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Old 09-23-2008, 05:03 PM   #1
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Help Ceiling Leak on 1st Floor


I've been trying to find a leak in the ceiling on the 1st floor for 'years.' I have an aluminum sided, 2 Story, double decked Patio doors & a wood deck on the 2nd floor that I believe is called cantilevered into the ceiling about 4'. The water follows the wood beams 4' into the room. Everytime we think we resolved the issue, replaster & paint 1 year later it's back.

We've removed the caulking around the patio doors & 1 window that is on the 2nd floor recaulked many times, replaced the roof & still haven't found it. There are no water pipes in the area at all. I recently had a few siding companies out. One said there is no J Channel & I had would have to replace the siding, 2nd one said I have to completely remove the deck & put a rail in its place, 3rd one said to replace the patio door. Our adjacent neighbor doesn't have J Channels & does not leak.

Money is an issue as we are retired on a fixed income & we intend to sell the property as soon as the real estate market adjusts so we need to find the least expensive solution.
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:38 PM   #2
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Help Ceiling Leak on 1st Floor


Ellen; Sounds more likely that the door and window is NOT properly flashed. This is NOT an ez fix at this point. PICTURES would help alot! First question is what kind of patio door? Is it held in place with wood/plastic Brick moulding or nailing flanges behind the siding? IF brick moulding , then it would be possible to use long ( 8 or 10 #) finish nails thru inside of jamb to hold door, then pull the outside trim off,check what if any flashing is there, repair, or install proper flashing, replace the trim. SECOND pull the deck board or 2 up where it meets the house, repeat procedure used on door.
I strongly suggest you get a contractor to do this, unless you are very experienced. Just a point, if the door is the type with nailing flanges under siding and there is NO J channel, the door was improperly installed.
I would not bet that your neighbor does not have leaks, more than likely his hasn't been leaking in an obvious spot. Could very well be inside his wall or else his was flashed better
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:41 PM   #3
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Help Ceiling Leak on 1st Floor


Thanks for the reply. The patio door is attached with nailing flanges & there is flashing. As I mentioned we've called 3 people & have 3 different answers. We'd like to avoid replacing the siding as my neighbor is not pleased about that idea & as you pointed out if he has a problem he's not aware of then it will become my problem. One company already said they wouldn't do the siding job due to warranty issues. The one that wanted to replace the siding quoted me$700 more than the other siding contracter. Of course no guaranteers to correct the leak either.

If I replace the patio door could they add j channels without replacing the aluminum siding? Also, is there something we can do to identify the source of the leak. I'm also concerned about mold issues.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:56 PM   #4
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Help Ceiling Leak on 1st Floor


Thanks for the reply. The patio door is attached with nailing flanges & there is flashing. As I mentioned we've called 3 people & have 3 different answers. We'd like to avoid replacing the siding as my neighbor is not pleased about that idea & as you pointed out if he has a problem he's not aware of then it will become my problem. One company already said they wouldn't do the siding job due to warranty issues. The one that wanted to replace the siding quoted me$700 more than the other siding contracter. Of course no guaranteers to correct the leak either.

If I replace the patio door could they add j channels without replacing the aluminum siding? Also, is there something we can do to identify the source of the leak. I'm also concerned about mold issues.
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Old 09-23-2008, 09:44 PM   #5
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Help Ceiling Leak on 1st Floor


Ellen: I been thunkin bout this :}:} UH OH ! You can try this, get some plumbers putty, seal off the top corners of the J channel so you have the top portion of the door as isolated as possible,take some water and food coloring that is real vivid, I like purple LOL, pour it into the top channel, try NOT to spill it on outside, fill channel as full as possible and let it sit, keep watch inside, if after say 24 hrs the level is same and nothing inside, take putty off one end only!!! and do it slowly enuf to let it run out nice and easy, kinda open bottom of the putty dam, repeat the same process, do other side, If nothing is found around door then pour at the deck connection. Poke and hope is only solution I see at this point. Presuming you will have found something at this point, I would next ID the point then take a garden hose full blast and really hose down entire door, check for leaks again. This has to id the entry point, fix accordingly.
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