Conduct water test to help stop leaks

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Question No. 1

Hi Robert!
I hope you are well! You have given me some great advice over the years, so I am hoping you can help me with this mystery.

When it rains, it leaks somewhere from my roof and it trickles down behind the drywall and pools in the corner of our upstairs bedroom. There is no evidence of water or damage to the inside wall or molding because it is leaking in from behind the drywall.

In fact, most people probably would miss a leak like this as it is often hidden by furniture. Two years ago, I had a roofer pull all the tile and lay new paper to the smaller pitched roof above the bay windows

I thought re-papering this section would solve the problem but it didn’t, and I had the same leaky problem last year. So, I got the roofer back and he went up higher and found the paper on the edge of the roof was worn and replaced it — he went back 8 feet. I even replaced the windows last year, too!

Well, he and I both thought for sure we found the problem but low and behold, the rainy season is here and I still have a leak.

I have to admit, Robert, the leak is not as bad as it was last year, but it is still trickling down and I can feel the moisture behind the molding and drywall.

I have the carpet pulled back, and I called the roofer in January and he pretty much told me he was stumped and couldn’t offer another solution to find this pesky needle in the haystack.

I know water can travel. Do you have any suggestions?

I am wondering if it is possible for the water to be coming in where the flashing sits on the siding or maybe I need to replace all the paper on that side of the house.

I am at a loss, Robert. Any advice or suggestions you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

At this stage, I will do whatever it takes to find the problem and get it fixed once and for all!

Thank you for being such a great resource to our community.

You are the only reason why I still subscribe to The Signal and look forward to reading your columns every week.

Best regards,
Cathy R.

Answer No. 1
Cathy,
This is where I am a big advocate of water testing before you do anything.

You need to get that roofer out there and have a water test done.

He’ll need to start at the low-end and work his way up until he gets the leak to manifest itself.

I strongly urge the water test. It is the one sure-fire way to confirm the issue(s) causing the leak.

There’s an underlayment, rubberized system that can be applied at any and all transitions, also there is a rubberized product that has some adhesive on the back that you could also apply at any of the transitions.

Either of these will help prevent leaks.

Cathy, I would start with an extensive water test and move forward from there.
Best of luck,
Robert.

Robert Lamoureux has 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected]

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