A friend asked me to repair a roof leak.
During rain, he gets water leaking around a light fixture.
I thought about drilling a small hole from around the fixture thru the roof and shingles in order to narrow down the location.
I could then re-shingle that area.
What do you think ?
Appreciate any feedback.
Isn't there an attic above the fixture? You might need an 8 foot long
DO NOT DO THAT. Leaks are usually not near where the water enters.
It's just that the fixture is an easy place for the water to drip in.
Go in the attic above it and look for a leak or wet insulation and
stains on the wood. If there is no attic,
Measure the distance from the wall, and from the end of the house. Go
on the roof, measure the same distances, mark the roof with chalk. (If
there's an overhang on the roof, add that amount.
Now you should be right over the fixture. Start looking for holes,
popped nails, and cracks in the shingles. Repair as needed with roof
cement, and pound down loose nails. Replace bad shingles, etc.
Leaks are usually AT or UPHILL from the place they drip. (But not
Is this a flat roof?
Is it a pitched roof? Is the light fixture in a finished attic, or on
the ceiling below the attic? If the latter, have you been up in the
I think drilling a hole will make another hole.
And leaks very often do not come from just above where they show up.
Water travels partially sideways for a variety of reasons.
Now I've only found one roof leak, when it was obvious, but I think you
should look on the roof and look for something not right.
The leak I found was around the round metal chimney. There was supposed
to be a 2" collar that was missing, and the black roof caulk had dried
up in the sun, or it wasnt' put on well. Well, I could tell it had
failed a while earlier (and the house was only 4 years old) because the
previous owner had tried to caulk from the inside, which usually doesn't
work. (Well, I bought the house in May and it started dripping in
November iirc, and it rained a lot in between so maybe it did work for a
while, but I think it's more likely it had been dripping where I didn't
Despite leaking around the chimney, it dripped in my bedroom, below the
attic, about 4 feet from the chimney. I never bothered to figure out
how it traveled the 4 feet. I just recaulked around the chimney,, and
later I got a new collar.
But that's only one possible source of a leak.
On Thursday, January 8, 2015 3:09:18 AM UTC-5, micky wrote:
Agree with all that. Not nearly enough info from the OP. For sure,
drilling a hole in the roof is a bad idea. He can identify the target
area on the roof by doing some measuring, if necessary and then look
for defects on the roof. That's where I'd start.
On Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 10:55:36 AM UTC-6, Tony Hwang wrote:
There is no attic in the general area of the leak(s).
Just solid wood planks.
It's a hardware store that was originally a home, and was also a restaurant at one time.
It is in sore need of a shingle job. :-)
I see no way of finding the leak(s) other than pulling up shingles.
Any ideas ?
About a year ago, I replaced a 4 ft. X 20 ft. area of wood and shingles on a bottom edge on one side.
It has a large chimney.
I went into the attic but could not find any evidence of wet wood etc.
The owner is not willing to spend money to do the job right. :-(
He has five buckets to catch the water. :-)
I am surprised that none of the lights have shorted out.
I'd apologize that I was busy, and slowly back
away from this job. And never go back.
It's a disaster in the making, with you as the
culprit when your patch doesn't work.
Christopher A. Young
learn more about Jesus
uhoh, do not go up there without putting down some
protective layer over the shingles first. often
just walking on old roofs will make matters much
do not put shingles on a flat roof (so it must
next time it leaks turn off the power and pull the
light out and see where the water is coming in from
and then trace it back.
they'll spend more in paying for repairs and
damage that those repairs will end up causing
sounds like a place i'd avoid hanging out in or
doing work for. you want to be the electrocuted
person poster child for Jan 2015?
I sounds like you're paying rent to a slum lnadlord. Refuse to pay
rent, use the money for roofing.... Or just move!
Legally, landlords dont have to pay for cosmetic repairs, but when it's
a safety issue, there are laws which force them to do repairs like this.
Not to mention that neglecting a roof will cause permanent severe damage
to a building real quickly.
I was once faced with precisely the same situation. Our friend was
disabled and could not get to attic to look for leak and, knowing my
husband was a handy guy, asked him to take a look. Hubby and I went up
to see; fortunately, it was raining at the time and we could see where
the leak originated and where water ran down the rafter and found a low
spot at the ceiling light fixture in a bedroom. Our good fortune was
another friend, a very charitable one, who worked for the roofer who did
our condo roof. We asked the roofer to take a look and, if it was a job
he could handle, to quote a lower price to the owner and we would pay
for it. Roofer did the repair, no charge.
It might be a good idea to drill a couple of holes, just to allow the
water to drain. Be aware that if the ceiling is saturated it might
fall. I would also turn off the breaker to avoid shorts.
What's the weather there? Good idea to have a roofer take a look and
I agree with all of your comments above.
You seem to be very vague in describing what you have (sloped roof, flat
roof, sloped ceiling, flat ceiling, attic, etc.). If this is a for-real
post by you, it would help if you could explain better what is there now.
And, even a couple of photos from the inside and outside would probably help
(via http://tinypic.com/for example).
roof and shingles in order to narrow down the location.
Sometimes running a hose on a portion of the roof, then checking for
leaks will save having to deal with it in the rain.
Look for areas where rain can get underneath flashing, like valleys,
around chimneys and vents, where the roof meets a wall, etc.
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