I'm puzzled about my leaking roof. It's not leaking like a leak should leak.

Hi. Thanks for looking in.
Almost all leaks I've ever dealt with go Drip, Drip, Drip, forever.
But this one goes Drip, Drip, Drip, Pour, Drip, Drip, Pour, Drip, Drip, Pour, Drip, Drip, Drip, Drip, PourŠ I hope you can see the pattern there. The Drips might be 30 seconds apart, and then it Pours for 8 to 12 seconds. Then starts over with the single Drips followed by a Pour.
The question - What causes it to Pour every few minutes? I'm stumped. If anyone would hazard a guess, or better yet, know why it does that, I'd surely appreciate. Thank You,
Daniel Cullpeppper .
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A description of the roof construction and the location of the leak would go a long way toward giving us something to work with.
It seems clear that the water is being held by something until it reaches a tipping point, then the something empties and returns to a position that collects water. That might be a bit of membrane that sags enough to collect water. TB
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Probably some teeter-totter mechanism that fills and dumps. This occurs naturally in some rare springs, where the spring will trickle for hours then suddenly flood and go back to trickle.
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Possibly a depression between two layers of plastic sheeting. When the depression fills, it "siphons" out over the lower edge until it empties the depression. Then the cycle restarts.
SJF
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Fiberglass insulation in the ceiling? Water pooling in a depression on the upper moisture barrier? Gets full, dumps a load?
-Frank
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+-+
Hi Guys,
I hope I'm not too late in acknowledging your help. I wasn't expecting response in the form of a ³Re: Š
The house is 1940-ish and Art Deco in appearance. The roof is in character with a 20 to 25 degree slant. In any vertical rain or cloud burst there's no leak at all. It's only in a driving rainstorm from the southeast does the strange leaking occurs.
Thank you all for you're thinking and possible causes. Now all I have to do is to wait for some serious storming, wiggle through a tiny hatch into the attic, and start looking for a teeter-totter that collects that rain and take it from there.
So thank you again for giving me a starting point. Daniel C.
BTW: This group really is helpful, warm, caring, and knowledgeable. If only all were so civilized.
Dan C.
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wrote:

Why wait. There will be staining or deposits where the water pools.If the pooling is visable, you should be able to see it dry.
Bob
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Daniel Cullpepper wrote:

Another option, if you don't want to wait for a storm, is to crawl up there and have a helper spray the suspect area with a hose. (For those "I want my roof to leak right now" moments.) -- H
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Look for a membrane that stretches under the weight of the water.
When it begins to pour, the membrane elasticity keeps pushing the water out until nearly empty.
The drip would be the membrane filling up.
I've gotten used to this sound after years of camping with tarps during the rain.
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You're going to wait for a storm? Why not get up on roof in suspected area and see what you can? Of course, since you say it is only in driving rain from SW, might be coming in just under roof, or through ventilation opening below but above upstairs ceiling. But you may be able to see crack on outside, evidence of staining on inside. Worth a shot.
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Daniel Cullpeppper wrote:

Quite a mystery! With the rhythm you describe, it makes me think of a couple of scenarios ... water collecting on top of roof in a small depression (bent shingles or warped spot on deck) and the water fills up the depression and wind blows it into some opening, like a vent or a hole. The other would be a leak over one spot, with water dripping onto a rafter or ceiling, traversing to where it comes through the ceiling.
A small gap in fascia, or wind strong enough to blow rain into roof or soffit vents would be places to examine carefully. Get out the caulk gun and look for every possible opening. As others suggest, look for stains inside. We helped a friend locate a leak on his roof, far away from where a substantial amount of water was draining out of a ceiling light fixture - the leak was a missing shingle and warped deck right above a rafter - water ran down the rafter onto the ceiling plaster board and across/down to the light fixture.
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I honestly don't know, but it is an important question. Don't fix the roof until you are sure we have the right answer.
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