I live in the Northeast and we've just had several days of almost
continuous rain. Unfortunately, when I went into the laundry room of
the house today, I happened to notice some water on top of the paper
towel package I keep there. It wasn't much considering all the rain
we've had, probably 1/10 of an ounce if I were to label it, but I do see
the area of the roof that was stained with water. There is no attic in
the laundry room, so I can look right up at the roofing rafters. The
area is quite small and already dry. I quick peak at the area on the
roof itself and I don't see anything suspect, no broken or damaged
shingles that I can see.
This roof is 10 years old and hasn't leaked so far, but I am a bit
concerned, especially since there doesn't appear to be anything obvious.
I'd appreciate any tips as to what I should check and look for. Once
the weather clears, I'll try and post a photo of the area but the
weather is still inclement at this time.
Thanks for any help,
In NE, chances are you've a (steeply) peaked roof. Note that the leak will
be somewhere *above* the point where the water "dripped" down. It is
seldom *exactly* at that location. If the drip is on the "left" side
of the roof peak, then your leak will be on the left of the peak -- but
closer to the peak (by some amount).
Do you have a ridge vent? Driving rain can exploit this "hole" (slot) in
If you had high winds/driving rain, remember that water can flow
*up*, under the shingles. Most asphalt shingles are designed with
a dab of tar to seal them to the course beneath. Over time, (and
temperature, brittleness, etc.) this "tackiness" isn't always enough.
In any case, you will probably want it resolved before winter and
ice starts lifting shingles and "growing" defects.
Thanks. I read the others posts here along with yours. There is not a
chimney or commode vent pipe above the area, but a ridge vent was made
when the roof was reapplied ten years ago. Previous to that, there was
no roof vent. Chances are, it may have come from that. In addition to
the rain, we've also been having lots of gusty winds so it could be that
the wind drove the rain in/thru the venting.
Exactly. A neighbor had "evidence" of a leak just inside the *exterior*
wall of his home. Water had, in fact, been driven into the ridge vent
and traveled down the rafters until it got to the outside wall -- where
it could go no further and decided to manifest.
Of course, you may have a leak around a nail hole, etc. But, don't rule
out the vent as a "non leak" source of problem.
I was going to mention that. Somewhat near the area, perhaps a little
above, I did notice an exposed nail. I'm not sure whether or not I
should be seeing any because I thought nails were only underneath of the
Nails should be covered by the course above. Typically (third cut asphalt
shingles), you drive a *roofing* nail (verify!) in on each end of the shingle
(a couple of inches in from each end and about an inch above the highest
point of the "slot" that separates each of the three tabs). Then, two more
nails, one above each of those slots.
As the lower edge of the course above should come down to the tops of those
slots, these nails will be covered by that course (unless the shingles start
to "curl" with age and "creep up" to expose the nail heads). There's usually
a blob of tar on the shingle to cause the two courses to adhere to each
other to encourage the tabs to stick to the course below.
My experience with water have left me thinking it is *sneaky* and
often does things that *seem* impossible!
On Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 3:12:15 PM UTC-4, Sam Seagate wrote:
Before I had my roof replaced, I had trouble with "nail pops" causing
leaks. Occasionally, a roofing nail would work its way out and would
eventually cut right through the shingle that used to cover it. It wasn't
the curling of the tab that exposed the head, it was the nail head itself
ripping right through the shingle.
To repair it, I'd lift the tab, remove the loose nail and put roofing tar
under the tab so that it oozed up through the hole that the nail had made,
sealing it. I did this a couple of times a year until I finally decided
it was time for a new roof and gutters, plus soffit vents, a ridge
vent, insulation baffles, etc. It was a big expense, but it was done right
and now my attic is cooler in the summer so I'm not cooking the new roof
In addition to the advice others have given, look at the boots around
stack vents. I had a leak that only showed up during excessive rain due
to the stack vent having dropped slightly in the attic. That caused a
dimple to form around the stack vent boot and it caused water to
accumulate in that dimple. It was easy to understand once it was found,
but not at all obvious while searching for it.
Each year, I examine our roof for "problem areas". We have:
- vent stacks for kitchen and two bathrooms
- exhaust fans for kitchen and bathrooms
- water heater and furnace exhaust
- water heater and furnace combustion reliefs
- several "wire entries" (CATV to interior walls)
- downdraft cooler air inlet
- water line for swamp cooler
- 220VAC supply for cooler plus "signal control"
- a few skylights
- 6 or 8 large "roof vents" on the high side (flat roof) of the roof
I.e., we have lots of places where the roof has been intentionally
perforated. Each of these represents an opportunity for a leak
Many years ago, after watching problems neighbors were FREQUENTLY
having (often being conned into replacing their entire roofs!),
I learned that *removing* much of the old "patch"/sealant in each
of these places BEFORE applying "new" leads to greater roof
But, it's a fair bit of work -- the "patch" compound isn't designed
to come *off* easily! :-/
In alt.home.repair, on Sat, 3 Oct 2015 20:27:24 -0500, Ken
I bought my house in May when it was 4 years old, and woke up
Thanksgiving morning to see water dripping from the bedroom ceiling.
Rain was coming in around the metal fireplace chimney. The previous
owner had tried to caulk (with silicone) from the inside, into a deep
cone, and there's no chance that's going to work. I went on the roof
and caulked from the outside with some black roofing caulk, and
everything was fine until I got a new roof 20 years later.
By then I'd noticed that the metal drip collar that goes around a round
metal chimney was missing entirely from that chimney, though the furnace
chimney had one. A couple of my townhouse neighbors were mssing one
Boy, was it hard to buy one. I forget where all I looked -- hardware
stores -- but ended up 20 miles north of here at a fireplace store in
Westminster. Especially strange since there's only one model that fits
all diameters (if you cut the main part as narrow as the leading tab for
chimneys my size. Allow an hour or two to do that if your compulsively
precise. ) I'm sure it works as well as fixed diameter ones, it's just
a two inch skirt to get the water to fall on the roof away from chimney.
I know there's no special reason to suspect your chimney, but since I
found this catalog, here it is,
Even this place doesn't have it!!!!! It has storm collars 3, 4, 5, 6,
7, and 8" diameter, but I think my chimney's a lot bigger, and also
these have to slide on from the top. On old work, you'd have to remove
the cap. What I wanted wrapped around like a belt and then bent back
It's not like they don't make it. Why is it so hard to find?
Years earlier, when the metal chimney cap broke off and wouldn't stay on
anymore, others had the same problem and no one sold the original cap, w
which was attractive. The new one is less wide and looks funny, in
Take a look at the unusual saw on page 37,
http://www.as170.com/index2.html 13 amps.
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