DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Walls and Ceilings > Leak in ceiling *PLEASE HELP*




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Old 01-20-2008, 09:00 AM  
guyod
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Does the roof only leak when it is cover with snow? That is alot of water dripping down for an ice dam with that little of snow and with 6 feet of ice shield its hard to believe. did you try looking for water in the attic? your insulation must be soaked. The insulation makes it harder to detect a leak because it absorbs alot of water in the beginning and keeps on dripping after the problem stops making it harder to figure out. Is that your furance in the attic? if it is, it could be making the roof to hot creating the ice damns. maybe the exterior of it could be insulated some how. with that much water you should be able to trace it.



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Old 01-20-2008, 09:04 AM  
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Sorry never refreshed and didnt see your reply

If the insulation isnt wet then it must be condensation.



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Old 01-20-2008, 04:09 PM  
larmannm
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No, my furnace is in the basement. What you are looking at is either the chimney that is in the middle of my house or the whole house fan which I insulate with 6" of styrofoam in the winter. I was having a hard time believing it is condensation because the water seemed to be on the other side of the paint, but I could be wrong. Also it is only on the back side of my house and not the front.

It does only happen in winter, but it did happen slightly one other time when there was a terrible downpoor and really strong winds, i think it was in the fall when it did happen.

If it is only condensation is there anything else I need to do besides turn my humidifier down a bunch like I already have done?

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Old 01-20-2008, 06:40 PM  
inspectorD
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Default I'll bet...

I'll bet the water leaks are over the areas where you have the paper faced insulation where you can see it. You should not be able to see the paper. The paper needs to face the heated space, this is called a vapor barrier. With out getting to involved, you need to have this paper as close to the heated space as possible...otherwise you will create a vapor barrier which is condensating when it reachs the cold air. And it makes the insulation hold moisture.
Try.
WWW.buildingscience.com for more info.

If you still suspect a leak, try going into the attic and turn off the lights, then see if you spot any daylight.

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Old 01-21-2008, 07:07 AM  
guyod
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there might also be a gap of insulation in the corner too.. cold air comes from the eaves and makes the dry wall cold just in the corner. thus forming condensation. you can test this by touching the drywall and see if it colder there than other parts of the drywall.

Some thing also doesnt seem right with your humidifier. buy a little themometer that reads humidity if you can find one with dew point even better.

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Old 01-21-2008, 11:30 AM  
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inspectord - the insulation that you see is just leftover insulation from when I wrapped my bathroom vent pipe. It is not leaking under those two strips, but I will get up there and flip them over just in case. Besides those two pieces, none of the insulation in the attic has vaper barrier on them. As for the light, i didn't notice any last time I was up there, but I will get up there and take another look when I flip the insulation over. There use to be light by my chimney before I replaced the roof.

guyod - the drywall is a little bit colder in the corner, i would say about 10 degrees or so. The gap is pretty tight from the edge of the wall to my roof, there is only room to put one layer of insulation there before you start to compress it too much. First layer is compressed slightly as well. I will get a thermometer and berometer this week to check the levels in those rooms compared to others. My humidifier filter is getting really calcified last time i took a quick peek, I've been slowly working on finding a replacement for it localy. I know when it was set at 40% the pump to get rid of overflow water kicked on almost everytime the furnace was running.

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Old 01-21-2008, 01:43 PM  
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looks like condensation to me...

maybe turn down the thermostat, then check it again very early in the morning, when your house is likely to be the coldest. If the water looks more like frost at that point, it's probably condensation. I doubt it's a water leak, because it's been too cold to really melt much on the roof. For those who don't live here, it's been below zero for the past several days.

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Old 01-21-2008, 04:10 PM  
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The sad thing is my thermostat is only set to 63, how low can i go before my pipes start to freeze?

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Old 01-21-2008, 05:21 PM  
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Hello Larmannm:
My experience says ventilate! no matter what the outside temperatrue is the attic still needs to be ventilated. The best method is eave vents and a ridge vent allowing a flow of air up the lower side of the deck. Also, ventilators should not be covered in winter; you don't save any heat in the attic, you save the heat below the ceiling.
Most thermostats will only turn down to 50 or 55* and that's plenty warm to keep the water from freezing and keep the plaster or sheet rock from cracking.
Glenn

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Old 01-21-2008, 05:49 PM  
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Default Hmmmm

Try checking your ductwork, are there any ducts in the attic near this problem. You may have a leak, even a pinhole can cause condensation in one area.
I still think it is a condensation issue. If your temps are below 10 degrees and you still have water, it is condensation. The venting will help a little but the hot air is still escaping ...causing the problem.
A company with a thermal camera can spot it in an instant. Try a heating company or home inspector.
We do this all the time for folks with heat loss issues....and leaks.



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