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Old 05-05-2008, 12:16 PM   #1
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Cathedral Ceiling - mystery roof leak

I'm not a DIY'er, but I was hoping maybe someone here could give me some advise. There is a wicked leak somewhere and so far two local roofers canít find it. We live in a 3-story townhouse, that has cathedral ceilings on the top floor and a loft; therefore, we donít have any attic space or crawl space, so we canít pin point the entry point on the leak Ė it could be anywhere. The house is extra tall due to bottom level being above ground, so the hose test would be very hard to administer.

The leak first appeared two years ago after an ice storm; a handyman who repaired the drywall told us at that time that it probably was an ice dam and a one time thing. Now two years later it is back and has been for several months now even in warm weather (New Jersey). It starts above the top left corner of a window in a line (seam) from where the cathedral ceiling meets the wall, goes down the side of the window and in a line down to the floor (and wraps around the bottom of the window molding too. Since there is no visible water seepage on the sloped ceiling, it gives the appearance of starting at the window (except that some of the water damage is at least 8-10 inches is above the window, which means it canít be the window, right?). Now itís so bad it started going horizontal to the left towards the corner where two walls meet the ceiling. Either that or it is an off-shoot leak that is now in the corner

The first guy didnít even go up on the roof, he stood on the street and look up and determined that we need a new roof. The second guy who said he is the guy who finds the leaks that no one else does (and came highly recommended), came out nailed down some shingles and did some caulking and told us the roof was starting to get old, but still had a couple years in it. That second guy came out again when the leaked happened and did some more nailing, but it still leaked. Now he wonít return my calls. I am getting desperate. With light rains it doesnít seem to leak, but during heavy rains, my dry wall gets soggy. The window sits at the front of the house which is a flat brick front Ė there are no overhangs. The roof line in the front above the window comes to a V point like a really large dormer (behind this is the rest of the roof in which the slope comes down from a V turned to the side Ė mirrors the slope of the cathedral ceiling inside my upper level that leads down the leaking window area. So, if you can picture this, there must be some negative space between the smaller front V and the opposing slope of my cathedral ceiling.

If I need a new roof, thatís okay, I will replace it. But I am worried that I could get the whole roof replace and it might still leak, if it is coming in through a seam, the window, or something else not solely related to the roof. Please help!


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Old 05-05-2008, 08:04 PM   #2
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Can you get us a picture? Several! From inside and outside?

TRG may be close enough to take a look. He's good.


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Old 05-05-2008, 11:11 PM   #3
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I could have sworn that I responded to this earlier today.

Yes, photos are vital in this particular case.

Probably will not be good enough, or as good as a very good tech seeing it in person though.

If TRG is near you, definitely give him a go ahead to look at it.


Last edited by Ed the Roofer; 05-06-2008 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:01 AM   #4
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I am TRG,It sounds like wall flashing details,like ed said pictures would be great,but possibly not enough in this instance,Where are you in NJ?,I travel to an extent,and do a lot of work in north areas of NJ,But would be willing to travel further-I sent an E-MAIL with my contact info--if there`s a leak,I will definitely find it
"If it`s worth doing,It`s worth doing right!!"
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:18 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone for responding..... I will take pictures today and post them.
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