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Persistent, but very slow water leak in ceiling under deck

Persistent, but very slow water leak in ceiling under deck

Old 09-17-21, 09:23 AM
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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?

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