water on roofing nails


  #1  
Old 11-24-03, 10:26 AM
mbelew
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water on roofing nails

I just finished installing a new ceiling fan in one of the bedrooms in our home. While I was installing the fan, I noticed 1 small drop of water coming down from the attic into the electrical box for the fan. I went up into the attic and noticed water droplets on many of the roofing nails holding the shingles down. Most of the nails I could see in the attic were rusty.

We've only been in this house a couple of months.

I have not noticed any water stains on the ceilings in any of the rooms. It has also rained pretty heavily a couple of times recently and I have not noticed any problems in the interior of the house. Today it is actually about 27 degrees with snow flurries.

The previous owner said this house had a new roof put in 1 1/2 years ago.

Does all this mean that the roof is shot and/or that the roofers did a bad job of installing the roof? Is there something else besides a bad shingling job that could cause this?
 
  #2  
Old 11-24-03, 11:32 AM
brickeyee
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It could also be moisture from the hose escaping into the attic and then condensing on the cold nails. Is there a vapor barrier under the insulation? Are there any bathroom vents that end in the attic instead of outside? Can you actually see any nails on the roof? They should all be covered by the next layer of shingles.
 
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Old 11-24-03, 12:04 PM
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brickeye, I think you're on the right track. I would bet on condensation in the attic. It' may not be vented well enough. Do you have soffit/ridge vents or gable vents, or nothing at all?
 
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Old 11-24-03, 12:06 PM
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If the water is coming from the roof, and entering along the nail shaft holes, then the rust formed on the nail shaft will often leach into the surrounding wood, causing a "bulls-eye" effect. If the moisture you're seeing is due to condensation, as Brick-eye has noted, then the nails will be rusty but the wood around the nail tends to be clean (ie, unstained). Usually, if there's a problem with the installation of the shingles, it shows up at the end-walls, chimney and in the valleys first.

Besides the vapour barrier that Brickeye talked about, and the possibility of vapour coming from badly vented bathroom air exhausts, you also need to verify if your ventilation is adequate. Are your soffits blocked or open? Is your total ventilation equivalent to 1 sq. ft. of ventilation for 150 sq.ft. of attic space? Are the outlet vents properly sized?
 
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Old 11-24-03, 06:09 PM
mbelew
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Thanks for the replies. I did not notice a "bulls eye" pattern, and I have not noticed any other leaks anywhere else.

My inspector checked the bathroom vents when the home was inspected to ensure everything was vented out of the house, but I'll recheck the connections.

We have soffit vents and I'll have to check to ensure they are not blocked and that there are enough of them. I don't think that was checked, but I'll go over my inpection report again. I also have to check the vapor barrier situation. I'll post back with what I find.

One question though, what is an outlet vent? I'm not familiar with that term.

Again thanks for your thoughts.
 
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Old 11-24-03, 06:15 PM
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Soffits let the air in, and the vents on the top side of the roof let it out, hence outlet vents. These can be ridge vents, low-profile vents, Maximums, turbines, and similar creations. Which vent is the best for your situation depends on the slope of your roof, and the climate conditions. For instance, if you get 4 feet of snow on your roof, then low-profile vents will not work very well.
 
 

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