identifying and fixing source of mysterious ceiling leak

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Old 04-22-14, 01:26 PM
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identifying and fixing source of mysterious ceiling leak

Roofing experts, I could really use your advice. I purchased a totally renovated rowhouse with a flat roof last August. In January, I posted in a different forum (http://www.doityourself.com/forum/pl...ling-leak.html) about a serious ceiling leak we encountered on the first floor of our house one morning during an unusual cold spell (around 15 degrees). The weather was dry and the heat was running most of the night at a moderate temperature (68 degrees; the heat pump is on the roof). I called the contractor who had done the renovation, and when he cut into the first floor ceiling, he was unable to find any leaks in the pipes or tub above. He also checked the roof (modified bitumen) and the heat pump at that time; he said neither appeared to be the source. Our ceiling was open for a month without a re-occurrence, and after some pretty cosmetic changes to a bathroom exhaust vent on the roof, the ceiling was patched.

Unsurprisingly, the problem was not fixed. Over time, the repaired first floor ceiling appeared to deteriorate somewhat, and when we had another spell of 15 degree weather, some moisture cracks appeared in the same area of the house but this time on the ceiling on the 2nd floor, above one of the bathrooms, along with some soft spots along the edges of the walls.

After searching at length for a cause, I began to suspect the source could be condensation in the unvented (and inaccessible) crawlspace between the 2nd floor ceiling and the roof. I've had a couple of roofers come out in the last week, and both found the new roof installed when the house was flipped last year to be pretty shoddy: new roof installed atop previous ones, poor flashing, etc. The thing is, one guy strongly recommended replacing the whole roof but couldn't explain why the moisture problem was apparent in the house only during very cold weather and not after a heavy rainstorm; the other guy chalked it up to condensation but said the moisture problem would persist even after fixing the flashing issues, installing vents, etc. because "the damage was done", and therefore he too recommended an entirely new roof. What do folks think? Am I getting taken for a ride? I acknowledge the moisture has probably done some damage, but it's not clear to me why my moisture problem inside would persist if the flashing issues were fixed (to keep water out) and the ceiling crawl space vented (to relieve condensation). Since I bought this house 8 months ago and plan to probably sell it in a couple of years, I'm very reluctant to shell out over $10k to replace the entire roof unless that is truly the only option. Any thoughts?
 
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Old 04-22-14, 04:25 PM
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I don't know why you started a new thread. The same people read all of the sub-forums.
 
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Old 04-22-14, 04:32 PM
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Chalk it up to my inexperience...wasn't sure how much the readers of the respective forums overlapped...
 
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