How to tell if roof is leaking.....


Old 03-10-08, 05:18 AM
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How to tell if roof is leaking.....

After the last batch of heavy rain up here in CT, in certain spots of my 2nd floor I can swear I smell an odor of damp wood (almost smells like wet cedar). We have a cathedral ceiling that runs from the 1st to second floor, and the odor is on the 2nd floor under that ceiling (even on the 2nd floor the ceiling is still 13' high off the 2nd floor hallway)

I dont have any visible water stains/spots/marks in the area of the odor. I do have a visible water mark below an old window, but I smell the odor in areas that are far away from that spot (I know the cause of that spot, just waiting for warm weather to fix it).

The underside of the attic looks OK, and again no spots/stains that I can see. Im mostly wondering (worried?) that the leak *might* be in the cathedral ceiling that I cant get to, but Im not sure of that because of the lack of staining. We also had our windows replaced 2 years ago, but have never had a problem.....I suppose one of the windows could be leaking, but I dont see any external evidence of that either.

Any ideas on how to track down the source of the odor, and possibly source of the moisture?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 03-10-08, 05:53 PM
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That's a tough one. No stains? Have you looked at he window sills to see if they're rotted? Or maybe there're gaps in the caulk there?
That's all I can think of at the moment.
Old 03-10-08, 06:09 PM
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No stains on the outside of the sills. There was only one window replaced on that wall of the house, and I had the frame and jambs ripped out for about 2 months before putting them back up, and at that time I didnt even get a drop of water. So my guess is the replacement window isnt (or shouldnt) be leaking.

Right now Im thinking its either the roof or the one old window that I spoke of. Up in the attic I still cant see any evidence of leakage, so I might try to slice out some drywall underneath the old window and see if the insulation or wood is wet. Not even sure that would mean the window is the culprit.....I suppose if the roof above leaks the water could roll down and hit the window, then go to the sides of the window and down further, making it look like the window is the issue, but in reality its the roof. There is no musty odor in my basement (of all places, go figure) so the water doesnt make it *that* far, but its definitely getting to the 1st floor living room because thats where the odor seems most concentrated. The blind stop on the outside of that window will get replaced regardless....its old and rotting and I could see how it might be a problem.
Old 03-10-08, 06:55 PM
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Try and get or borrow a moisture meter. I used to laugh at these, but am wiser now. They do work.


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