Can't find leak in roof

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  #1  
Old 10-27-20, 09:23 AM
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Can't find leak in roof

My roof is leaking. I went up into the attic found where, measure down from peak to the leak. I then went outside climbed up on roof to find the problem. I don't see any problem . I again measured down from the peak to roughly where I saw the leak inside. The shingles all look fine. I checked all the edges and seams where they come together, they are all tight. I don't have any broken or lifting edges, yet the dang thing leaks. How do I find the problem when I don't see any visible damage on the outside? The roof is roughly 12 years old. The shingles are rated for 25 years, they are a good, heavy shingles, not some cheap flimsy crap. Is there some trick to finding where it is leaking????
 
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Old 10-27-20, 12:16 PM
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Give us a picture of that entire side of the roof. Leaks usually are usually many feet above where they actually show up inside so it's a safe bet the leak is far away from where it's dripping inside.
 
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Old 10-27-20, 02:03 PM
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Sometimes you can follow a drip trail on the rafter or underside of the decking to get a better idea as to where the leak originates.
 
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Old 10-27-20, 04:49 PM
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Hopefully I can get back up there tomorrow. It rained all day here. There is a vent about 5 feet straight above where the water is coming out. I checked it too. The seal around it seems to be fine. The roof deck is not plywood, it's tongue and groove. The leek isn't coming down any of the rafters, it's right in the middle between 2 rafters.. I'm not seeing any wet spots even close to that vent. The boards are bone dry up there.
 
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Old 10-27-20, 04:53 PM
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A common problem is a roofing nail that no longer has a good grip and is lifting.
That can be more of an issue with the nail landing in the tongue and groove.
 
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Old 10-27-20, 05:05 PM
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If there is a vent directly above it, then its likely getting in around the vent or as mentioned a nail in the flashing has lifted. If you understood the layers that are up there you would understand how the leak can appear far away from where the water first gets under the shingles.
 
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Old 10-28-20, 06:02 AM
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I would also be looking closely at the vent. Even though you see the leak in one location the water can start somewhere else. For example water can make it under the shingles at the vent and travel on top of the tar paper until it finds a hole, then on top of the roof sheeting until it finds a seam before making it's way into the attic many feet away.
 
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Old 10-28-20, 08:22 AM
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The only effective way I've heard of to find a roof leak is from a great-uncle who was a farmer. To find a leak on a tin roofed barn, he'd go up on the roof with a kid's watercolor painting set. Starting at the bottom row, paint six dark lines on six panels Red, Orange Yellow; Green, Blue, Purple. Check after it rained.
Repeat going up a row, until you see a colored leak. Then, the color tells you which panel to look at.

I guess the modern version would be to get a set of kids "sidewalk chalk" and color in six shingles, then check which color the leak is.
 
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Old 10-28-20, 10:20 AM
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Ok here are some pictures. If the roof dries out a little I'll go back up this afternoon and take a closer look at the vent. Although from the attic everything around it is dry. I have done some roofing in my time so I do understand what you guys are saying about the water travel. I've never roofed anything as complicated as this dang thing though LOL. Don't know what the h... they were thinking when the built it!!
The area around the vent and all around where the roof line changes have ice shield, yeah I know, nails still have to penetrate it. I made some notes on the pictures




 
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Old 10-28-20, 12:36 PM
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Ok, just came off roof. I checked the shingles, row by row. No loose tabs except 1 spot. The very last tab on the bottom of the ridge cover was loose. The shingle next to it had a small tear in it as well. I raised both up and shoved a generous portion of roof cement under them then pushed them down.
I then put a generous bead of roof cement along the bottom line of shingles of that little ridge, I also put an new bead all around the vent.
I again measured down from the vent to where the leak is, all of the shingles are tight. However, when I was in the attic this morning I did find a nail right in the middle of the leak??? All of the shingles set good and tight all around it, all the way up to the roof top. It's obvious I'll replace that section of roof come spring but we have snow in the forecast

for this weekend so doing it now isn't an option.
This is 1 steep roof, water shouldn't have time to leak in
 
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Old 10-28-20, 02:49 PM
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Before even reading your reply I knew the leak would be at that shoulder.
 
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Old 10-28-20, 03:58 PM
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Yep, that ranks right up there with one of the goofyest rooflines i've ever seen. The back side of that circled area has got to be a problem spot. But I bet water was getting under the shingles at that Lomanco 750 roof vent. There is a leak potential at the top left and right corners anytime the shingles overlap that low on the sides of the vent.
 
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Old 10-29-20, 09:22 AM
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Thanks for the heads up on that vent, there is another one on a different section, guess I better check on it too. I hate painting ceilings LOL
 
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