Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Exterior Improvement Center > Roofing, Gutters and All Waterproofing Anywhere
Reload this Page >

Persistent, but very slow water leak in ceiling under deck

Persistent, but very slow water leak in ceiling under deck


  #1  
Old 09-17-21, 09:23 AM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 20
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Question Persistent, but very slow water leak in ceiling under deck

New Hampshire location. House built ~1930. Renovated in 2007. Added bump out (~10 ft) in kitchen with a deck above. 2 French doors to access the deck, one in the master bedroom,one in the upstairs hallway.

Some time ago, not sure when, maybe a 2-3 years ago I started getting a small brown dot in the ceiling just under the deck where it attaches to the house. In a particularly strong, long rain it might create a small drip for a few hours, usually about 24 hours after the rain stopped. I would usually wait until it dried up, then prime/paint it. Eventually we were putting in new cabinets and painting the living room and kitchen so I had a contractor look at the issue. He tore out some of the ceiling and a few boards off the deck. But could see nothing obvious. I have pictures of all the construction and that, along with what he saw, gave him reason to believe the renovation work and the construction of the deck was done properly. So all he could come up with was "replace the deck and the roof below it" to the tune of 17k. I thought this over, looked at the little brown dot, and thought this was hitting a finishing nail with a sledgehammer. I then got the idea of caulking everything on the deck that I could find; the french doors the light fixtures; everything, I used the Gorilla clear caulk. Tough to work with but seemed to be the best solution. Anyway, they finished the kitchen work and fixed the ceiling at the same time. Bingo, for maybe a year, lots of rain and snow, no water. Fixed the problem for less then $50 and was quite proud of myself.

Now it's back. Small brown dot,mild dripping. So the point to this long, boring story is what to do. I have a real suspicion the root cause is one or both of the french doors. Replacing them is ~10k with no guarantees. Everything is in the 10's of thousands with no guarantees. I can just keep slapping compound on it and painting it, but it has gotten to the point I'm worried about structural issues. So I guess this is a question of "what would you do?" I have put a plastic seal over the french door assembly just above the leak yesterday to maybe eliminate that as the cause. I am fully aware that "water will find a way" so it might not be just over the brown dot. But the dot does not appear anywhere else except right under this door assembly. I would think after all this time it would. Is the brown color a clue? How does one attack a problem like this? Servpro?
 
  #2  
Old 09-15-23, 04:38 AM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 20
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Still going on...

Anybody have any recommendations?
 
  #3  
Old 09-15-23, 05:20 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 27,181
Received 1,940 Upvotes on 1,742 Posts
If your ledger flashing has a butt joint, water can migrate between the joint if it wasn't caulked when it was assembled. No mention of what kind of siding was used, but if it's vinyl, steel or aluminum, water can dump out the bottom of the j channels and has to drain somewhere, so proper lapping of housewrap and flashing tape is a must. And then water can enter at rough openings around doors, especially if no pan flashing was used to prevent water from getting to the framing. Caulk is rarely an answer because caulk can also trap water that needs to get out.

I'd probably suspect that the ledger flashing was not sealed to the rough opening under your entry door. Removing and re-installing the door would be the first thing I'd do. And while it's apart, examine all the above items, looking for evidence of anything that has been wet.

The brown color is simply tannins from the wood, so you likely have water under housewrap or under the decking waterproofing. Plus the potential for mold and rot.
 
  #4  
Old 09-20-23, 08:13 AM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 20
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Thanks, that is my plan then, to replace the door.

But...

I looked into it and we're looking at 6 months minimum to get this done in our area. As the ceiling, after 2 years, had finally started to fail entirely, I pulled off the sheetrock to expose where it's leaking from. I found a beam under the sheetrock, which above it would be the French door in question. This is what it looks like:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/NgQkuv5aJJuuK74i7

As you can see this beam is "weeping". Now, we had had a massive rain storm all day about 36 hours before I did this. As has happened in the past the drips started from this weeping. As I write this those pictures' are about 48 hours old. As of this morning I may actually only get 1 or 2 drops per hour below.

My question at this point what product could I use, once the area is dry, to seal this beam and contain the weeping. Keeping in mind this is a 6 - 12 month solution until we can get the door replaced. I just don't want to have the new sheetrock I put up get ruined again and I want to do something while this is exposed so I can measure my success at stopping it.

Perhaps one of the Kerdi products? Or maybe one of the Flex Seal products (Flex Paste or the spray), or something I am not aware of.

Remember, this is a (hopefully) short term solution until we get the door replaced.

 
  #5  
Old 09-20-23, 09:05 AM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 20
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
One other question. Next to the beam that is weeping is some kind of soft, soaking wet, stuff that I can't determine what it is.

Here are a couple of pics of what I mean...

https://photos.app.goo.gl/RBiMT3xWGBiUgCiu7
 
  #6  
Old 09-20-23, 04:20 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 27,181
Received 1,940 Upvotes on 1,742 Posts
Pictures of the outside would be more helpful. You do NOT want to apply anything on the inside to stop the leaking, you need to stop the water on the OUTSIDE.
 
  #7  
Old 09-24-23, 06:24 AM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 20
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
The outside shows nothing but a deck and a French door. I have, after a few years of looking on and off, found no source up there. But I do feel the week link is the French door. It is 16 years old and I feel pretty confident that is the source. Keep in mind that this is and EXTREMLY small leak. If I get an inch of rain in a couple of hours I will not see anything in the ceiling until, at a minimum, 24 hours later, then it will be a very small spot about the size of a quarter.

I am going to replace the door, but cannot get anybody to do it for at least 3-6 months. All I am trying to stop here is that small drip in the ceiling. Now that I have exposed it, I want to do something before I put sheetrock back.
 
  #8  
Old 09-24-23, 07:28 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 27,181
Received 1,940 Upvotes on 1,742 Posts
Either you shouldn't put sheetrock back or you should plan on fixing sheetrock again later when it leaks again. Putting any kind of leak proof barrier on the inside is simply going to cause all your framing to rot when it can't dry out and it's going to hide whether or not you actually fixed the leak or not later... whenever that happens.

The pictures would show things you arent telling us. Like what kind of siding you have.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: