Water Leak

Old 01-23-00, 09:50 AM
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I have a two story house. On the second floor there is a deck with access through a sliding glass door.

Everytime it rains, water leaks into the first floor interior walls and onto the carpeted floor. It has caused cracks around the first floor door and the sheetrock in the first floor room.

There is flashing between the deck and the first floor. I don't know if there is any flashing under the sliding glass door but it seems well caulked around the frame.

I have had several "professionals" try to identify where the water is leaking in, but all they do is charge me $200 for some caulking and never solve the problem. I am not certain how the water gets in, but I suspect that it may be around the sliding door. However, it could be that the flashing between the deck and the first floor is deficient.

Does anyone have any ideas how to go about identifying where the water is leaking in and then fixing the problem once and for all. This has been going on ever since we moved into this house seven years ago.


Old 02-01-00, 12:25 AM
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The problem could be one of the following
(or combination of them):

1.Does the top of the trim around the patio door have a
"drip edge" flashing? It should. Also, there should be
no nails showing.

2. Are the sides of the patio door caulked? I suspect
they are because you have been paying for someone to
caulk something.

3. How is the deck fastened to the house? It should not
have siding behind the rim joists that is flat against
the house. The deck rim joist must be fastened directly
to the sheathing/house rim joist. It should be bolted
with lag bolts. Then, it should have flashing that goes
up under the siding and over the rim joists. The deck
board next to the house should have saw kurfs every
16 inches at least to allow water to get out over the
rim joist and out. The biggest place for leakage is under
the patio door. There should be flasning under the patio
door that overlaps the flashing on the deck rim joist so
that water that weeps over and under the sill does not
keep on going into the house but flows out away from the
house. If the deck and the patio door are installed
correctly, there should not be any water getting into the
house. (When the patio door was installed, there should
have been silicone caulk applied to the area under the
sill so that it is totally sealed also.)

Clifford A. Olson, Home Inspector
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or go to http://www.caolson.com/ac-home-inspector/
Old 02-01-00, 03:31 AM
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The Inspector has some good points. But, do not rule out the possibility that the water is coming from another source, and simply coming out on the wall under your door. Your door is your first guess, but experience has taught me to look all over. Maybe air vents are not sealed well, or some other spot. Water can get under your shingles, and travel quite a distance under your shingles before it drops. It runs along roof trusses.
Keep all options open.

Jack the Contractor
Old 02-06-05, 08:51 AM
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Most roof leaks which occur on flat roofs covering decks, which abut the house wall, are due to inadequate attention paid to flashing details during the roof installation. It's possible, depending on the age of the roof covering, that simple deterioration is causing the problem, but in 23 plus years of specializing in finding/fixing leaks, my thought is you need to look closely at how the roof is tied in with the wall. Merely seeing that there is some metal flashing at the roof/wall abutment does not mean it is installed in a permanently sealed fashion. Another common problem with the sliding doors is that you may not have much more than 1inch of rise from the roof to the bottom of the door frame which results in many guys simply gooping this area to seal it.........something that may not work, but certainly never lasts long. If you would be able to send a couple of digital photo jpegs, I might be able to spot the problem or give you ideas on where to look.

As mentioned by a previous respondent, there is a possibility it's coming in around the trim or frame of the door itself, but ask this question: does it generally leak any time it rains, or only when it rains more intensely?
If it's an ongoing leak when there's moisture, it's the roof/wall/flashing.
This is assuming that the roof covering itself is not badly deteriorated or has any open seams, etc.

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