Roof leaks only during heavy rain

Here in the NYC area we have had continuous rain for about the past 6-7 days. Just to give you an idea, on the radio this morning they said the last time we got this much rain was back in 1913. Anyway, a leak in my kitchen ceiling prompted me to go into the attic to find where the roof was leaking. While I did find the spot, I could not find anywhere on the roof that would lead me to believe there was a problem. This is a regular sloped asphalt shingle roof about 10-15 years old which was put on top of the existing roof. I've never had leaks before, this is the first time I noticed a problem. Is it normal to get leaks during prolonged heavy rain with a NE wind? Also, could the leak be actually coming from someplace else on the roof and traveling to the spot I see in the attic?
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Mikepier wrote:

Yes, and yes.
Welcome to the world, and art, of leak detection. Direction of wind and intensity of rain both play a part. Often the easiest way to replicate a leak to track it down, is to use a hose and send the stream in the direction of the prevailing wind that causes the leak. Work your way up from the bottom of the roof as water rarely runs uphill.
The leak may be caused by something as small as a stray nail placed so that it isn't under cover of the shingle above, or isn't under enough cover. The water may travel along the top of the roof sheathing until it hits a seam and enters at that point. If you can see the underside of the roof sheathing, you're ahead of the game as you now have narrowed down your search to one piece of plywood.
R
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Just get a new roof. What's the problem? If it's 10 - 15 years old, it's due to be replaced anyhow.
wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@msn.com wrote:

The roof is not in need of replacement. It is in good shape.
I have these 2 pics. I have a split level house. The leak is about 2 feet in from the sliding glass doors and 3 feet to the right of where the roof meets the wall.
http://mp656.photosite.com /
I'm thinking the problem might be starting where the wall is, and the water is making its way to the bottom over the patio doors.
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Kelly wrote in message ... Just get a new roof. What's the problem? If it's 10 - 15 years old, it's due to be replaced anyhow.
=================== A gold star for Kelly, a contender for author of this week's least logical advise on alt.home.repair. Based upon what the homeowner said (which you repeated) this roof could be as new as 10 year. And it could have 30-40 year shingles. Only a moron or somebody with a lot of money to burn replaces a 10 or even 15 year old roof blindly without determining the cause of the leak.
FYI, I had cheap, 15 year builder-installed shingles on my house. I replaced the roof a few years ago when it was 38 years old. I inspected both the roof and the attic several times per year for signs of leaks and water damage. I deferred replacing the roof because I anticipated a major addition to the house and I didn't want to pay for multiple roofing projects in the space of a few years. I considered this safe since the roof was functionally sound. I replaced it when I determined that the home addition wasn't practical and I began to detect signs that the integrity of the roof was finally compromised.
One full 4x8 sheet of sheathing was spongy and needed replacement. A second 3x8 section of sheathing was also in need of replacement. Obviously, a full tearoff was in order. But, replacing the roof every 10-15 years would have cost me for one or more tearoffs anyway. Very thorough inspection revealed that there was no damage other than the 2 sections of sheathing.
I am certainly not suggesting that folks attempt to get 35-40 years service from an inexpensive roof. I'm just highlighting the fact that situations vary and most roofs should give much more than 10-15 years service. If somebody is too dumb or too lazy to do a few inspections per year, then more frequent replacement is advisable. But nobody should every follow your blind advise.
If the roof and sheathing appear to be functionally and cosmetically sound, then find the location of the leak and fix it. The homeowner should replace the roof only if reasonable efforts fail to detect the cause of the leak.
Gideon
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On Fri, 14 Oct 2005 09:05:09 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@msn.com wrote:

If it's due at 15, then it's not due at 10. Right?
And some roofs last until 20 and the new make of shingles are rated to last 5 years longer than my old style roof that lasted 20.
Some people aren't made of money.

