Kitchen light leaking


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Old 07-26-09, 04:34 PM
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Kitchen light leaking

Ok, I will try to explain this as best I can.

I live in a 4-story townhouse. The back half of the house on the second floor is the kitchen and dining room. The dining room is at the rear of the house with a cathedral type ceiling, so the roof line hits about 1/3 to 1/2 up the exterior wall of the third floor (dining room is bumped out from third floor above it). In between the kitchen and dining room is two recessed lights in the ceiling (just under the peak of the cathedral ceiling). I had one of these leak during a hard rain about 4 years ago and it hasn't happened since, until today. I suspect that there is a leak where the dining room cathedral ceiling meets the exterior wall of the third floor. The one time it leaked, I went on the roof and everything *looked* fine, shingles went up to the vinyl siding and there was some kind of flashing nailed on top at the joint, and I think some black tar roofing compound (going off memory here, don't get up on the roof often).

What should a joint like this look like? How can I determine if this is where it is leaking from? It has only happened twice in about 4 years, but I am concerned it may be leaking at other times, just not enough to come through the recessed light in the kitchen (so creating hidden rot somewhere). I am guessing that there should be flashing behind the siding and under the shingles?

Any suggestions welcome. Getting up there for inspection isn't a big deal since I can just climb out the third floor windows, which are about 2 feet above the roof line.

Thanks,
Neil
 
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Old 07-26-09, 05:47 PM
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Suggest you buy a gallon of roof cement and a throw away putty knife and coat any area where there is even a hint of trouble.you can't always easily see these types of leaks.Often they only happen when then right combination of rain and wind come together to force water in a small crack etc.The source of a leak can be some distance from where the leak ends up as water will run along rafters etc.

Roof cement is the black material you are seeing.An alternative is roof cement in a caulk tube and a caulk gun but only if it is all within small seams otherwise err on the side of caution and use the putty knife and coat the areas.
 
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Old 07-30-09, 05:09 PM
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spdavid not to sound like im calling you out or anything. but as a roofer myself smearing roofing cement on everything is not how you fix it. yes sometimes in the right places it can fix the problem. but in other cases it can just make the problem work. to the poster i know you are trying to do it yourself but if you have no experience with roofing my suggestion is contact a licensed roofing contractor to deal with the problem.
 
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Old 07-30-09, 05:20 PM
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OP suggested leakage around flashing at roof to wall point.Roof cement is used at those types of points for flashing.The word "everything" was not used.

The word "suggest" means he has a choice of doing it or not.The site is about DIY not hire someone dot com.
 
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Old 07-30-09, 07:08 PM
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Hi Rockford, as for locating the leak, there are steps that can be taken. An infrared inspection will detect temperature changes caused by the presence of moisture. Time of day, temperatures, and last rain all have to be taken into account, but it is a way of detecting leaks without tearing into the walls.

Moisture meters and fiberoptic cameras can also help in this search. It's worth a few calls to see if you have an inspector in your area willing to take this on at a reasonable price.

IMO
Bud
 
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Old 07-30-09, 08:04 PM
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like i said dont think im trying to be an a hole or nothing. we all have opinions and suggestions. and some know better than others.
 

Last edited by JWilliams; 07-30-09 at 08:42 PM.
 

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