Roofing leak


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Old 04-09-07, 10:19 AM
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Roofing leak

A friend of mine aske me this question and since I have not heard of this before, I thought I'd post this here:

He had his shingles replaced 2 summers ago. This winter, he noticed his bedroom celing had begun leaking. It wrecked his ceiling and he had to put a bucket underneath to collect the water.

Upon going up the attic, he noticed the souce of the leak was from his roof, about 2' above the ceiling, not very far from where the edge of the roof and his ceiling are connected.

The roofing contractor conducted an inspection and reported to him that the source of moisture was from snow on his roof that accumulated on the eavestrough. The moisture crept under the asphalt sheet, penetrated the attic and went up the underside of the roof (attic). When it went up high enough, it melted and began to drip down the ceiling. In view of this, the contractor says it was not his problem.

1. Does this explanation sound plausible?
2. If so, is the contractor really not responsible? I assume he had laid the asphalt sheet.
3. How do you prevent this from happening again?

Thanks.
 
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Old 04-09-07, 01:33 PM
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It may very well be an ice issue. It may also be a leaky roof. Its hard to tell without a look at your roof. What area of the country are you in? Many times roofers say its ice. One way you can tell is when it rains does it still come in?

What type of ventilation do you have? Many times condensation builds up during the day and could freeze at night.

I would like to know if there is a roof valley or vent above the area or at least close proximity to the place leaking. Water could be entering there.

Before it was replaced was there any problem?

Now if it is ice then you could use ice cables to prevent any buildup. This would be the simplest. You could install ice shield underneath but it would involve removing the roof and then replacing would be in order.

Keep me posted
 
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Old 04-09-07, 01:47 PM
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>a look at your roof. What area of the country are you

Toronto.

>in? Many times roofers say its ice. One way you can tell is when it rains does it still come in?

Haven't had much rain yet but the few days we did I don't think he had any drips.

>What type of ventilation do you have? Many times condensation builds up during the day and could freeze at night.

The exhaust in the bathroom is ducted to a vent situatied near the top of the roof

>I would like to know if there is a roof valley or vent above the area or at least close proximity to the place leaking. Water could be entering there.

It's a townhouse and if I remember right, it doesn't have a valley or vent nearby.

>Before it was replaced was there any problem?

No, only on the 2nd winter did this happen.


>Now if it is ice then you could use ice cables to prevent any buildup. This would be the simplest. You could install ice shield underneath but it would involve removing the roof and then replacing would be in order.

Well his townhouse is part of a complex but to his knowledge, he the only one who's had this problem. Hence his reluctance to spend $$$ to solve his problem without ensuring the contractor is not on the hook for it.

How does moisture creep upwards? Wouldn't the asphalt sheet have been tucked under the lip of the roof and the eavestrough to prevent this?

Thank you.
 
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Old 04-09-07, 02:12 PM
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Wink

It sure sounds like ice dams the cable dont cost that much . I go that way
 
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Old 04-09-07, 04:17 PM
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It is my belief that the contractor is correct. A snow and ice build up. Since it did not happen in past, then it is due to specific storm conditions. The moisture was just right, the wind from just the right direction, etc. These leaks happen in just exactly the manner the contractor discribed. the asphalt is not tucked up under the evestrough. Snow and freezing water can back up under the roofing for several feet. Now you may go 10 years and it does not happen again. Yet, it may happen next year. Thats how the weather is. The cheapest fix is an ice cable. Oh by the way, if he does do this, tell him not to forget to plug it in next winter. Good Luck
 
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Old 04-09-07, 06:30 PM
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Jack gives a good reply. The only thing I would add is that in areas where ice dams are a recurring problem, many areas recommend 2 rows of ice and water shield (for protection up to 6ft from the gutter). Some areas even mandate it due to the amount of snowfall they receive.

As to how it happens, imagine a roof with a 5:12 pitch. Most asphalt shingles have a 7" overlap with a 5" reveal. Basically, all you would need is [(5/12)*7] or 2.91" of solid ice to act as a dam to make that roof leak. A 4:12 roof would only need 2.3" of ice, and so on. It's not that water runs uphill- the ice dam is causing water to back up.
 
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Old 04-10-07, 12:01 PM
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Thanks to all for your help. I have forwarded the info to my friend. In the case of ice cables, where do you plug them into? Is the wire routed to the attic or does it come down to ground level? Are they plugged in 24x7 or only if it is snowing?
 
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Old 04-10-07, 01:19 PM
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Most just have an extension cord running up their house. Others I have seen,have a plug-in installed right up there to plug it into. Its up to him.
 
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Old 04-11-07, 10:39 AM
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I am not intending to undermine Jack, but under no circumstances do you use an extention cord for ice cables. If you purchase a quality ice cable system the manufacturer instructions specifically states to not use extention cord. You would run the actual ice cable all the way to the the electrical outlet. You would install a recommended plug properly attached to the ice cable. If there is no outlet close you can have an electrician run an outdoor conduit with exterior 10 guage house wiring inside. This can be installed directly to the power box or electrical junction box. (If this is what Jack meant then he is correct).
 
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Old 04-11-07, 10:45 AM
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Yes this is what I was talking about, however in a couple of cases, I have seen a 10 guage extension cord made and plugged into a gif plug-in.
 
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Old 04-11-07, 11:21 AM
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Adequate attic ventilation and insulation go a long way toward preventing ice dams.
 
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Old 04-11-07, 12:58 PM
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Interesting. From what I know he had blown-in insulation but not sure of the status of his ventilation. Why would that be critical?
 
 

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