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Thanks for your responses. Unfortunately the leaking roof has to take a back seat for now because for the past 2 days I've been trying to clean up my basement after it flooded. 8 days and 13" of rain, the water can't go anywhere but up. It was only 2" at the most, but it did get a lot of stuff wet. I'll get on the roof the next chance I get and check the valley area.
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wrote:

I'll take back what I said. You DO NOT need a new roof. You need a NEW HOUSE !!!!
*** MOVE ***
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wrote:

My basement got wet t0o. 6.7 inches in 2 days, but really in about 28 hours.
The water poured into the sump and the sump pump ran constantly, I checked outside and it was pouring out loads of water but it wasn't enough. I may put a one inch sill in between the room where the sump is and the other room. Then I'll trip over it all the time.
Can I nail it to the cement floor with cut nails?
Or what sort of glue or caulk should I use?
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check also gutters blocked with leaves, downspouts blocked to sewer need plumber to snake them all clear.
your roof should never leak.
if your roof is 45 degrees buy a tearoff and a new roof.
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buffalobill wrote:

Not sure what you mean by that.
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buffalobill wrote
if your roof is 45 degrees buy a tearoff and a new roof.
=============== Huh????
Please, please - explain your logic.
Gideon
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Mikepier wrote:

Yes, it can travel. I am a bit confused - you found "the spot"? What is the spot - where the kitchen ceiling is wet? What is directly above the wet spot? If there is an opening, such as for a vent, or a warped or broken shingle, look there. My limited experience with leaks have been: warped fascia with opening that allowed rain to get in above ceiling and run down plant hooks fastened into ceiling. The other was a missing shingle that allowed rain water in which traversed a rafter and came out through a ceiling light fixture about 10' from the hole in roof.
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The "spot" I am referring to is the leak in the roof I found in the attic. The attic is over the kitchen, so I stopped the kitchen ceiling leaking by putting a bucket in the attic where the roof has a leak. The pics I posted are not that great, but there is no vents or stacks coming out of the roof in that spot.
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Mikepier wrote:

One assumes this is a solid decked roof and the water is coming through at a joint between the sheets of plywood decking. Start from there and work up looking for the source.
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I read the thread and looked at your pics. I would suggest a very careful inspection of the valley area where the two roofs meet. Water could be entering there any traveling along the felt or first layer of shingles. The angle gravity factored in is about right for that to happen. Valleys and other flashings are frequent leak points when a nail over has been done. That is the best reason to never do a nail over.
Colbyt
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Colbyt wrote I read the thread and looked at your pics. I would suggest a very careful inspection of the valley area where the two roofs meet. Water could be entering there any traveling along the felt or first layer of shingles. The angle gravity factored in is about right for that to happen. Valleys and other flashings are frequent leak points when a nail over has been done. That is the best reason to never do a nail over.
============ Good advise. I would also add the fact that most good roofers won't roof a house unless the job includes putting a membrane below the shingles in every valley. It is very inexpensive insurance against leaks in one of the biggest problem areas on roofs.
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"Colbyt" wrote

The
I agree. Especially with the wind, which could be blowing the elements back under the eave when it leaves the valley. Chances are, that area wasn't worked correctly on a roof-over. It's not impossible, but since the soffit & fascia covering are installed after the original roof, it's very difficult to get additional roof covering (2nd layer) worked correctly in that area.
To the OP: This could have been leaking for a long time, but is finally showing up. Wood will absorb moisture to the saturation point. In the case of a heavy rain, wood will not absorb the saturation. The sheathing may look good from the underside, but that's usually the last to rot, the rot generally starts on top.
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Check around your chimney, if you have a fireplace.
We had to have our chimney sealed on the outside as we had a leak. We had a roofing man come and he did the sealing and checked all over our roof too.
He sprayed it it with some kind of brick sealer. It did not cost very much- $100.
shirley
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On Sun, 16 Oct 2005 06:03:23 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Shirley Thebaglady) wrote:

Good point. I moved in in May, and on Thanksgiving I awoke to see my bedroom ceiling dripping There was a conical enclosure around the fireplace chimney and the furnace chimney (both round galvanized steel?) The previous owner had ttried to fix the leak by putting GE silicone caulk in the cone, but it's impossible to do this from the inside. When I was able to get to the roof, ulike all the other chimneys in my set of townhouses, mine didn't have a collar, a skirt, around the pipe above the cone.
So I caulked a lot with black roof caulking, and it was fine for about 20 years. It was still fine when I got a new roof, but I went looking for a collar. No one seems to use 12 inch chimney anymore, so I had to use a universal collar. AFAICT, there was only one supply house in all of Baltimore that sold them, and before I found that one, I found a fireplace store in Westminster (20 miles out of Baltimore) that had them. Only 10 dollars, but required a lot of careful trimming with tin snips.
When I put it on the next day, I saw that all the chimneys used this universal collar. That got a lot of black caulk too, and I recaulked the original place, so now I have two and a half layers of protection against chimney leaks.

Fair enough. You didn't risk falling off the roof.

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