak is running down the outside of the vent pipe inside the attic.

You did mention that your roof was just several years old. Normally, the 'cone' flashings hardly ever leak. If they do, its an old house and they have rusted.

They are replaced with a new roof. The storm collar is what fits around the protruding center vent pipe and over the cone flashing. They are also called roof jacks.

Some guys will fill the gap between flashing and vent with the Henry goop and will seal for years.

Rain entering the actual vent simply runs through the house sewer pipe. Possible but doubtful if they forgot to glue vent sections.

I would however, be very suspect about the solar panel roof connections.

Watch for water running a great distance down rafters. This may be something that flu could look for as well. A high roof leak can appear far away from where the water starts dripping.

As mentioned, all bets are off with the wind. Hard to find these type of leaks.

Submitted by flu on January 23, 2017 - 7:50am.

So here's where my leak is happening.
leak1
It seems like water is oozing from the location where my red screwdriver is. And it doesn't take that long from the time rain starts to the time I start seeing water ooze in. I get a nice puddle within 5-6 minutes.

Also, it doesn't seem to be rain+wind. Even without wind, it seems like water is oozing in. In fact, this morning when it stopped raining, it was still coming in.

I'm thinking maybe a bad seal window seal or crack somewhere.
window1

Here's some outside pix.

outside1outside2

I think I will check the seal around the light too to make sure, though it's far enough away that i doubt it would be that. There's also the side vent on top, but again, I don't think it would be likely to be leaking there....

Thoughts?

Submitted by Balboa on January 23, 2017 - 7:56am.

N_S_R, I don't know if stores carry ice melt around here, but it's branded as Damprid (and others) when it's used as a desiccant. There are some other chemical dehumidifiers, too. You might want to toss some up in the attic to help things dry out. (They collect the water in a container, so ease of removal is a consideration.)

Forecast says my neighborhood should hit the 70s this weekend. Fingers crossed. We've got a leaky window, too...

Submitted by no_such_reality on January 23, 2017 - 8:38am.

I think I got it.

Heavy rains last night, heavy rain and hail this morning, but the water spots is already drying which is good.

The flashing itself is new, they used a weird brown colored metal flashing to blend with the roof.

Not looking forward to crawling through the attic again later after the dentist.

I envy Flu's working area, here's were I'm at..

Submitted by NotCranky on January 23, 2017 - 8:58am.

Flu,
I wonder if the weep holes in you window are clogged? Maybe cleaning the tracks really well especially near the weep holes would do it. Other than that , possible window flashing leak or a leak in the seal where the wood siding abuts the stucco.

Is the wood siding new work? Replacement?

Submitted by flu on January 23, 2017 - 9:22am.

NotCranky wrote:
Flu,
I wonder if the weep holes in you window are clogged? Maybe cleaning the tracks really well especially near the weep holes would do it. Other than that , possible window flashing leak or a leak in the seal where the wood siding abuts the stucco.

Is the wood siding new work? Replacement?

No, it's all old stuff. Just started leaking this month though. I'll check the drain. I'm guessing getting a hose, I should be able to reproduce this fairly easily.

I'm inclined more and more to replace the windows. They already have a pressure leak, so they needed replacement... I might just pull the entire window and get new ones rather than just replace the glass.

The other source of the the leak I was thinking was near the door seal, to the right. But it looks like that's not the source.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on January 23, 2017 - 10:49am.

That's why I'm not crazy about all the "fancy" roofs. A simple roof with one slant in the best direction for solar would be ideal.

Submitted by Hobie on January 23, 2017 - 8:56pm.

There are also weep holes in the bottom of the outside stucco flashing. If they get plugged,usually by sloppy stucco installers, water could back up and drain inside. Or, there isn't a good 'z' flashing to keep outside water off the slab.

However, I'd look closely at your door. Bet that bottom threshold is missing caulking when installed.

Be sure the edge is sealed as well. ie weatherstrip on the vertical and top sides

Submitted by Hobie on January 23, 2017 - 9:01pm.

NSR: Not the area to seal the vent. It needs to be outside on the roof. Another close up pic please, and a roof vent shot.

Submitted by no_such_reality on January 23, 2017 - 9:21pm.

Hobie wrote:
NSR: Not the area to seal the vent. It needs to be outside on the roof. Another close up pic please, and a roof vent shot.

LOL, I didn't seal it there, I sealed it outside. I identified where it was leaking from the inside, through the nail that's in the flashing. That little bright spot behind the vent stack is a drip in motion.

I proceeded to go outside on the roof in the rain to check the nail and flashing. A little pressure showed water was wicking from the outside edge of the flashing over to the nail between the flashing and shingle basically reaching the unprotected part of the nail driven through them providing the access point.

I resealed the nail on top, and seal the edge of the flashing back to the shingles that are on top of the flashing. While attempting, in the growing dark, wind and rain to insure that I wasn't creating a mini-dam to trap the water.

So yeah, tomorrow being a sunny day will another climb back on the roof day and touch up my emergency patch.

BTW, thanks for the advice and pointers, it is appreciated.

I didn't change anything in the attic picture, that's the way it is, cruddy ancient insulation, skip lather cedar shingle detritus and whatever the hell the wrap is on the vent stack.

Submitted by Hobie on January 24, 2017 - 7:19am.

I just couldn't make out what was wrapped around the pipe. Very strange. Maybe that was simple to seal air leaks? Dunno. Doesn't matter now you have fixed it. Nice job.

Submitted by ucodegen on January 24, 2017 - 7:56pm.

AN wrote:
flu wrote:
Lol. I walked into my master bedroom and near the window my carpet is all wet. Like soaked.... Great, add one more thing to "fix"....

My kid's bedroom experienced the same thing. I thought I had it fixed the last time to rain this much. But don't have any opportunity to test my fix. Turns out I fixed 1/2 of the problem. Time to try and fix the other 1/2 and wait for the next crazy rain.

I will second Hobie's suggestion on looking at the door seals and seals between the threshold and door jamb. Check if the door jamb itself is cracking near the threshold. Ours is and it looks like I have a big job coming up to remove the door and redo a good portion of the door jamb itself. Doors that face the sun are more likely to have this problem.

Submitted by svelte on January 25, 2017 - 5:03pm.

flu wrote:

Also, it doesn't seem to be rain+wind. Even without wind, it seems like water is oozing in. In fact, this morning when it stopped raining, it was still coming in.

Your photos show water on the window. That says there was at least enough window to blow the raindrops over - it may be easier to do on your house because your roof overhang is extremely shallow.

On my house it takes quite a gust to get the windows wet...most rainfalls they stay dry. But this month, almost every rain has pushed the rain onto the windows.

Submitted by AN on January 25, 2017 - 5:37pm.

ucodegen wrote:
AN wrote:
flu wrote:
Lol. I walked into my master bedroom and near the window my carpet is all wet. Like soaked.... Great, add one more thing to "fix"....

My kid's bedroom experienced the same thing. I thought I had it fixed the last time to rain this much. But don't have any opportunity to test my fix. Turns out I fixed 1/2 of the problem. Time to try and fix the other 1/2 and wait for the next crazy rain.

I will second Hobie's suggestion on looking at the door seals and seals between the threshold and door jamb. Check if the door jamb itself is cracking near the threshold. Ours is and it looks like I have a big job coming up to remove the door and redo a good portion of the door jamb itself. Doors that face the sun are more likely to have this problem.
Yep, the problem I think is the seal going bad and the high wind. When it was raining hard but little wind, it didn't leak. So, I need to get the seal replaced.

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