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Old 01-25-2013, 09:27 PM  
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Default New home and water issues

I recently just purchased a home and I'm having a few water issues I'm hoping someone can help with.

This home was built in about 1950 and had a new shingle roof put on 2 years ago. Recently we had extremely heavy rains for the area (3-4 inches in an hour, followed by several inches over a couple of days). Shortly after the rain, it snowed a couple of inches and that snow began to accumulate on the ground and roof.

Everything was fine on the days during the rain, but the morning after the snow (on the shady side of the house), I noticed staining on my living room ceiling.

It rained again today, and I went up in the attic during the rain and could not find a leak anywhere, nor see any light from the exteriror. The insulation in the house is very old, and the gutters need to be cleaned (so I'm working on that..I know thats an issue). I'm wondering if an ice dam formed as a result of the snow, since it handled the rain just fine.

Another issue is that in the basement, some water (puddling) came in, so I thought it could be condensation, but I'm ruling that out as it seems to be in one corner of my house, far away from the basement entry.

Does this seem consistent with an ice dam? Also, an interior window seems to have water pooling around it in the mornings (below some condensation) even when it doesn't rain. Could this be due to my humidity levels being too high in the house? I caulked the seals around this window, so unless I missed something I don't think they are leaking.


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Old 01-26-2013, 09:41 AM  
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Ice dam sounds like a good possibility. They should have used ice and water shield under the new roof to prevent it leaking.

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Old 01-26-2013, 10:10 AM  
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You could look into roof heating grids or wires to prevent the dams. I hope you're good at patching drywall. That faint stain seems pretty far from the wall and so the water must be backing up pretty deep on your roof, depending on its pitch.

Here's a chart I scrounged up from somewhere on window condensation.

The first column is the outdoor temp.
The second column is the max relative humidity in the house for no condensation on the glass for a single pane window.
The third column is for a double pane window.
The reflections in the glass from a candle flame will tell you how many panes you have.

E.g., for an outdoor temp of 20F you need less than 21% RH for no condensation on a single pane window and less than 43% RH for no condensation on a double pane window.

I recommend using a sling psychrometer to measure the RH.

Last edited by Wuzzat?; 01-26-2013 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:37 PM  
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If you had an ice dam issue you should find wet insulation between the roof sheeting and top of the exterier wall. While you check for that you also want to check that you have soffit vents and room above that insulation for air flow to go to the attic and roof vents. Next time it snow pay real attention to how the snow melts on the roof. If it melts from the exterior wall and up while leaving snow on the eves, you will have an insulation or venting problem or both. If a lot of water was introduced into the house you could have enough for condenstion at the windows or water may have run down thru the exterier wall until it ran into the window and show up there. And welcome to the site.
The area of the ceiling that has stains has been wet and the insulation above will be wet against the ceiling and should be removed asap so the ceiling can dry
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