Drip during heavy rain shower

hi I have a two storey house in houston texas. This friday we got about 3 inches of rain at around noon. I was in my master on the second floor for the good part of the rain. When i went to my first floor family room I noticed water on my couch. I looked up to see a water stain from my vent. I quickly opened the vent to find it was completely dry and concluded that water was just using the opening to drip down. Now the rain although not heavy was steady by the drip had stop. I went up to the second storey and noticed no leaks in the ceiling just above. I also went thru the attic with a flood light and although the space is tight could not find any water marks by the drain vents etc. So i am lost as to how water was dripping thru the first floor with no evidence of it on the second. Now to the left of the family room is the guest bathroom which has it's drain vent and plumbing pretty far from the drip. I cannot imagine any plumbing in the area of the drip. The guest bathroom does have an exhaust which is about 3 feet from the drip spot. All the drain vents on the roof were re sealed after hurriance ike. And i should mention that during hurriance ike we did have a drip spot about a foot to the left of the new one.
So my quesiton is where do i look and what do you think is going on. The drip spot is about 9 feet from the shingled house side. Where could this drip be coming from. It also rained all day today pretty heavy and the drip is gone.
If it was the plumbing or the drain it would be consistent but it isn't. Please advice and thanks for reading.
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On Sat, 18 Apr 2009 16:40:07 -0700 (PDT), against all advice,

That sounds kinky.
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david wrote:

Water can travel a long way before it becomes visible. For instance, the leak could be on the other side of your house, the water travels down a wall to the floor, along the floor (under the carpet) until it finds a hole, through the hole to a slightly-tilted beam, along the beam 'till it hit the vent, thence down to your couch.
The easiest thing to check, and the most likely source of the water, is the flashing on the various things that pierce the roof, irrespective of their proximity to the visible part of the leak.
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re: " i am lost as to how water was dripping thru the first floor with no evidence of it on the second"
Water will find it's way to an opening via a path that you may not see. It may run along the bottom of a joist, a wire or a pipe, finally dripping down when its attraction to the object ends and gravity takes over. The property is known as surface tension and it can make the origin of the leak difficult to find.
In addition, it could run along the top of the ceiling drywall and not show any signs until it either pools someplace and/or saturates the drywall enough to soak through.
Was it windy when you got the 3 inches of rain? It could have been blowing through any opening and working its way down to the first floor. If it was, figure out which way the wind was blowing from and see if you can find an opening - an opening that might not be seen unless it's really windy. That's a tough one.
Have you been there long and been through storms like this before? Maybe you'll get lucky and it was an isolated incident. Stranger things have happened.
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Thank you for replying
Yes it was very windy during the storm and the rain was horizontal at times. I had leaks at different parts of the house last year during Hurriance IKE and my handyman dir re seal the flashing as he noticed that they were pretty bad.
This drip is about 3 feet from the one that i had during the hurricane which was much worse.
The only thing i can think of is that the water came thru one the air ventitation vents but again i don't see any signs of dampness there nor did the insulation get wet. Does insulation dry so quickly.
thanks
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david wrote:

Leaks don't have to start at the top (roof), they can start at the side too. Horizontal rain means water was being driven hard at places where it normally wouldn't. Entry could be lots of places...around a window...bad shingle...
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David, is there a window on the second floor above the leak? What is the exterior of the house - brick, EIFS, siding? Was the HVAC running during the storm?
Improperly flashed windows, especially in EIFS, are quite common and very destructive. High humidity, cold air conditioning, and metal pipework can sweat lots of water.
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david wrote:

Check around your vent stacks in the attic. I had a similar situation that only occurred during heavy rains. There is a boot made of rubber that is around the vent stack as it penetrates the roof. In my situation the stack pipe had fallen ever so slightly causing a indentation in that rubber boot around the pipe rather than tapering upward around the pipe. This indentation was enough to accumulate a bead of water and eventually it followed the pipe to a point to where it dropped to the floor joists of the attic. I thought I would never find the leak, but when I did it made sense.
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Yes, I have found the source and it is one of the vent stacks. Unfortuntely i cannot go on the roof safely as it is a two storey but can see the drip when i was on my attic during a recent thunderstorm.
A visual inspection from the attic shows that it is sealed but I may be wrong. My conclusion is based on the fact that i cannot see sunlight from the boot. -- I am no expert so your comments are welcomed.
Anyway i have called some roofing companys and one showed up and the guy did not even climb the roof and wants me to file an insurance claim. I am surprised. Why can't they just replace the boot or redo the area around. thanks please comment Regards
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wrote:

The roofing company replaced one of 4 sections of my roof after a hailstorm. They replaced all the boots in that section. That roof was only 10-11 years old. They said the boots were not in great shape. The roofing company had to inspect the roof and take pictures documenting the damage before the insurance company would act on the problem.
Water will find ways to get in even if things appear to good from one view. I would assume you could reboot vent pipes. I have replaced damaged shingles on my barn. Of course if the roof is already too far gone, patches are just the chance for more complaints. No reputable roofing company is going to try a job where the potential is great for more complaints. Maybe the roofer saw that your shingles were already showing signs of being at the end of their useful life.
I took an abandoned brick chimney out of the roof and attic of one of my co-worker's houses. I installed some plywood to fill the hole and weaved in some new shingles. She never complained about any new leaks. That roof was relatively new (a few years old) so weaving in new shingles was pretty easy. Note I am not a roofer so any comments should be taken accordingly.
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On Apr 26, 1:16pm, Jim Behning

The shingles on my roof are the 40 year shingles and they look to be in very good shape. But i am not an expert and therefore getting a second opinion from another company. In any case i too am leaning toward it being an issue with the boot. Only wished the roofer would take the time to climb the roof instead of telling me to first file a claim. He did say he has 18 yr experience so go figure. Regards and thanks again
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re: "My conclusion is based on the fact that i cannot see sunlight from the boot."
Light doesn't bend but water does.
Try looking through a garden hose. Unless it's stretched perfectly straight you can't see light through it, but water has no problem "leaking" from one end to the other.
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david wrote:

    As another poster said, it is not always possible to see a gap for there to be one. Those boots are not expensive, (something less than $15) but sometimes a couple of new shingles are needed in order to replace them. This is due to the way the boot sits between the shingles.

    As far as the company not wanting to climb your roof for this problem: I suspect he is looking for a larger job than replacing a boot or two. You might see if an odd job person or handy man is willing and knowledgeable for the task. Unless your roof is in need of replacement it should not take long or cost much.
    The correct way is to replace the boot which is generally affixed to an aluminum base. As a cheap and temporary fix, you could cut the rubber part out of the replacement boot and simply slip it over the existing one. It will probably work for some time since it will provide an umbrella effect over where it is currently leaking. I do not recommend this type of fix, but I just thought I would throw it out there.
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wrote:

Finding leaks may require some detective work. For example, a roof leak can travel nearly horizonally several feet along a pipe or beam before it moves downward. Wait for the next rain or have someone use a garden hose on the roof while you inspect.
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