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-   -   Leak from a first-floor ceiling? (http://www.houserepairtalk.com/f34/leak-first-floor-ceiling-10713/)

mobykoby 01-28-2011 01:52 PM

Leak from a first-floor ceiling?
 
Hi,

First time poster, so apologies if this is the wrong forum... This morning, I came downstairs to find a small puddle of water below an in-ceiling speaker. I pulled out the speaker, and found that the sheetrock was damp, and that one of the adjacent joists had some moist spots on it. I couldn't get my hand in all the way, but it looked like some of the moisture started towards the exterior of the house, though one of the spots was in the middle of the joist.

I dried up the wet sheetrock with some rags, but now I'm trying to figure out where this water came from! It seems like an ice dam type of situation, but it's a first-floor ceiling, and there's no roofing or flashing near where the joist meets the outside wall.

I looked in the attic, but didn't see any signs of moisture leaking down the framing towards a joist, and (knock on wood) I haven't seen any other puddles anywhere in the house (even in the bedroom directly above the in-ceiling speaker).

Any thoughts on what's going on? We've had a ton of snow, and have huge, melting icicles hanging off the gutters and window casings, so I really am convinced there's some sort of ice dam here. Is it possible that I'd see the effect as seepage into a first-floor ceiling joist?

Many thanks in advance for your thoughts!

--Jacob

inspectorD 01-28-2011 02:34 PM

Yup
 
Everyone here in Ct is having the same issues due to our record amounts of snow.Up here in Litchfield we have 30 inches on the gound. You will probably not find the scource, Water seaks it's own path so it could be comming from anywhere due to an Ice dam. Then runs down where an electrical wire has been drilled through a top plate on the wall.
I have been at this for 2 weeks straight so far finding leaks with my Infrared camera. The bottom line is, remove the snow from your roof, less leak issues.
Good luck.

mobykoby 01-29-2011 08:09 AM

Yeah, that's what it looks like. Hired a couple of guys to clear off the roof yesterday (didn't feel like pitching an extension ladder in 3 feet of snow and then raking off the roof!!!). Hopefully that will help...

Thanks for the reply!

joecaption 01-29-2011 08:18 AM

Heat lost through the attic is what causes ice dams. An attic needs to be about the same temp. as the outside air. In your area there needed to be R-50 of insulation in that attic.
There also needs to be soffit vents that are not covered up with insulation and ridge vents.
Any roof up north needed to have at least one row of storm and ice shield under the shingles on the lower edge.
In the spring I'd check to see if it's on there if not have someone remove the first few rows and install it, also install heat strips in the gutters running all the way down the down spouts.
If the insulation is wet it's trash and will form mold on it, if the sheetrock is soft then it's also trash and will need to be cut out and replaced.


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